James Dashner does it again. A competent successor to The Maze Runner series, The Eye of Minds is a captivating and suspenseful sci-fi adventure that left me craving the next installment of the trilogy.

The Eye of Minds follows the journey of Michael and his friends, Bryson and Sarah, as they tracked down a crooked madman hacker who has been using his skills in the VirtNet to corrupt others and render the human bodies of his victims brain dead.

In the world that Dashner establishes, those who can afford to purchase a “Coffin”, the piece of technology that can transport the mind to the VirtNet, are empowered with the ability to explore an almost limitless world, in which death does not exist. When reading, it is evident that Dashner put alot of detail and forethought into the workings and infrastuctrure of the VirtNet, and this is what really makes the world that Michael lives in an original one.

As for the characters, I found the dialogue that they exchange amongst themselves entertaining, but I could muster nothing on a more profound level. Although the frequent exchanges of banter and sarcasm among the trio of friends brought a sense of realism to the story. I did not symphatise with or relate to any of the characters on a deeper level, which I presume has to do with the lack of character insight and development throughout the course of the novel.

Although the premise of the book kept me turning page after page, I began to lose interest somewhere near the hundred page mark, when Michael and his friends are throes of their journey. This was undoubtedly influenced by the repetitive nature of the tasks that the characters faced. After they moved past an obstacle, another would appear shortly after, and following that one’s completion, the characters would be faced with yet another obstacle to overcome, and so and so forth. This is where I began to focus less on the character’s current situtation and just wanted to reach the final pages of the book to discover what conclusion was in store. However, I put my big girl panties on, sat down, and read through it all.

Good decision. After braving through the book’s drier sections, fueled primarily by anticipation of its conclusion, I was presented with a major completely unexpected plot twist. And boy, was it a twist – the kind that causes the story to make sense on an entirely new level. I won’t delve into further details for obvious spoiler avoiding reasons, but I will mention that upon reflection, I realised that Dashner does provide subtle clues that foreshadow the plot’s sudden twist. However, I had gullibly attributed these clues to a clues that Dashner leads the reader to believe , but is essentially a distraction from their real cause, which only contributes further to the element of surprise contained in those last few pages.

Overall, despite my criticisms of the book, I recommend this to any YA’ers out there who are craving a sci-fi adventure with a hint of danger and mystery. Read through the weaker spots and you will encounter an ending well worth the wait.