The Eye of Minds
Dashner, James. The Eye of Minds. NY: Delacorte Press, c2013. 310 pages. Book 1 in the Mortality Doctrine series.
An avid gamer on the Virtual Net, Michael has two virtual friends that he hangs out with. The book takes place in a hyper-advanced world where anyone with enough money can experience wild excitement, even the experience of dying without fear because they will be able to wake up in the real world unscathed. When they begin to hear about a mysterious player who is holding gamers hostage in the virtual world, they are curious, but it is not until the government contacts Michael and issues veiled threats that he agrees to use his hacking skills to help them find the dangerous gamer. When his friends decide to help him, the biggest danger they face is that the renegade gamer may catch them first and essentially make them brain-dead, unable to wake up in the real world. Other books in this series are Gunner Skale, Rule of Thoughts, and Game of Lives (not published yet).
This book is on the Iowa High School Book Award reading list for 2015-2016. It is recommended for junior high and above although there is quite a bit of violence, so younger readers should be aware. Review by Mrs. Belknap