Title: The Rule of Thoughts
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Science Fiction, YA Fiction, Action, Adventure
Premise: This is the second book in this series. Michael is a Tangent who is now human. And he feels wrong for taking Jackson Porter’s body without permission, but he wants to know why Kaine needs him. And why Kaine is putting more Tangents into human bodies.
Plot: This plot has action in it. A surprising amount since it’s based in a video game. Well…the VirtNet isn’t a video game really. It’s like the Internet but not. Kinda. This book is quite interesting. The end of the book is a complete cliffhanger, leaving you wanting more. I don’t really like the plot. You’re kept on your toes, but I feel a bit…odd. I don’t entirely like how the plot was written. There are some points where I am plain confused. Like when the Michael explodes a building in the Wake. Which made me scratch my head. I know that was what Dashner was looking for, but I simply couldn’t understand it. I just kept wondering what he meant. I do think that the cliffhanger is good for making readers read the second book. If you overuse cliffhangers, though, you lose the reader. Now, I don’t remember how ‘The Eye of Minds’ ended, but it seems like the cliffhanger is used quite well.
I don’t know if the story is that amazing. It’s interesting but not amazing.
Character Development: I really don’t like these characters. They are annoying to me. I don’t feel anything for them. I don’t care if Sarah’s parents are kidnapped. I think that Michael is the starring role. While Bryson and Sarah both play major, and undeniably needed, parts, Michael is the only one who matters. At least in Kaine’s eyes.
Michael. I don’t like him. Seriously. He’s a bit on the whiny side. I don’t understand why he isn’t thankful for his body. I get that he didn’t know that he was a Tangent, but you have a body. You can talk to friends. I know Jackson Porter might not have asked for the replacing, but I think Michael should be thankful. I feel like I will never like him. He doesn’t grow up. He acts bratty at first and stays that way. He’s smart, and I hope that Dashner doesn’t exploit that. Exploiting a smart character isn’t good. I feel like there are many overly smart characters. I know there are amazingly smart people out there, but those are far and few between. Now, I’m not trying to insult anyone, but that’s really facts. Not all people are smart. By the definition of society at least.
I still can’t like Michael. There simply is no good thing about him.
Problems: The plot, while interesting, lacks the drive. I feel like the characters are running around in circles until they meet up with the VNS. They aren’t doing much, and their drive isn’t pushing them far enough. For Sarah, it’s enough to lose her parents. Why are Michael and Bryson doing anything? I don’t feel like they have enough reason to. Bryson is there for friendship. And Michael just ends up being involved. And he doesn’t know why. That’s the question that lingers in this book. Why. Why did this happen? Why me? Why you?
The characters aren’t amazing. I prefer heartbroken or broken characters. People with past and secrets. We don’t see that. In Sarah, it’s hinted something happened between the Path and the meeting with Michael. Not much. Just something. And she seems to bounce back. I know people can bounce back, but it just seems impossible in a way. I don’t want to even start on Bryson. Don’t get me started.
The story is set in a video game. I like these stories typical. For example Ernest Cline’s ‘Ready Player One’. I liked that. I just feel like this book is completely lacking. There are video games and hackers, but we don’t get to know all these video games. We get hints and pieces. And the titles are unoriginal. ‘Curious Ways to Die’ for one. It seems like a play on the song ‘Dumb Way to Die’. And I feel like it is a parody.
Good points: I think that a good point is the cliffhanger. I normally hate these, and I hate that they are there. But the cliffhanger makes me want to read more. Which is not a bad thing since this book is lacking in almost every other department. I do think that the cliffhanger makes you wonder. I do want to see more of the mysterious and genius Kaine. I want to see more video games and more of Agent Weber. She has something up her sleeve. I can tell.
The idea is interesting. I feel like it isn’t met, though. We get the character running in circles, and we have this amazing premise. Dashner could have done better. He wrote the movie-to-be series the Maze Runner.
Recommended: If you liked the first book. If you like books set in video games.