07 January 2015

The Rule of Thoughts

Author: James Dashner
Series: The Mortality Doctrine #2
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

Oh, James Dashner, what have you gone and done here?  Actually, I know exactly what you did.  You sat at your desk and thought, 'Hey, what if I take The Eye of Minds and just reverse the plot?  Now that Michael is known to be AI, we'll make him human instead of in the first book where he was known to be human and we made him AI.  And then, since he thought he lived in the Wake when really he was in the Sleep in the Eye of Minds, now we'll make him think he's in the Sleep when he's really in the Wake.  And then I can use the same basic plot as the first novel and just change the details around so it feels like a new story'.  Suffice to say, to me this sequel feels like it is retelling almost the exact same plot as the first novel.  They still spend the entire novel teamed up with VNS trying to chase after Kaine and shut him down, and Michael is still teamed up with his duo of friends.

I tried to give Dashner the benefit of the doubt and go into The Rule of Thoughts with an open mind, but this is a sequel I just couldn't stomach.  Since I wasn't all that impressed with the first novel, reading pretty much the same story over again feels like an insult on my intellect.  The group still spends way too much time in the Sleep, even though they admit that it makes it about 500 times easier for Kaine to track them that way.  And when you reach the end of this novel, you still are completely unsatisfied that you've reached any sort of conclusion, because Dashner just throws another Hail Mary "shocker" of an ending, and once again absolutely nothing has been resolved, even though we are two novels into this series now.  I say "shocker" in parenthesis as, since I basically read this novel already, I guessed the ending well before I reached it.  In fact, I was kind of surprised the characters themselves couldn't get their heads out of their butts and figure it out, as Michael sees hints along the way, but just seems to ignore them.

I gave it a valiant attempt, but this is the end of the road for me and Dashner.  There are so many better written, better plotted novels out there to spend my time on.  Sorry Michael.

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