The Mortality Doctrine is a trilogy of young-adult science fiction novels written by James Dashner. The first book in the trilogy, The Eye of Minds was released on October 8, 2013 in the United States and the United Kingdom. [1] The second book, The Rule of Thoughts was released on August 26, 2014. [2] The third and final book, The Game of Lives was released on August 25, 2015. [3]

One short story, Gunner Skale was also released on March 11, 2014.


The Eye of Minds

Main article: The Eye of Minds

Michael, a gamer, is tasked by Agent Weber of VirtNet Security to track down cyber terrorist Kaine. Along with his friends Bryson and Sarah, Michael explores the deepest corners of the VirtNet in order to find Kaine's base of operations and to stop his plans.

The Rule of Thoughts

     Main article: The Rule of Thoughts

After finding out that he was a Tangent, Michael wakes up in the real world, in the body of a human named Jackson Porter. It turns out Kaine was able to outsmart everybody and used Michael for his own purpose, and now Michael is the first Tangent to be downloaded into a human's body-which means that for the first time, Kaine has succeeded in implementing The Mortality Doctrine. Now, the stakes are much higher and Michael, Bryson, and Sarah must take more drastic measures to stop Kaine and his plan to replace humanity with artificial intelligence.

The Game of Lives

Main article: The Game of Lives

The VirtNet is no longer a place to play games-it has become a deadly place, and Kaine is stronger than ever. Kaine is now very close to fully implementing The Mortality Doctrine and if he succeeds, the world will be fully dominated by artificial intelligence. Only Michael and his friends can stop Kaine, but does Michael know who his real friends are?


  • Michael - The protagonist of the series, Michael is a gamer and hacker who is tasked by the VNS to track down and stop Kaine. He later finds out that he is a Tangent and his intelligence is downloaded into the body of a human named Jackson Porter.
  • Sarah - A friend of Michael who helps in stopping Kaine. She is also a talented hacker.
  • Bryson - Also a friend of Michael, he is a talented hacker and a dedicated gamer.
  • Kaine - The main antagonist of the series, a Tangent who is planning to download the artificial intelligence of Tangents to the minds of human beings.
  • Agent Weber - An agent of VirtNet Security who tasks Michael and his friends with finding and stopping Kaine.
  • Helga - Michael's nanny in his life as a Tangent.
  • Gabriela - The girlfriend of Jackson Porter. She helps Michael and his friends sneak into the VNS office in Atlanta.
  • Jackson Porter - The human whose body Michael's intelligence was downloaded to.
  • Gerard - Sarah's father and Nancy's husband.
  • Nancy - Sarah's mother and Gerard's wife.
  • Gunner Skale - The greatest gamer in the history of the VirtNet-until he mysteriously disappeared.