Tuesday 31 March 2020

Book Review - The Fever Code

Title: The Fever Code
Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner (Book 5)
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: 27th September 2016
ISBN13: 9781911077022

Once there was a world’s end.
The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled.
Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man.
Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy.
The boy’s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze.
Now there are secrets.
There are lies.
And there are loyalties history could never have foreseen.
This is the story of that boy, Thomas, and how he built a maze that only he could tear down.
All will be revealed.

A prequel to the worldwide Maze Runner phenomenon, The Fever Code is the book that holds all the answers. How did WICKED find the Gladers? Who are Group B? And what side are Thomas and Teresa really on? Lies will be exposed. Secrets will be uncovered. Loyalties will be proven. Fans will never see the truth coming. Before there was the Maze, there was The Fever Code.

My Review
Now this is the book I have been waiting for, throughout the whole maze runner series there were so many questions raised, who are WICKED, why is Thomas associated with them and why does he feel such a sense of guilt? Where did these people all come from? Why were the mazes built? And why did no-one stop them? I actually really enjoyed the first book in the series and continues to read, and whilst my enjoyment dwindled a bit as the series went on, I found myself still wanting those answers. I thought i would get them in the 'prequel' book - 'Kill Order', but that just created a whole new situation with entirely different characters and made even more questions. I nearly didn't bother with this book as my interest was waning quite rapidly and I didn't want to read something that I didn't think I would enjoy. But I'd come this far - and from reading the blurb of this book, it sounded like the real prequel that I had wanted. 
 This book follows Thomas from the day he is taken from his home as a small child and taken to be part of the WICKED experiment team, we then follow him and some of our other characters through their time at the lab - leading up to the start of the maze. We see Theresa, Newt, Alby, Chuck - the whole gang and get more of an insight into their stories. I particularly enjoyed Newt's backstory and the link to his family and group B. Theresa is still quite a mystery throughout the book and I wondered if i could trust her, having read the series and seen what she does throughout - i was trying to catch her out during this book and there are a couple of moments that make me doubt her. However one revelation about her past that links to the characters in Kill Order made me have a bit more sympathy for her and made that book have a bit more relevance. 
This book had all the excitement and constructs that made the first book interesting, I felt like I was properly immersed in that world again and I read this in just 2 sittings. Overall I think this is probably my favourite book in the entire series, it really opened things up for me and intrigued me again. It actually made me want to read the first book again to see if I could see evidence of things I had just learnt,  and how it all joined up together. 
This is definitely a must read and reminds me of why i enjoyed the first book so much, this is where Dashner shows his skills as a story writer and made me fall in love with the series again. 

My Rating

Thursday 26 March 2020

Book Review - The Kill Order

Title: The Kill Order
Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner - Prequel
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: 14th August 2012
ISBN13: 9781909489431

When sun flares hit the Earth, intense heat, toxic radiation and flooding followed, wiping out much of the human race. Those who survived live in basic communities in the mountains, hunting for food. For Mark and his friends, surviving is difficult, and then an enemy arrives, infecting people with a highly contagious virus. Thousands die, and the virus is spreading. Worse, it's mutating, and people are going crazy. It's up to Mark and his friends to find the enemy - and a cure - before the Flare infects them all ... 

My Review
I really enjoyed the first book, and was interested in reading the other two in the series. They weren't my favourite books in the world but they kept me intrigued enough to want to keep going. I liked Thomas as a character and wanted to know how his story ended. BUt the series keeps you guessing all the way through about the backstory, I wanted to know where WICKED came from, how Thomas got involved - throughout the series he feels a sense of guilt and hints that he is responsible in the set up of the maze and possibly the disease, so I was hoping that the prequel would answer these questions.
This book did not answer any questions! It is set something like twenty years before the events of the maze runner and therefore doesn't have any of the characters we know from the main series. Instead we are introduced to Mark, Alec, Lana and Trina who are living in some sort of settlement in the mountains. It is set just after the Sun Flares hit, the world has shut down and thousands have died. Mark and his group are just settling into some sort of normality when a flying berg appears and wrenches apart their society. People start to get sick and they have to find out what's caused it and if it was deliberate. This seems to be the only link with the main series - the disease that makes everyone goes crazy has only just been released, so you get a bit of history from that. 
Because i didn't know the characters, i found it hard to care about them to start and i found the story quite slow to start with, and to be honest it didn't get much better. The story is split between Mark and the team trying to solve the mystery of the illness and work out their next steps, and flashbacks of Mark's experience of the day the sun flares hit the earth. 
I actually enjoyed the flashbacks more, they were more like the writing of the first Maze Runner book, more exciting and pacey. I found myself skimming the rest of the book to get to these parts. This could have been a mini spin off on it's own. 
This book wasn't anything like what I expected and to be honest I don't think it really added anything to the series. I ended up trying to finish it as quickly as I could, just so i could say that I had read the series. I keep thinking that I should just give up and move on but something keeps pulling me back to it. But if I were starting again, I would read the main trilogy but not bother with the prequel, it didn't add anything and just felt a bit flat to me. 
I've just found out that there is another book in the series, 'Fever Code' which sounds like it is Thomas' story and the missing backstory that I wanted - so I will try it to complete the set. But honestly, if you are reading the series, I think Kill Order is one you could skip. 

My Rating