"Conclusion to a unique and thought provoking science fiction trilogy"
Reviewed by Debbie Wiley
Posted April 19, 2016
Young Adult Science Fiction
THE GAME OF LIVES picks up right where THE RULE OF
THOUGHTS ended. Michael's world has changed rapidly with
all the new revelations and he longs for the days where
Helga bustled around the kitchen while Michael visited
the VirtNet with no worries. Now, any visit to the
VirtNet could bring death as Michael faces a virtual foe
with masterful programming skills. In fact, Kaine's
diabolical plan could end reality as Michael and his
friends know it, changing the very definitions of what it
means to be human and alive. What paths will Michael take
as he tries to decipher just who he can trust in an ever-
THE GAME OF LIVES is the third and startling conclusion
of James Dashner's The Mortality Doctrine trilogy.
I would not suggest reading THE GAME OF LIVES without
reading the prior two books first, as the world building
is quite complex. In fact, everything we thought we knew
in The Mortality Doctrine series is turned upside
down as James Dashner keeps shaking things up.
James Dashner raises some thought provoking ethical
dilemmas in THE GAME OF LIVES as Michael struggles to
understand what it means to be alive and to what limits
he will go to continue his current life. I applaud the
underlying theme as it made me want to like THE GAME OF
LIVES far more than I actually did. Unfortunately, the
ever-changing alliances and rules made the plot drag just
a bit. In fact, there is one scene that should have been
deeply emotional but instead left me just annoyed by the
THE GAME OF LIVES has the daunting task of concluding one
of the more unique and original series I've had the
pleasure of reading. The world building is absolutely
stunning, although it perhaps overshadows the characters
just a tad too much in THE GAME OF LIVES. I love the
ending, however, as it leaves the imagination open to the
possibilities. Fans of young adult science fiction will
appreciate The Mortality Doctrine series as the
thought provoking themes are well worth the read.
Michael used to live to game, but the games he was
playing have become all too real. Only weeks ago, sinking
into the Sleep was fun. The VirtNet combined the most
cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming
for a full mind-body experience. And it was Michael’s
passion. But now every time Michael sinks, he risks his life.
The games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of
deadly consequences, and Kaine grows stronger by the day.
The Mortality Doctrine—Kaine’s master plan—has nearly been
realized, and little by little the line separating the
virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it
will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like
Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the
monster back in the box—if Michael can figure out who his
friends really are.
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