Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian
The Game of Lives is the third novel in The Mortality Doctrine trilogy by James Dashner. This concludes all of the things Michael has been fighting against and struggling for in The Eye of Minds and The Rule of Thoughts (the links lead to my review of those novels).
Michael, along with Sarah and Bryson, has destroyed the VNS under Agent Webber’s scandalous command. On the run from the agency, they seek to stop Kaine and his Mortality Doctrine on their own. Michael cannot stop thinking about Gabriella, and how she was left to whatever fate the VNS agents held for her. Her father works for the VNS, and Michael finds that he may be their last hope to save the real AND the virtual worlds.
Through the Mortality Doctrine, Kaine and Webber are able to place tangents into the bodies of world leaders, creating chaos in the real world. Kaine was created by the VNS and does not want what Agent Webber wants, but rather has another plan for the Mortality Doctrine. To become immortal through the internet, people can go into Coffins, fall into the Sleep, and switch places with those already in the virtual world. The Mortality Doctrine is forever a switching of the consciousness into a new body every 50 years or so, thus creating immortality.
While Michael is a tangent and knows what it would mean for him to destroy the doctrine, he reaches out to save the minds of people and tangents within a place called the Hive, where a tangent and human can meet the true death together. Michael must stop these true deaths, but not without sacrifice along the way. Losing one of his friends causes him to stop both Agent Webber and Kaine once and for all.
To be honest, this third book dragged a bit, and the conclusion was rather slow and fairly predictable, which is why this novel got a 3.5/5–it took me quite a bit more time to finish this novel, whereas the first two were smooth, fast, and intriguing. The climax of the second book was FAR superior to that of the third. That being said, this book is still worth reading, because hey, you read the first two right? So the conclusion must be read! But unfortunately, the excitement level was a bit lower.
On another note, there is a 30 page short exclusive to the kindle called “Gunner Skale,” a piece about a character who appears in the first novel. Gunner Skale is the best gamer on the VirtNet, but how did he become that way and what does he do? I’m not sure if I’m going to purchase and read this yet, but perhaps.