This is the prequel to James Dashner’s Maze Runner series taking you back 13 years to when the sun flares devastated the earth and the killer virus was born. Mark & Trina were riding the subtrans when the flares struck so they were underground and were able to survive. While fleeing they met up with Alec and Lana who helped them to find a way out of the city and into the Appalachian Mountains where maybe they could regroup and survive.
Life is going pretty good and it seems like things are just getting back to normal (as close to normal as you can get) when one day soldiers started attacking from the sky. The arrows were laced with a killer virus that was mutating and making people go insane just before they died. Why were people trying to kill them when they were just trying to find ways to survive and find normalcy in their lives?
Now on the run for their lives they have to do things they never thought they would have had to do just to survive. Now that they have been exposed to the virus it is only a matter of time before one of them shows the signs of going insane. While trying to escape, their group is split up and trying to find each other proves harder than they could imagine and what they find is beyond believing.
The story is very fast paced and keeps the reader going. The story is mainly based on the actual sun flares and what happens to the world and its people but you also get a better understanding of how the “Maze” was started and how Teresa and Thomas came about.
For me I would suggest reading the Maze Runner series first and then the prequel. That leaves you with just a little bit more of the unknown which makes the reading a little more mysterious. Then finish with the prequel and you obtain a better understanding of the first three books. 327 pages 978-0385742887 Ages 12 and up
Recommended by: Joleen Waltman, Librarian, Idaho USA