My Pre Reading
This series has improved with each book. This may be because I am already familiar with the world and, for the original trilogy, the characters.
One thing I liked going into this book was that most, if not all, the characters were probably going to die. There is a lot of violence in this novel. I don't mean, just fist-to-fist combat. Those infected with what becomes known as The Flare are brutal. Children are fighting over dead bodies. Others are eating each other alive. Many try to kill themselves. Dashner did a nice job portraying the brutality of this Apocalyptic world.
I really enjoyed the Prologue and the Epilogue. They both connected this prequel to the original trilogy. I am unsure if something was inferred as to one of the characters that may have survived (Do we already know this person older?). If you have read the book already and understand what I'm talking about, did you think this as well?
The technology in this prequel was more believable to me than in the original trilogy. The only crazy, out there piece of technology was the flat trans, which is like a Transporter from Star Trek. There is also a gun that utilizes the same technology.
I liked the way there were two different time lines being told through dreams. I also liked that within these stories, some characters had already died in one while they were still alive in the dreams of the past.
This was a really good survival/adventure story. Each of the members of the group were interesting and had their own styles or surviving. This is definitely a Young Adult novel for boys.
If you enjoy Post Apocalyptic Survival/Adventure stories or have read The Maze Runner trilogy, this is a must read. If you know a middle grade boy reader, these books would make an excellent present. I give this novel a 4/5.