Includes a sneak peek of The Fever Code, the highly anticipated conclusion to the Maze Runner series—the novel that finally reveals how the Maze was built!
The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and the more hacking skills you have, the more fun it is. Why bother following the rules when it’s so easy to break them? But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And one gamer has been doing exactly that, with murderous results.
The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they’ve been watching Michael. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid, to the back alleys and corners of the system human eyes have never seen—and it’s possible that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.
Praise for the Mortality Doctrine Series:
“Dashner takes full advantage of the Matrix-esque potential for asking ‘what is real.’” —io9.com
“Set in a world taken over by virtual reality gaming, the series perfectly capture[s] Dashner’s hallmarks for inventiveness, teen dialogue and an ability to add twists and turns like no other author.” —MTV.com
“A brilliant, visceral, gamified mash-up of The Matrix and Inception, guaranteed to thrill even the non-gaming crowd.” —Christian Science Monitor
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Series:||Mortality Doctrine Series , #1|
|Edition description:||B&N Exclusive Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)|
|Lexile:||790L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
James Dashner is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, The Kill Order and The Fever Code, as well as the bestselling Mortality Doctrine series: The Eye of Minds, The Rule of Thoughts, and The Game of Lives. Dashner was born and raised in Georgia, but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains. To learn more about him and his books, visit JamesDashner.com, follow @jamesdashner on Twitter, and find dashnerjames on Instagram.
Read an Excerpt
Michael spoke against the wind, to a girl named Tanya.
“I know it’s water down there, but it might as well be concrete. You’ll be flat as a pancake the second you hit.”
Not the most comforting choice of words when talking to someone who wanted to end her life, but it was certainly the truth. Tanya had just climbed over the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge, cars zooming by on the road, and was leaning back toward the open air, her twitchy hands holding on to a pole wet with mist. Even if somehow Michael could talk her out of jumping, those slippery fingers might get the job done anyway. And then it’d be lights-out. He pictured some poor sap of a fisherman thinking he’d finally caught the big one, only to reel in a nasty surprise.
“Stop joking,” the trembling girl responded. “It’s not a game--not anymore.”
Michael was inside the VirtNet--the Sleep, to people who went in as often as he did. He was used to seeing scared people there. A lot of them. Yet underneath the fear was usually the knowing. Knowing deep down that no matter what was happening in the Sleep, it wasn’t real.
Not with Tanya. Tanya was different. At least, her Aura, her computer-simulated counterpart, was. Her Aura had this bat-crazy look of pure terror on her face, and it suddenly gave Michael chills--made him feel like he was the one hovering over that long drop to death. And Michael wasn’t a big fan of death, fake or not.
“It is a game, and you know it,” he said louder than he’d wanted to--he didn’t want to startle her. But a cold wind had sprung up, and it seemed to grab his words and whisk them down to the bay. “Get back over here and let’s talk. We’ll both get our Experience Points, and we can go explore the city, get to know each other. Find some crazies to spy on. Maybe even hack some free food from the shops. It’ll be good times. And when we’re done, we’ll find you a Portal, and you can Lift back home. Take a break from the game for a while.”
“This has nothing to do with Lifeblood !” Tanya screamed at him. The wind pulled at her clothes, and her dark hair fanned out behind her like laundry on a line. “Just go away and leave me alone. I don’t want your pretty-boy face to be the last thing I see.”
Michael thought of Lifeblood Deep, the next level, the goal of all goals. Where everything was a thousand times more real, more advanced, more intense. He was three years away from earning his way inside. Maybe two. But right then he needed to talk this dopey girl out of jumping to her date with the fishes or he’d be sent back to the Suburbs for a week, making Lifeblood Deep that much further away.
“Okay, look . . .” He was trying to choose his words carefully, but he’d already made a pretty big mistake and knew it. Going out of character and using the game itself as a reason for her to stop what she was doing meant he’d be docked points big-time. And it was all about the points. But this girl was legitimately starting to scare him. It was that face--pale and sunken, as if she’d already died.
“Just go away!” she yelled. “You don’t get it. I’m trapped here. Portals or no Portals. I’m trapped! He won’t let me Lift!”
Michael wanted to scream right back at her--she was talking nonsense. A dark part of him wanted to say forget it, tell her she was a loser, let her nosedive. She was being so stubborn--it wasn’t like any of it was really happening. It’s just a game. He had to remind himself of that all the time.
