A trio of gaming teens battles a corrupt computer program that is hellbent on leading a virtual army into our reality.
Upon completing the Path in The Eye of Minds (2013), Michael discovered he’s nothing more than a Tangent, a stray bit of computer code that has gained sentience. Now downloaded into the brain of teenager Jackson Porter, Michael must find his friends and get ahead of Kaine, the villainous Tangent that has discovered the ability to invade the real world by corrupting human bodies with Tangent consciousnesses. Dashner has created an excellent sequel, filled with propulsive character development and a self-contained emotional arc woven through plot threads that properly lead to future installments. The escalation in plotting is smartly paced and paired with well-balanced characters that feel real rather than just character types. The author’s use of nifty technobabble goes a long way in describing a future that, refreshingly, is not dystopian in any way. Amid a sea of trilogies and series devoid of imagination or smarts, the Mortality Doctrine stands tall by having both in equal measure. This episode does end on a cliffhanger, but the enjoyable ride and arresting scenario make it easy to swallow.
An excellent franchise entry that proves planned series can be just as enjoyable as one-offs. (Science fiction. 12-16)