From the Publisher
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
"An exhilarating adventure story with touches of Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider books and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game."—Booklist.com
“More realistic and addictive than any video game—The Eye of Minds sucked me in from the very first page. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets The Matrix in a vividly rendered world of gamers, hackers, and cyber-terrorists. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!”—Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures and author of Unbreakable
"Dashner's descriptions are screenplay-ready. . . . This book will satisfy the author’s fans . . . [and readers] in search of an adrenaline rush."—SLJ
“A gripping page-turner, Dashner’s latest is sure to please.” —BookPage
“Full of action [and] a rather surprising twist that will leave you flipping pages.”—fanboynation.com
“High on concept, this is an intriguing read for the digital generation.”—Kirkus Reviews
"Dashner once again creates a dystopian world in which nothing is what it seems."—VOYA
VOYA, December 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 5) - Etienne Vallee
Michael and his friends, Sarah and Bryson, face new threats following the destruction of the VSN firewall. More and more Tangents are using the Mortality Doctrine to take possession of human bodies, downloading into them while their users are imprisoned in a virtual-reality universe. The Tangents have fractured, however, with those who oppose Kaine and those Kaine leads toward his ultimate goal of immortality. At the same time, Agent Weber’s plans of making VSN the world power and destroying all Tangents are coming to fruition. Armed with only code, can Michael stop both Weber and Kaine before it is too late? Dashner concludes this gripping tale by starting immediately where Rule Of Thought (Random House, 2014/Voya December 2014) ended. Well written and with an exciting plot, this third and final book wraps up all of the loose ends and hints cleverly placed in the first two books. Nonstop action leaves little room for introspection on the part of the main characters, yet their motivations are clear. The love triangle that emerged in the second book fizzles out, with Bryson bowing out of the relationship between Michael and Sarah. Readers who loved the first two of the series will enjoy this satisfying conclusion to the Mortality Doctrine. Reviewer: Etienne Vallee; Ages 12 to 18.
VOYA, December 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 5) - Eric DuBois
The Game Of Lives provides a quick but compelling finale to the series. This fast-paced book tells the classic tale of good versus evil as Michael tries to prevent the destruction of the human race at the hands of rogue Tangents. Lacking any major plot twists, this book uses timely cliff-hangers to keep the reader engaged from beginning to end. Neatly tying up all the loose ends in this must-read series, The Game Of Lives is a perfect book for teens. Reviewer: Eric DuBois, Teen Reviewer; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—The cyber adventure continues where The Rule of Thoughts (Delacorte, 2014) left off. Michael has survived his ordeal and doubts not only himself but also everyone around him. Is everyone he knows a Tangent? Where are the souls of those whose bodies are borrowed by the sentient computer programs. Can he trust anyone? Is anywhere safe? Can he even trust himself? And, most importantly, can he stop Kaine from taking over the world with bodies possessed by Tangents? Lovers of science and science fiction alike will thrive in the virtual reality world within the novel. A brilliant merging of reality and fiction, this work doesn't stand alone, so only fans of the previous volumes will be able to jump right in. VERDICT Purchase where the author and the series are popular.—Elizabeth Speer, Weatherford College, Weatherford, TX
After narrowly escaping the villainous Tangent Kaine's clutches at the conclusion of The Rule of Thoughts (2014), Michael, Bryson, and Sarah are joined by Michael's old nanny, Helga, and a group of rebel Tangents to thwart Kaine's evil plans once and for all. But not all is as it seems. Tragedy occurs, motives are revealed, and foe becomes friend in Dashner's exciting finale. Dashner throws everything he has in to this volume, making for a breathless, action-packed read that will have readers on the edges of their seats. He further explores his hard sci-fi premise, in which beings flow like water between a computer world and a real world, lending the book as much speculative fun as action. The characterization still leaves a bit to be desired; few characters are given the depth and shading the author gives to Michael and Kaine. Moreover, Dashner doesn't seem to have quite enough guts to keep a particularly painful death permanent; the novel's final pages allude to a resurrection that, while sweet, will make a few readers roll their eyes. However, in the broadest of strokes Dashner has stuck the landing, crafting a complete sci-fi trilogy that has little fat to trim and plenty of action, laughs, thoughts, and emotion. These books have notably improved with each outing, making this the best of the bunch. A fitting end to an exceptional trilogy. (Science fiction. 12-16)
Children's Literature - Laura Ruttig
The “Mortality Doctrine” series is in some ways a cross between The Matrix and Ender’s Game. In the first book, Michael, Sarah, and Bryson met in the VirtNetan immersive virtual reality experience that mirrors the real world but with a wider range of currency, neighborhoods, games, and dangers. As fantastic programmers, the three have the skills to control the code, bending it to their needs. However, there are also enemies; the VNS, the police force of the VirtNet, and Tangents, rogue programs. In the first two novels in the series, Michael saw the VirtNet and the real world collide in ways he never expected, leading to some rather unexpected revelations. Finally, in this conclusion to the “Mortality Doctrine” trilogy, Michael must find ways to fight in both the real world and the VirtNet, in order to defeat Kaine’s plans. Filled with more intense action, The Game of Lives picks up immediately at the end of Rule of Thoughts. Michael is contacted by Helga, his nanny from the VirtNet, but is it really her? Can he trust her if she is another type of Tangent? Is Kaine really the biggest threat or is there an even deeper enemy still hidden? Dashner gives a more nuanced look at both friends and enemies in this novel, forcing his characters to navigate a world that has a lot more gray than black and white. Overall, this novel forms a strong conclusion to the series, which will satisfy long-term readers. Because this is the third book, this title may not work well as a stand-alone read. Reviewer: Laura Ruttig; Ages 12 up.