Will satisfy die-hard fans of the original trilogy

THE FEVER CODE

From the Maze Runner series , Vol. 5

Dashner returns to his dystopian future in this second prequel to the blockbuster Maze Runner series, detailing how the maze came into being.

Solar flares inflicted horrible damage to the Earth, and the resulting illness known as the Flare has mown down much of the human population. A few survivors, primarily children, are known to be immune to the disease that is driving their loved ones into madness and death. Taken to a hidden scientific research complex in Alaska known as World In Catastrophe, Killzone Experiment Department, they grow up in near isolation, with little human contact. Thomas is a “munie,” taken when he was only 5, destined to be an elite subject in a long-range study to find a cure. It’s only after several years he meets other munies, developing friendships with many. But it’s Teresa who becomes more than a friend, his partner in developing the maze, meant to help scientists understand how different stimuli impact munies’ brains. Along the way, Thomas sees incredible cruelty inflicted on his friends, all in the cause of developing an elusive cure. He’s been taught that “WICKED is good”…but how long can he actually believe it? While the story details how the maze was built, it is still confusing as to why, giving this the feeling of simply a preface to set up all that follows. Thomas (evidently white, though his comrades are a multiethnic crew) goes from scene to scene like a piece on a Parcheesi board, moving in fits and starts to a predetermined end.

Will satisfy die-hard fans of the original trilogy . (Science fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-51309-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2016

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Not quite the wild ride of Skyward (2018) but still great fun.

STARSIGHT

From the Skyward series , Vol. 2

As if the threat of huge, raging monsters from hyperspace isn’t scary enough, hotshot fighter pilot Spensa Nightshade becomes embroiled in an alien empire’s politics.

On a desperate mission to steal hyperdrive technology from the crablike invading Krell who are threatening to destroy her beleaguered home colony on Detritus, Spensa, who is white, holographically disguises herself as a violet-skinned UrDail and slips into a Krell pilot training program for “lesser species.” The discovery that she’s being secretly trained not to fight planet-destroying delvers but to exterminate humans, who are (with some justification, having kindled three interstellar wars in past centuries) regarded in certain quarters as an irrationally aggressive species, is just one in a string of revelations as, in between numerous near-death experiences on practice flights, she struggles to understand both her own eerie abilities and the strange multispecies society in which she finds herself. There are so many characters besides Spensa searching for self-identity—notably her comic-relief sidekick AI M-Bot, troubled human friend Jorgen back on Detritus, and Morriumur, member of a species whose color-marked sexes create trial offspring—that even with a plot that defaults to hot action and escalating intrigue the pacing has a stop and start quality. Still, Spensa’s habitual over-the-top recklessness adds a rousing spark, and the author folds in plenty of banter as well as a colorful supporting cast.

Not quite the wild ride of Skyward (2018) but still great fun. (Science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-55581-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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