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Review: The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner


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

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

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

And the takeover has already begun.

My thoughts

I absolutely LOVED Dashner’s Maze Runner series but this one seems to be the complete opposite. Where the second book in the Maze Runner series was my absolute favorite of the trilogy, this one sucked big time. I disliked it even more than the first book. At least the end of The Mortality Doctrine seemed to promise that the story will improve but NOPE! I’m so disappointed in this series I don’t even know if I want to read the last book.

First off I can at least say one good thing about this book and that is its pacing. It’s really fast-paced and action packed and doesn’t get boring. The plot has a lot to offer when it comes to exciting events. These characters are constantly on the move, are facing new problems every couple of pages and they never seem to get the chance to take a deep breath and calm down. Thanks to that I was able to finish the book that could otherwise have been a DNF for me.

A fast-paced novel doesn’t make a good one though if everything else is crap.
First there is the problem I already had when I read the first book: I didn’t care about the characters at all. I didn’t care if they get hurt or may not even make it out of this alive. The end of the first book was so promising. I thought it would open up the opportunity to get me interested in the main character Michael and his life and the problems he is facing. But this certain topic wasn’t dealt with in the way I thought it would and instead was kind of ignored in parts where it should have been addressed in a better way.
Add to that the fact that these characters are IDIOTS! And I’m not talking about some flaws (because I actually like that in characters) but these characters shouldn’t have been allowed to be part of something this important when they make the kind of decisions they made. There was even a point when one of their “grand plans” causes someone’s death. Something like that should have at least been dealt with differently, as in how the characters respond to what happened.

And now we come to the part that caused me to want to bash my own head in with this book and make me forget about what I read. The wordlbuilding of this one is just awful and when I say awful I mean IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL. All through the book I was questioning if Dashner did any research for this book (later, after I read his acknowledgments, I was 100% sure he didn’t).
I’m kind of in a “special” situation because I study Web Science and I know how the Internet works in all its details. So maybe other people won’t be bothered as much by this worldbuilding as I was but seriously Dashner? A little bit of research never hurt anyone!
It’s not just the fact that I thought some part are completely unrealistic, it’s also that he doesn’t explain much. This whole Virtnet could have been so exciting but you don’t get to read about any details, you never read about Michael’s great hacking skills for example but you are just told they he can do it. There was this one part that didn’t make any sense and Dashner doesn’t even try to explain it properly but rather hides behind his main character who doesn’t know how that certain something works.
Dear Mr. Dashner, either do your research or stay away from topics you don’t know anything about.

Right now, I don’t even feel bad about writing such a review about a book by a favorite author (which I usually do!) because I’m still so angry about this worldbuilding. Maybe I could have ignored some of it if it weren’t for those flat, unrelatable characters and important issues that weren’t dealt with the way they should have been. This one was one epic fail and I only gave it two stars because at least he still knows how to write action packed plots that are anything but boring.

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  • Dagegen wirkt meine schon nicht gerade begeisterte Rezension ja schon fast gnädig :D

    Ich habe ja immer noch die Hoffnung dass das Trilogie-Ende es dann wieder ein bisschen rausreißt, deswegen werde ich den letzten Band wohl auch noch lesen, aber gerade im Vergleich zur Maze-Runner-Reihe ist das schon echt ne herbe Enttäuschung… :(

Jan 22, 2015