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

“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.” -Goodreads

There were a lot of books in 2014 that I had high hopes for. Some came through others though fell flat. In my review of The Eye of Minds I basically summed down my experience as: it sucked, but the ending was worth it and that I would be looking forward to the second book. Now that I’ve read the second book I have to say it’s exactly the same.

I don’t know what is going on with Dashner, well I have a vague idea, but I’ll get to that later. I will admit that the Maze Runner series wasn’t perfect, but it was good, it held my interest and told an interesting story and the writing wasn’t bad. Is it wrong for me to compare this work with that one? I’m pretty sure it’s not. The Rule of Thoughts does have an interesting concept idea it’s just that Dashner’s execution is very much lacking. The writing style still has this feel like he’s a newbie debut writer which was exactly how I felt in the last book. The characters are flat, the locations are generic, and the plot is just plain boring.

I think Dashner’s problem is that maybe he’s writing a story about a topic that he might not know too well and is therefore very hesitant with it. Gaming and computer lingo are pretty instrumental if you want to give off the feel that you are writing about games and computers. This is where his shortcomings seem to be coming from. The only words that he uses are hack and code and I’m just like “Okay… what type of hacks, what types of code?” Surely Dashner wouldn’t find it too difficult to pick up a computer book and do a little bit of researching.

My thoughts are kind of going like this, what I want is Log Horizon what I’m getting is .Hack//Sign. Anyone else feeling the same way?

So, yeah, overall the story sucked just like the last book, BUT…. I still want the third one because of that ending. It’s just like he knows the book sucks so he’s just like “Yeah, I’ll hit them hard with that exciting cliffhanger so they’ll go read the next book.” I just kind of want to bang my head against the wall because unlike for this book I am having no expectations whatsoever for The Game of Lives. It’ll suck like the Rule of Thoughts and the Eye of Minds, but hopefully the ending will be somewhat decent like these two.

My final thoughts are that I wished I’d never started this series, but now I feel somewhat invested in it. I rate it 2/5 stars.