Overview from Barnes and Noble:
The prequel to the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series.
Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.
Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next.
Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there's something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it's mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees.
Mark and Trina are convinced there's a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they're determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you're worth more dead than alive.
I have conflicted feelings about this series. While I think it is well done, it is a bit more violent than I would like. The suggested age range for the book is 12 to 17, but I often listen to books in the car with my children and we do rotate in young adult books since we are listening together. By being together we can pause the story and discuss, pose questions and explain as we go. I regret that I started this series with them as the senseless disease that causes sufferers to go crazy is a very scary concept and not really explainable. It fits in with the Walking Dead and the zombie genre to me. Had I done better research before we started the first one I would have skipped these books with my kids. On my own I think they would be a different experience. They are suspenseful and scary and pose questions about catastrophes and government's role in the aftermath. I think I could have focused more on the story and less on how to talk about it with my kids.
Mark and Trina were on some future version of a subway when the solar flares hit. They survived the chaos and met a group of people they would then spend time with in the post flare world of melted polar ice caps and people fighting each other for survival. People are rebuilding and working together until bergs start arriving with darts and shooting people. From there begins the quest to find out why the people in the bergs are shooting these darts, why people are going crazy and if the two are connected. It is a fast paced story full of some pretty big horrors and big revelations about what people are capable of in the name of survival.
- ISBN-13: 9780449810118
- Publisher: Random House Children's Books
- Publication date: 8/14/2012
- Series: Maze Runner Series
- Edition description: B&N Exclusive Edition
- Age range: 12 - 17 Years