The Rule of Thoughts: The Mortality Doctrine, Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Rule of Thoughts: The Mortality Doctrine, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Second book in cyberpunk saga loses steam.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Rule of Thoughts plays fast and loose with what computer hacking actually is. More realistic detail would undoubtedly slow down the plot, but there's little attention paid to the actual science of computing.

Positive Messages

Be thoughtful of your actions in the real and virtual worlds. Be loyal to your friends.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Michael, Bryson, and Sarah survive their face-off against Kaine, the cyberterrorist, by depending on each other and staying brave and determined in the face of overwhelming odds.


The Rule of Thoughts is less violent than the initial installment of this series. Most of the mayhem takes place in virtual reality, but there are gunfights in the real world that lead to deaths.


Bryson, Michael, and Sarah indulge in some innocuous, platonic flirting.


The language in The Rule of Thoughts is mild. "Damn" and "hell" are used two or three times each.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhalle h. October 17, 2016

best book ever

its very inappropriate and it cursesin
Teen, 13 years old Written byjustakid April 26, 2019

Very informative! Not realistic but just enough to where it is funny and exciting at the same time. I believe it is fit for teens and Pre - teens.

You should buy this book for your son or daughter and if you can't then you're in luck! you can go to your local library and borrow this book!
Teen, 16 years old Written byadhams March 27, 2015

the rule of thoughts

it is similar to the eye of minds and still is appropriate and 11 year old should read it if interested in sc-fi and imagination.

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?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cyperpunk novels

Themes & Topics

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