Since I read this series in such quick succession, I’m going to review them all here because I’ve reached that point where it’s difficult to separate them into different books in my head. So if some of the details I post for book three are in book four, apologies 🙂
Maze Runner by James Dashner
Amazing book. It kept the suspense running the entire time through. I didn’t put this book down until I finished it. The pace was so fast and the story line was so tight that I was a bit out of breath when I finished. It’s not the best book in the whole world, but it moved so fast I honestly couldn’t tell you if there were flaws in the story telling. I highly recommend for anyone looking for a fun quick read
The Scorch Trials
And this is where the series starts to fall apart. Don’t get me wrong, I still finished this book very quickly and it was an enjoyable read but I absolutely couldn’t get past the premise. In this book it is revealed that the world the characters escaped to after solving the maze is devastated. Solar Flares have scorched a chunk of the planet and decimated the population, and as if that wasn’t enough a deadly virus was released called the Flare which pretty much turns people into zombies that aren’t dead. Reavers essentially.
The group learns that they are somehow the answer to this problem and the maze and everything else was calculated to get information based on their reactions. Then they learn they’ve been infected. If they want the cure they have to get through the scorch (a really bad patch of land where all the zombies live).
There’s a betrayal that I really don’t understand. I really think the whole purpose of the betrayal was just to make me hate a character, but then it’s explained away and rationalized except that the rationalization makes no sense. It’s fun to read, but if you allow yourself the time to stop and think you’ll find yourself scratching your head and going…. why?
The Death Cure
Okay, and this is where the series implodes upon itself. All consistency and logic was lost. Sorry, but in what universe is
An airborne highly contagious plague released on purpose to eliminate a portion of the population after the bulk of said population was supposedly killed off by solar flares. Seriously? Rationale here? We’re really expected to believe some random scientific group went “oh by golly, humanity survived extinction, lets see if we can do it again.” Really? The people that are left are huddled in tight groups, wouldn’t it just be safer to drop a bomb? I could buy it IF the population hadn’t been destroyed yet with the flares, and the disease wasn’t intended to be contagious and just mutated. But that’s not the case as we see in the next book.
Then, THEN we’re supposed to believe that these kids are the answer because they’re immune (I’ll buy that) but that’s the reason for the maze and the trials. The scientists need to study their neural activity to see how it responds to what’s essentially torture and high stress situations.
I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure you don’t look for cures for diseases in neural patterns. Even if something in their brain made the disease not take root, that couldn’t be replicated anymore than you can give a person a photographic memory.
Also, why actually put them through a maze? Dose them with adrenaline and give them a rubix cube or something.
THEN the ending. Seriously? Seriously?
And the characters were completely lost in this one. They were never terribly developed to begin with, but one major character dies in what’s basically a throwaway line, another character (who was supposedly about Thomas’s age) works for wicked (the government) and is a nurse, oh and the other guy, again, described as being not much older than 16 in book 2, is a trained pilot.
Where are we getting the resources to put teenagers through nursing school and flight training in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and scorched planet?
The characters scattered memories also don’t jive with the picture painted of the planet. I guess life in the cities is pretty normal, but that certainly doesn’t seem the case in the next book. *sigh* oh well. It was a quick read
The Kill Order
This is actually a prequel, and no, it doesn’t give you Thomas’ story or Teresa’s, just random cranks who we never see again in the whole series.
This book starts with the government releasing the flare, and all the consistency errors I had in the other book here are quadrupled. So, they release this virus on purpose, and supposedly the mutation is that it takes longer to kill people. Originally it killed the victims in 24 hours.
So here’s my question. Government people, you have helicopters, you have weapons that can disintegrate people with a single blast, and to control the population you choose to release a virus in small pockets of people with the expectation that it will spread and kill within 24 hours of contact.
Wouldn’t it be easier to USE those weapons instead of flying settlement by settlement and shooting people with darts loaded with the virus? Half the darts killed the people by severing arteries when released. That seems a rather blatant waste of resources. Or, if they MUST use a virus, how about releasing one we have a known cure for. It’s not like the remnants of civilization have well stocked antibiotics.
Or, here’s another thought, why kill off anyone with a virus at all? If the resources are so scarce and you only want to worthy to survive, why not…. Use the planes, collect the resources, and keep the walled cities stocked in places like Alaska where they are based. Top scientists of the world, ever heard of Darwin? Or did all the GOOD scientists get killed in the flare. 2/3 of your population was just wiped out by a solar flare a year ago. The people left are living mostly in shacks struggling to find food and water. Nature may just balance itself out in a more natural way.
Ignoring all that, I would have found the characters much more compelling if any of the characters had been in the rest of the series, like I don’t know, this is 13 years before the maze and there’s a small child that “couldn’t be more than five” could they have cheated a year or two and made the girl Teresa instead of DeeDee? That would have explained Teresa’s fanatical devotion to Wicked.
I also felt this book went way overboard with the violence, and was just way too sad. I felt sick when I hit the end.