This is the second prequel in the Mazerunner series. It tells the story of the maze, and the role Thomas and Teresa played in its creation.
This is probably my main criticism of the book. Thomas and Teresa were these “super kids” who were chosen because they had the characteristics and talents necessary to help build the maze. But we only get a handful of scenes showing them helping to create a backdrop for the maze. Teresa has the vague job of doing technical computer stuff, and Thomas pretty much is just there on the ground helping her through their telepathic communication. Thomas talks about going to classes but we don’t know what he’s learning. He also goes through all kinds of tests and exercises, but what are these? What exactly is his contribution? Teresa seems to be the most important one here, which is fine, but why did they choose Thomas, other than the fact that he is immune from the virus, along with all the other kids?
Which brings me back to the maze. Why a maze? And what are they testing for? Once again, lots of vague references to testing their responses to certain stimuli and how they react or don’t react to the virus. There was a bit more explanation later on, but I still don’t have a grasp on the full program. It is very likely that I missed it, but I don’t think I did.
Perhaps the intent here was not to get bogged down in these kinds of details, but to simply stick to the main points with some description or detail added as needed. I tend to like a story that is a little more full. I don’t need to have every blade of grass or every motivation even, explained in excruciating detail, but I do like good, quality detail so that I know why characters are doing what they are doing and why certain things are happening.
I won’t get too spoilery, but there were some character reveals that put the original trilogy in a different light. Teresa was already sketchy in the original trilogy, and the events at the end of this book make her even more sketchy. Revelations about Jorge, Brenda and George were surprising, but I think those could’ve been left out. Teresa was enough!
The fact that the kids all knew each other before hand but forgot everything when their memories were swiped before going into the maze was tragic, but I think the original trilogy showed the bonds between them, and the natural affinity they had for each other very well, so I don’t think this plotdevice was really needed. But then again, it would’ve been awkward to explain why all theses kids were in this facility for so long, and never interacted at all. I can see why it’s there, and it adds even more emotional baggage to Thomas’ relationship with Chuck. I’m still kinda “meh” on it though.
If you are a fan of the original series, I think this would be an enjoyable read that will give you some background information on the original trilogy, answer some questions, and will cause you to re-evaluate events and characters from the original series. I liked this one more than the first prequel, The Kill Order. Is it a must read? Not quite. However, it was enjoyable for what it was, and does round out the series pretty well.
Lilypad Rating: out of 5