Posted by Jaime G. at 9:10 PM
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 14th, 2012
Format: Net Galley E-book
Buy the book on Amazon
After noting the conclusion of the Maze Runner series almost a year ago, I was excited to see that James Dashner had decided to write a prequel. While this book had virtually nothing to do with Thomas, Theresa, Minho, or the rest of the gang and took place long before their story began, it was a great read nonetheless!
It was interesting to read about how people had first adjusted to life after the sun flares that left the world in scorching heat as well as how the deadly disease that killed off almost the entire population (called the Flare) originated. This prequel took place about a year after the sun flares occurred, but the main character, Mark, was plagued with nightmares from the horrifying events surrounding the beginning of the end of the world. I was excited to finally learn what happened when the sun flares first hit Earth, since the three Maze Runner books did not go into too much detail due to the fact that the main characters had been too young at that point.
I also loved the relationship shown between Mark and his friend/mentor, Alec. While the romantic relationship between Mark and Trina was sweet, the book focused more on the almost father-son (or as Mark often joked, grandfather-son) relationship between the two men. At the beginning of the book, Mark clearly respected Alec for his wisdom and fighting prowess, but by the end the two had saved each other’s lives so many times that their friendship grew immensely. They begin to trust and confide in each other completely. Even though I do love most portrayals of romantic relationships, it was a nice refresher to read a book that focuses more on a friendship.
It was hard reading this prequel knowing that these characters would most likely all have to die for the Maze Runner series to begin. However, while almost every character in the book ended up succumbing to the Flare, which kills people by making them go crazy, they at least managed to hold out enough hope to save the one among them who was immune to the disease, even though they had no hope for their own lives. Overall, this book was a great read and I would definitely recommend it to fans of the Maze Runner series!