But he couldn’t mess this up. He needed the points. “All right. Listen.” He took a step back, held his hands up like he was trying to calm a scared animal. “We just met--give it some time. I promise I won’t do anything nutty. You wanna jump, I’ll let you jump. But at least talk to me. Tell me why.”
Tears lined her cheeks; her eyes had gone red and puffy. “Just go away. Please.” Her voice had taken on the softness of defeat. “I’m not messing around here. I’m done with this--all of this!”
“Done? Okay, that’s fine to be done. But you don’t have to screw it up for me, too, right?” Michael figured maybe it was okay to talk about the game after all, since she was using it as her reason to end it--to check out of the Virtual-Flesh-and-Bones Hotel and never come back. “Seriously. Walk back to the Portal with me, Lift yourself, do it the right way. You’re done with the game, you’re safe, I get my points. Ain’t that the happiest ending you ever heard of ?”
“I hate you,” she spat. Literally. A spray of misty saliva. “I don’t even know you and I hate you. This has nothing to do with Lifeblood !”
“Then tell me what it does have to do with.” He said it kindly, trying to keep his composure. “You’ve got all day to jump. Just give me a few minutes. Talk to me, Tanya.”
She buried her head in the crook of her right arm. “I just can’t do it anymore.” She whimpered and her shoulders shook, making Michael worry about her grip again. “I can’t.”
Some people are just weak, he thought, though he wasn’t stupid enough to say it.
Lifeblood was by far the most popular game in the VirtNet. Yeah, you could go off to some nasty battlefield in the Civil War or fight dragons with a magic sword, fly spaceships, explore the freaky love shacks. But that stuff got old quick. In the end, nothing was more fascinating than bare-bones, dirt-in-your-face, gritty, get-me-out-of-here real life. Nothing. And there were some, like Tanya, who obviously couldn’t handle it. Michael sure could. He’d risen up its ranks almost as quickly as legendary gamer Gunner Skale.
“Come on, Tanya,” he said. “How can it hurt to talk to me? And if you’re going to quit, why would you want to end your last game by killing yourself so violently?”
Her head snapped up and she looked at him with eyes so hard he shivered again.
“Kaine’s haunted me for the last time,” she said. “He can’t just trap me here and use me for an experiment--sic the KillSims on me. I’m gonna rip my Core out.”
Those last words changed everything. Michael watched in horror as Tanya tightened her grip on the pole with one hand, then reached up with the other and started digging into her own flesh.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is amazing. Action packed and just overall really interesting. It grabs your attention within the first page. I loved the whole concept of the virtual reality in which kids basically live in. This book kept me reading and I finished it that day. I can't wait until the next one comes out! Plus I met the author and he is great. You really need to read this.
The twist at the end was AMAZING guys!!! <3
This is not a book I would recommend for anyone. I love, love, love Dashner's writing, as I am about to start Maze Runner and read the 13th reality series. But this book was a major disappointment. It seems as though Dashner picked up a 'How To' on writing middle grade adventure novels and then followed it to the word. I did not finish the book; I had to quit on page 100 because it was not worth my time, and I'm upset with myself for holding out that long. The most upsetting thing about this book is that it had potential. It could have been really good. But the plot was far fetched, the characters were hackneyed, I didn't care about the main character ( although he was occasionally hilarious) and the entire time I was reading I kept thinking 'Why?' which is something I should not be thinking ever while reading. The villain was dubious at best, the world was decently defined but it just seemed overall, extremely pointless. The writing itself was dry and the way things were described was just not understandable. I did not enjoy this book, but to each their own. It pains me to write this review, as I know Mr.Dashner is a wonderful writer but this book was a waste of time, money and paper.
