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The Rule of Thoughts (The Mortality Doctrine, Book Two) by [James Dashner]
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The Rule of Thoughts (The Mortality Doctrine, Book Two) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 669 ratings
Book 2 of 6: Mortality Doctrine

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Beginning where The Eye of Minds (Delacorte, 2013) left off, The Rule of Thoughts finds Michael reeling from the knowledge that he is—or was—a Tangent: a nonhuman string of code that lived only in the VirtNet. Thanks to Kaine's experiments, Michael now possesses the body and mind of human Jax Porter, and he is doing his best to process what has happened. He realizes that Kaine is out to get him and that Agent Weber, from VirtNet Security, isn't going to protect him as promised. Michael/Jax reunites with Sarah and Bryson and the "Trifecta to Dissect-ya" heads back into the Sleep, to code and hack their way to find answers. As in The Eye of Minds, Dashner's action-packed short chapters are divided into numbered sections. The gamers leap from one dangerous situation to another in the Wake and in the virtual reality of Lifeblood Deep. Dashner's descriptions are screenplay-ready, with Portals in malls, virtual battles, and a giant purple Ray of Power. This book will satisfy the author's fans, reluctant readers, and gamers in search of an adrenaline rush. Suggest to fans of Debra Driza's "Mila 2.0" trilogy (HarperCollins) and William Campbell Powell's stand-alone Expiration Day (Tor, 2014). This title will please older teens comfortable with a slower narrative pace.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Michael was not himself.

He lay on the bed of a stranger, staring up at a ceiling he had seen for the first time just the day before. He’d been disoriented and sick to his stomach all night, catching sleep only in fitful, anxious, nightmare-fueled jags. His life had blown apart; his sanity was slipping away. His very surroundings--the foreign room, the alien bed--were unforgiving reminders of his terrifying new life. Fear sparked through his veins.

And his family. What had happened to his family? He wilted a little more every time he pictured them.

The very first traces of dawn--a gloomy, pale light--made the shuttered blinds of the window glow eerily. The Coffin next to the bed sat silent and dark, as foreboding as a casket dug from a grave. He could almost imagine it: the wood rotting and cracked, human remains spilling out. He didn’t know how to look at the objects around him anymore. Real objects. He didn’t even understand the word real. It was as if all his knowledge of the world had been yanked out from under his feet like a rug.

His brain couldn’t grasp it all.

His . . . brain.

He almost burst out in a laugh, but it died in his chest.

Michael had only had an actual, physical brain for the last twelve hours. Not even a full day, he realized, and that pit in his stomach doubled in size.

Could it really all be true? Really?

Everything he knew was a result of artificial intelligence. Manufactured data and memories. Programmed technology. A created life. He could go on and on, each description somehow worse than the one before it. There was nothing real about him, and yet now here he was, transported through the VirtNet and the Mortality Doctrine program and turned into an actual human being. A living, breathing organism. A life, stolen. So that he could become something he didn’t even understand. His view of the world had been shattered. Utterly.

Especially because he wasn’t sure if he believed it. For all he knew, he could be in another program, another level of Lifeblood Deep. How could he ever again trust what was real and what was not? The uncertainty would drive him mad.

He rolled over and screamed into his pillow. His head--his stolen, unfamiliar head--ached from the thousands of thoughts that pounded through it, each one fighting for attention. Fighting to be processed and understood. And feeling pain here was no different from feeling it as a Tangent. Which only served to confuse him more. He couldn’t accept that before last night he’d just been a program, a long line of code. It didn’t compute. That did make him laugh, and the pain in his head intensified and spread, slicing down his throat and filling his chest.

He yelled again, which didn’t help, then forced himself to swing his legs off the bed and sit up. His feet touched the cool wooden floor, reminding him once again that he was now in a strange land. Lush carpet had blanketed the apartment he’d always known, which seemed homier, warmer, safe. Not cold and hard. He wanted to talk to Helga, his nanny. He wanted his parents.

And those were the thoughts that almost did him in completely. He’d been avoiding them, pressing them back into that pulsing swirl of thousands of other thoughts, but they weren’t going anywhere. They stood out and demanded attention.

Helga. His parents.

If what Kaine had said was true, they were as synthetic as Michael’s programmed fingernails had been. Even his memories. He would never know which ones had been programmed into his artificial intelligence and which ones he’d actually experienced within the code of Lifeblood Deep. He didn’t even know how long he’d existed--his true age. He could be two months old, or three years, or a hundred.

He imagined his parents and Helga as fake, or gone, or dead, maybe never there in the first place. It just didn’t make sense.

The ache that had crept its way into his chest filled his heart, and grief overtook him. He slumped back onto the bed and rolled over, pushing his face into the pillow. For the first time in his existence, Michael cried as an actual human being. But the tears felt no different than they ever had before. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B00IBZ3YU4
  • Publisher : Delacorte Press (August 26, 2014)
  • Publication date : August 26, 2014
  • Language : English
  • File size : 9094 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 338 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 669 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
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Mr. N. Malik
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writer, fast paced story lines and strong characters. Read one book and then went on to read many by this author.
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