Monday, October 03, 2016

The Fever Code: The Well Rounded Back Story to The Maze Runner Series

Book Review: The Fever Code by James Dashner
Version: Public Library

I finally finished the series - the three originals and the two sequels, and it was all a great read!

The Fever Code (2016) takes off some time after The Kill Order leaves off. One character from the latter book survives that story (DeeDee), although you don't find out about who that is until about halfway through the former.

The Kill Order was about the initial purposeful spread of the Flare by government forces to reduce the population after the Sun flared and made the Earth unsustainable. But the virus morphed and ran beyond the government's ability to control it. The Fever Code is about the government's effort to find a cure for it. Or so you as a reader and the main characters are led to believe.

If you are a fan of The Maze Runner series (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure), you likely wondered about the back story on all those interesting characters. The Kill Order tells that story, too. We meet Thomas, Teresa, Newt, Minho, Alby, Gally, Chuck, and others for the first time. Also Aris and Rachel. Jorge and Brenda, too. We also meet the minds behind WICKED for the first time. And it brings us right up to the moment Thomas emerges from the cage into the Glade. This is how the Maze was built, how Thomas and Teresa help create it, and how the kids got there.

Just as with its predecessors, The Kill Order is a well written, well paced, well told sci-fi thriller in the young adult genre pitting innocent teens against the scheming adults. The kids are made to believe they are part of an effort to find a cure for the Flare, but along the way they begin to wonder if they are just being manipulated, if this isn't all some sick effort by morbid adults to torture them. And one young man's acquiescence to help the adults to help save humanity becomes a drive to save his friends. This is the second prequel to The Maze Runner series, through which this theme eventually runs, but everything in this book is set up before Thomas's mind is wiped of its memories. And you learn here the subtext for Thomas's motivations for the story lines to follow.

I'm a big fan of Dashner's series. His characters are well rounded, the plot is well thought out and developed, and the setting is amazing. I read through it in a few quick days. While most of us began by reading The Maze Runner (because it was published first), if you're new to the series I would begin with The Kill Order and read it order that the story unfolds, following up with The Fever Code, then The Maze Runner, and so on. That way it all makes sense. However, if you want to make the adventure a bit more mysterious, begin with The Maze Runner series and then pick up the prequels to fill in the back story. Any way you do it, the five books are a great read. The Fever Code was the perfect bridge between.

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