Friday, November 08, 2019

The Rule of Thoughts (The Mortality Doctrine, Book Two)

"Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?"
The opening to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody pops in my head as I read Rule of Thoughts. The three kids love playing in a virtual reality world. However, a artificially intelligent "tangent" has implemented the "mortality doctrine" to allow virtual beings to inhabit the bodies of real people. The "virtual" has spilled over to the "real".
The kids see parents kidnapped and try to hook up with a "VirtNet Agent" to try to stop the destruction in the real world. However, when they thought they were destroying it in the virtual world, they were actually in the real world.
This feels like a rehash of the Maze Runner series. The kids are part of some elaborate game controlled by adults. They are trying to figure it out and "solve" it in order to save the world. However, they have trouble figuring out what is real and what is not. They almost always feel some sort of "unease" when going down a path that seems right at the time, but ends up being bad in the long run. There are also a few deaths on the way.
There is a tingling of romantic tension in the story, with Michael and Sarah seemingly on the verge of a relationship, but never quite expressing their feelings. (Though that does leave the other boy as a third wheel.) There is also the interesting tension of Gabby, the "real" girlfriend of Michael's adopted body. She traces him down and makes a few appearances. It feels like she should be more important than she is.

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