Short story: The Eye of Minds is my first James Dashner book and I must say that it was a pleasant read. This book in particular is an adventure novel. I honestly felt that I was part of the trio's team in trying to find Kaine, a rogue hacker that is taking players hostage on the virtual net and causing chaos. The VNS, Virtual Net Security, force..err.. ask Michael and his two friends to find that hacker, and off they go. This book is fairly short, at 300 pages, and it was fun to read about but I must say it got repetitive with quest after quest and spending the whole book on that journey. I however really enjoyed the humor and friendship of the characters,Long story: Michael is a gamer; he spends most of his day either at school or in the virtual world. His one goal is to reach the Lifeblood Deep status, the highest status and exclusive game a gamer can reach. One day the government/VNS contact him and basically threaten him and his friends to either take up the challenge of finding Kaine, the terrorist hacker, or get all their online/virtual access revoked. Of course being teenagers, they take up the challenge and their journey begins. I personally really liked Michael, Bryson, and Sarah, their conversations and them just being teenagers. However I just couldn't really connect with them on a deeper level. As for the journey itself, it was interesting in the beginning, but over time I personally just wanted to reach the end of the journey and find out what's going on. I wished we had more to the plot than what was in it because it just felt like me playing a video game and just moving on from one mission to the other without any substance.. I'm not sure if I'm even making sense to you readers but that's how I felt. The ending though… wow.. that was completely unexpected and I seriously applaud Dashner for such a twist. It was original, twisted, shocking, and brilliant! That ending makes me wonder what will be happening next and what will happen to the awesome trio. I definitely recommend The Eye of Minds to fans of sci-fi/virtual world YA readers.
I was very disappointed with this book. It sounds really great, but the actual plot was very slow, the characters were weak, and the overall feeling of it lacked suspense/thrill. I am hopeful for the next book, however, because the last couple chapters were more intriguing.
This book blew my mind
It’s not an overstatement to say that when The Maze Runner series arrived in our world, author James Dashner became a icon. That series showed an entirely new way of combining humanity with the digital realm, and proved that Dashner was one of the best writers this world has ever seen. Now, thankfully, Dashner has continued. This new book provides an exciting, enticing plotline that will have every reader jumping right back on the Dashner mind-train and wishing that it was already 2014 so they could see what happens next. In this book, we are standing by the side of Michael. Michael, like most teenagers, is far more into his computer than real life. His parents have been gone on an extended vacation and his nanny, Helga, takes care of him well. All Michael wants to do, however, is forget school, forget real life, head to his Coffin (the place where he lies down and gets ‘hooked’ up to the VirtNet), and play a game. In his Coffin he’s able to leave the boring Wake behind and head into the Sleep - a place that is completely realistic even though its all a virtual game. What Michael wants more than anything is to get enough credits to be able to enter Lifeblood Deep (which is THE game that everyone wants to take a peek at). However, an incident hurts his credits badly. A girl heads up to the Golden Gate Bridge, rips out her Core (which is in your brain and allows you to be protected in the Wake when you die in the Sleep), and jumps off. She dies in her real life too, of course, because the Core is gone. And she commits suicide because she can no longer deal with Kaine and how he is manipulating and killing people. Michael wakes up and soon finds himself a target of VNS, agents who tell him he and his two friends in the VirtNet must find Kaine - a cyber-terrorist - and find his hideout within the Sleep so the Agents can destroy him. Oh yeah...this will be an easy job. Michael has to accept the mission because of the consequences that will occur in his reality, and joins his two friends to stop Kaine from taking more innocent gamers’ lives. To get to him and learn more about something called The Mortality Doctrine, the friends must discover Kaine’s secret hiding place called The Hallowed Ravine. To do so these three friends go up against zombies, wolves with yellow eyes, snake ropes, tangents, Greenland savages - you name it. Let’s face it, Dashner has the right words and a truly incredible imagination. The story is rich in detail with humor, suspense, science-fiction, fantasy, romance - again...you name it! It’s no surprise that Dashner has created what will be another bestselling series that no one will ever forget. Quill says: Bring on the Dashner movies, Hollywood! Or, readers may just have to take you into the Sleep and teach you a lesson. Enjoy everybody! This is FANtastic!
It's an amazing book that I couldn't put down from the moment I began reading it. I also love some of the twist he threw in that I would have never seen coming. I love Dashner's writing style and this book is fantastic. I'd recommend it to others. It really does a great job of grabbing your attention.
just wondering, is this book ok for 12 year olds?
It's not a work of literary genius, but is impossible to put down. A great book for teens/young adults. It plays off of the addictive virtual world we live and leaves us hanging on the cliff in the end, in much the same way as the Maze Runner series does. I am not looking forward to waiting until Fall 2014 for the sequel.