Saturday, October 15, 2016

Review: The Fever Code

The Fever Code The Fever Code by James Dashner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"They march on through the dust
Believe their leader, they can trust
In all the noise they lose the way...


Well. This is it. The Maze Runner prequel we've all been waiting for.

I should warn you, wouldn't be a Dashner book without a few moments that make you go all...

The original trilogy, those helped define the end of my time in high school and the start of my community college years (Death Cure having come out about a month after I started there.) Then came The Kill Order, which I loved when I first read it, but alone of the Maze Runner books, it's probably the only one I wouldn't re-read.

When news broke that there would be a new prequel focusing on the Gladers we know and love, well, you can imagine I was just as overjoyed as anyone else in the fandom.

After taking a few years to write The Mortality Doctrine, Dashner's finally given us The Fever Code in all its post-apocalyptic glory. Imagine, if you will, Ender's Game with zombie Cranks instead of alien Formics. That's the roughest, most high-concept summary of this book I could come up with. The primary difference, though, is that in between all the laughs and fun of Thomas, Teresa, Alby, Minho, Newt, Chuck, and more meeting up before the Maze, there's a ton of horror both physical and psychological. Physical because we're seeing the monsters as visceral as ever (especially after seeing the first two very stellar movies, with their creepy clicking Grievers and Cranks crawling all up and down the bloody walls!), and psychological because we all know what's coming if we've read the original trilogy first - and yet, we don't. Some of those WICKED people are every bit as wicked as you can imagine. Not gonna name any Randall names, but...some of those shucking klunk piles needed Launcher shots to the chest.

If Wes Ball doesn't get a chance to direct the Fever Code movie, this world's getting cheated.

Now that we have another year to wait until the Death Cure movie, at least we've got this book to tide us over. And what a book that is, one of the most intense, raw YA books of 2016 so far...and now topping my list of favorite books of the year. For sure, just like the Scorch Trials movie won a Pinecone Award last year, this book's full-tilt, panic-inducing story guarantees it a win this year.

So, once again, a huge thank you to James Dashner for penning these books, helping set the stage for Dylan O'Brien to become this generation's next great action hero, teaching us all that "WICKED is good," and of course for just plain horror-fying YA literature like nobody else.

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