By: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: August 27, 2012
Just when readers had dried their tears and dealt with the fact that the best YA series to come along in quite some time had come to an end, the incredible author was nice enough to offer just one more nugget of gold in the form of a Prequel. Now that ‘The Maze Runner’ series has come to an end readers are given this fantastic tale of how on earth this incredible world began.
Yes, we remember that WICKED was the organization that erased Thomas and his bff Teresa’s memories. They were two teens who helped build ‘The Maze’ and were headed up in the ‘box’ where they would be put into the Glade to start an epic adventure. But how did it come to that in the first place?
Well…thirteen years earlier we meet up with a group who are living in a village in the mountains. After surviving the horrific sun flares that cost many people their lives, this group is among the lucky ones who survived. Alec is the father figure - an old soldier who, with Lana - once an army nurse - work together to watch out for the kids. Mark is one kid who remembers every moment of the sun flares natural disaster; he still sees that horrible day and the run he and his friends took through the underground tunnels of the city, attempting to survive. Trina, a very pretty girl who loves to read, also remembers that day and has developed certain ‘sparks’ for Mark. Toad, Darnell, Misty and DeeDee are also part of the gang and they are all trying to do their very best to live a poverty-stricken life in a world that no longer seems to care.
One day over the village comes a huge airship (AKA Berg) - and when the doors open people in odd looking suits appear and spray the village with a toxin. Soon people begin to get ill while Mark and Alec find themselves on the Berg trying to defeat this new evil. When they return their friends are ill, some are already losing their minds, and they decide to follow a map to the Berg’s supposed landing site in order to find out what’s going on and if they can stop this virus from spreading even further. Add in a child who was sent away from her ‘family’ because they believed she was pure evil, and you have yourselves an amazing mystery.
From a village filled with oddly acting worshippers to a coalition that has turned against the government and wants nothing more than revenge - this group, led by Alec and Mark, have to save their friends and find a way to survive something far worse than the disaster that almost killed an entire world.
Readers, this final offering is just as phenomenal of a story as all the rest of ‘The Maze Runner’ series and truly gives just the right amount of background to understand fully how WICKED Dashner’s unforgettable world came to be. Now all he has to do is begin another series that’s just as spectacular. We will be waiting...
Quill Says: Note to Hollywood: Get these on the big screen soon!