Mortality Doctrine: The Eye of Minds
Dashner, Random House, Rs866. Ages 14+.
James Dashner is best known for his Maze Runner series – the postapocalyptic books are set in a labyrinth inhabited by a group of boys. Every night, the maze door is shut and the boys temporarily safe inside a space called the Glade. Outside the Glade, all kind of perils lurk. Dashner’s latest book series is not set in a maze but is reminiscent of his earlier books.The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine series, set in a futuristic high-tech world of gaming. Michael is one such gamer whose life revolves around the VirtNet, a hyperreality game which is played by encasing yourself inside a coffin and letting wires snake beneath your skin. Things change when the government enlists Michael to help them nab Kaine, a rogue gamer who’s hacking into players’ virtual lives and destroying their real ones. Young adults addicted to their Xboxes and PlayStations will love this futuristic world where gaming takes on a largerthan- life avatar. Yet, there are subtle plots at play here as real and fictional worlds blur together, throwing up questions about this addictive space, hacking, and the use of technology against the backdrop of cyber terrorism.
The Screaming Staircase:Lockwood & Co
Jonathan Stroud, Random House, Rs550. Ages 12+.
Over the last few years, London has been plagued by some serious monsters when it comes to literary fiction. From dementors looming over the city in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series to zombies taking over the country in Charlie Higson’s The Enemy, it’s all been done. This time around, author Jonathan Stroud unleashes a world where Britain’s haunted by ghosts whose touch can kill a person Only some children have the ability to vanquish these spirits.
Lucy Carlyle is one such investigator who joins Lockwood & Co, London’s most nondescript ghost hunting agency, run by teenager Anthony Lockwood along with the nonchalant and sarcastic George. They go ghost-hunting with all sorts of equipment from iron filings to tea bags. The agency’s reputation is up in shambles after they botch up an assignment. They have a chance to redeem themselves, but it involves spending a night in a haunted house.
Stroud is the author of The Bartimaeus Trilogy. His new series is chilling and funny at the same time. The ghosts portrayed in the book are macabre and frighteningly real.Yet, it’s a compelling read, with endearing characters