Children's Literature - Remy Dou
When Michael wakes he discovers he crossed the boundary between the virtual world and the real world. Although created as an artificial intelligence program in a digital environmentVirtNetMichael’s consciousness somehow takes over the mind and body of an actual teenager. Now he must find his best friends, Sarah and Bryson, whom he has only met in the VirtNet, to help stop Kaine, a maniacal AI bent on taking over the real world. The three friends must jump back into the VirtNet and use all their coding skills to stop Kaine from spreading. Dashner maintains a steady, upbeat pace as he unravels an interesting plot that weaves in an out of two places: the real and virtual world. Readers will find themselves attracted to the characters, rooting for Michael’s budding relationship with Sarah, and questioning what makes reality real. Yet, despite the novel’s techy context, any teenager even remotely familiar with coding will cringe at the outdated renditions of what it means to be a computer programming hacker. It seems Dashner dug deep into the eighties to pull off this sci-fi thriller of wading through a virtual environment by physically manipulating code in a matter of minutes to accomplish overly ambitious feats. Fortunately, Dashner makes up for this flaw with masterful storytellingas one would expect from the writer of The Maze Runner. Those interested in this novel will be happy to learn that it is only the second part of the “Mortality Doctrine” series. Reviewer: Remy Dou; Ages 12 up.
VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Etienne Vallee
Michael is the first Tangent to become human. He was unaware that he was a computer program until Kaine, a Tangent villain who controls the VirtualNet, told him. Now in Jackson Park’s body in the real world, Michael is hunted down by Kaine’s agents. His only hope is reuniting with Sarah and Bryson so they can put an end to Kaine’s plans. When artificial intelligence and virtual reality are so good that they are indistinguishable from the real deal, whom can the trio trust? Is reality even “real,” or is it simply another computer simulation? Michael is running out of time to discover the truth, and it may very well cost him the human life he just gained. Dashner has once again written a gripping tale that picks up immediately where Eye Of Minds (Random House, 2013/Voya December 2013) left off. The book is well written, and the plot, pitting three teenagers against an all-powerful entity, is well executed (if not new). The action is nonstop, and the characters never have time to reflect on the events in which they are involved, yet they are well fleshed-out and their motivations are clear. A small element of romance is inserted, with the possible emergence of a love triangle between the characters. Readers who enjoyed Eye Of Minds or the Maze Runner trilogy will devour this volume and clamor for the third part, as the action ends in a cliff-hanger. Reviewer: Etienne Vallee; Ages 12 to 18.
VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Eric DuBois
After a nonexistent introduction and virtually no action, The Rule Of Thoughts dives into the thrilling story of the “Trifecta to Dissect-ya” and their adventures as they try to destroy the untouchable Kaine. Once the story line develops, readers will be unwilling to put the book down until they have read the final plot twist. This book shares ideas of technological immersion similar to those in Brain Jack by Brian Faulkner (Random House, 2010/Voya December 2010). Reviewer: Eric DuBois, Teen Reviewer; Ages 12 to 18.
A trio of gaming teens battles a corrupt computer program that is hellbent on leading a virtual army into our reality. Upon completing the Path in The Eye of Minds (2013), Michael discovered he's nothing more than a Tangent, a stray bit of computer code that has gained sentience. Now downloaded into the brain of teenager Jackson Porter, Michael must find his friends and get ahead of Kaine, the villainous Tangent that has discovered the ability to invade the real world by corrupting human bodies with Tangent consciousnesses. Dashner has created an excellent sequel, filled with propulsive character development and a self-contained emotional arc woven through plot threads that properly lead to future installments. The escalation in plotting is smartly paced and paired with well-balanced characters that feel real rather than just character types. The author's use of nifty technobabble goes a long way in describing a future that, refreshingly, is not dystopian in any way. Amid a sea of trilogies and series devoid of imagination or smarts, the Mortality Doctrine stands tall by having both in equal measure. This episode does end on a cliffhanger, but the enjoyable ride and arresting scenario make it easy to swallow. An excellent franchise entry that proves planned series can be just as enjoyable as one-offs. (Science fiction. 12-16)
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
“A gripping page-turner, Dashner’s latest is sure to please.”—BookPage
"Dashner's descriptions are screenplay-ready...This book will satisfy the author’s fans...[and readers] in search of an adrenaline rush."-School Library Journal
“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
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A YALSA Teens Top Ten Pick
From the Hardcover edition.