A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Rule of Thoughts is a fast-paced cyberpunk thriller set in a virtual gaming world and in the "real world." It follows three teenage hackers as they search for Kaine, a sentient program that has gone rogue and is downloading new personalities into the brains of unsuspecting humans. The book contains some violence (monster attacks, hand-to-hand combat in a warfare scenario), but the mayhem's usually not described in detail and usually doesn't have mortal consequences. The strongest language is "damn" and "hell," which are used one or two times each. Sexual content is limited to flirting among platonic friends, and there's no mention of drugs, smoking, or drinking.
What's the story?
THE RULE OF THOUGHTS picks right up where The Eye of Minds left off, with its protagonist, Michael, discovering that he's a sentient computer program inhabiting the body of an unsuspecting boy. Determined to stop Kaine, the rogue sentient program intent on populating Earth entirely with human bodies harboring digital minds, Michael sets off in search of his hacker friends, Bryson and Sarah. With no idea whom they can trust, the three teen hackers must rely on their own instincts and programming skills to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Is it any good?
The Rule of Thoughts suffers from Second Novel in a Trilogy Syndrome. Sure, there's plenty of action, double crosses, and hair's-breadth escapes, but some of the frenetic scenes begin to feel like so much running in place. Characters frequently withhold crucial information from each other for obscure reasons. This ploy grows old quickly, seeming to be more for the author's convenience than for the organic needs of the plot. Nevertheless, The Rule of Thoughts does find some fresh twists in its cyberpunk scenario, and young readers will be left eagerly awaiting the final installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why video games remain so popular. What is it about the medium that attracts such enthusiasm and loyalty?
What kinds of restrictions, if any, should be put on violent video games? Do they have negative effects on the people who play them?
Does the government ever indulge in surveillance of online activity? What kinds of boundaries should be put on such surveillance?
- Author: James Dashner
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Publication date: August 26, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love cyperpunk novels
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.