Sarah: an Overlooked but Amazing Character
Tessa Mitchell, Division 2, 11th grade #ws18e-s1d2

If I could be any book character, I would be Sarah from the Mortality Doctrine series. The Mortality Doctrine series, written by James Dashner, is a trilogy containing The Eye of Minds, The Rule of Thoughts, and The Game of Lives. Sarah, because she is not the main character, is often forgotten, but my favorite character out of the many books I have read. She is a teenager with long blonde hair and bright green eyes. Her two best friends are Michael and Bryson.

Michael, Bryson, and Sarah meet in the VirtNet, a virtual reality game. The VNS, VirtNet Security, was formed to protect gamers in the VirtNet. The VNS hires Michael, who recruits Bryson and Sarah, and the trio is sent on a mission to defeat a hacker named Kaine. The three friends work together to defeat Kaine and discover the truth behind the VNS.

These three friends in the series are each unique, but they are united by their common goal and strong friendship. Michael, the main character, is intelligent and patient, Bryson is energetic and humorous, and Sarah is observant and kind. Although each of their characters possesses their own unique traits, they have a very strong bond between them. When one of them is in danger, the other two are always there to help. In the beginning of the second book in the series, when discussing their journey up to this point, Sarah tells Michael, “Bryson and I could’ve easily said no. We could’ve run away. We didn’t have to follow you… It was our choice, and I don’t want to hear you blame yourself again… Michael, you’re my best friend, end of story. I’m a part of this.” Even in the end, when Sarah almost loses her life trying to reach their goal, she never regrets her decision to join Michael and Bryson to defeat Kaine.

Sarah proves her bravery throughout the series. Even though she is constantly shown as the most fearful character of the trio, she learns how to overcome her fears. When Michael first tells Sarah and Bryson about their mission from the VNS, Sarah is the only one to admit that she is scared. However, soon after admitting her fear, Sarah is the first one to step out courageously and run towards danger. Later in the book, Sarah begins to cry after a very disturbing moment of their journey. This is the first time that her friends have ever seen her cry, but even after her tears, they continue to see her as strong and courageous because of her actions.

Although she is not the outgoing leader like Michael, or the energetic motivator like Bryson, she plays a crucial role in the team. She leads from behind the scenes by being caring and responsible. When Michael gets hurt, she immediately runs to him, and watches closely over him throughout his recovery. She also keeps the team focused on their end goal. When Bryson and Michael become distracted by the customization options of their characters in the VirtNet or the fun but unnecessary ways to hack into the system, she reminds them that they have a much more important task. When the trio is arrested, both boys are angry, but Sarah stays optimistic. Her optimism gives them hope, keeps them focused, and ultimately allows them to find an opportunity escape. She is also very intelligent and observant. When they are stuck walking aimlessly in an empty hallway, Sarah is the first to notice that the walls are gradually changing as they walk. This observation is a large clue that helps them find their way out. Later, when they are attacked in the video game, Sarah discovers the winning strategy. Although she is rarely recognized for her intelligence, she is a large contributor to the success of her team.

The Mortality Doctrine series takes place in a world with more advanced technology. Because of this technology, when Sarah is in the VirtNet, the game can alter all 5 of her senses. When she hugs Michael in the game, she can feel his arms around her. When she eats nachos at Dan the Man’s Deli, she can taste them, but without gaining the calories. She can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel everything that happens in the game, or if she doesn’t want to experience these senses, she can simply change the settings. In addition to advanced virtual reality technology, this futuristic world has upgraded from the cell phones we have today. Instead, Sarah has on EarCuff, a small device placed behind her ear. When she turns it on, it projects a holographic screen in front of her that allows her to message friends, read news, search the Internet, and everything else that our phones today allow us to do. However, there are downfalls to this technology. In rare situations, hackers like Kaine can use this technology to steal personal information or alter a person’s senses to cause them extreme pain.

Although the Mortality Doctrine is not set in a utopia, and Sarah is not flawless, she would still be my first choice if I could become a book character. She is not the main character and is never the center of attention, but she has an amazing personality that is crucial to the storyline of this series. In addition to living in an amazing and futuristic world and having the opportunity to experience an amazing journey, Sarah has courage, kindness, beautiful friendships, and unique leadership skills that I wish to have.
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