The Rule of Thoughts (The Morality Doctrine #2) by James Dashner

The Rule of Thoughts (The Morality Doctrine #2) by James Dashner

Goodreads Synopsis
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series comes The Rule of Thoughts, the exciting sequel to The Eye of Minds. Fans of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and The Hunger Games will love the new Mortality Doctrine series. 

Michael completed the Path. What he found at the end turned everything he’d ever known about his life—and the world—completely upside down.

He barely survived. But it was the only way VirtNet Security knew to find the cyber-terrorist Kaine—and to make the Sleep safe for gamers once again. And, the truth Michael discovered about Kaine is more complex than they anticipated, and more terrifying than even the worst of their fears.

Kaine is a tangent, a computer program that has become sentient. And Michael’s completing the Path was the first stage in turning Kaine’s master plan, the Mortality Doctrine, into a reality.

The Mortality Doctrine will populate Earth entirely with human bodies harboring tangent minds. Any gamer who sinks into the VirtNet risks coming out with a tangent intelligence in control of their body. 

And the takeover has already begun.


An exciting and thrilling sequel to the semi-boring The Eye of Minds. The Rule of Thoughts takes the world James Dashner has created in The Eye of Minds and turns it on its head. I find that most sequels are bogged down with extreme world building, but The Rule of Thoughts does its world building in an unconventional way. 

Because Michael now has a human body, a lot of the story takes place in the Wake so it allows the reader to see the world outside the VirtNet that was described in the first novel. This expands the world to what is beyond the VirtNet and allows the reader to get a feeling for why people spend so much of their lives inside this video game reality. The first bit of the novel lagged a little, but once Michael was on the run it picked up its pace and became a page turner.

Unlike with Dashner's other work, specifically The Kill Order (prequel to The Maze Runner series), which I found to move extremely quickly with no time to comprehend the scenario between action sequences, The Rule of Thoughts has much better pacing and timing. There is enough time between heavy action sequences for the characters and reader alike to think about their previous actions and decide what to do next. It also didn't let the characters sit around for too long without having to face some sort of moral question or dilemma before moving onto the next problem. They had to make quick decisions, find out the consequences, and figure out where to go from there immediately.

I found the book pretty predictable, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It made the reader question what it is to be human, to be real, and to wonder if everything is just a layer of dreams. Sort of like Inception.  I will definitely be picking up the next novel when it comes out.

Overall: 3.5/5 stars. Such a good pace to this novel and I really liked the moral dilemmas that the characters faced. AND THAT ENDING.

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