Book review: 'The Fever Code' takes Maze Runner fans back before it all began

Posted October 17, 2016

"THE FEVER CODE," by James Dashner, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 384 pages (f) (ages 14 and up)

"The Fever Code" is the fifth installment in James Dashner's best-selling Maze Runner series. Dashner previously released the main trilogy, which followed groups of children through dangerous adventures to cure the world of a disease that was endangering the human race, and a fourth book and prequel which chronicled a new set of characters at the outset of the disease.

This fifth book is also a prequel, but the reader returns to the familiar characters they met in the maze. The book is told from the point of view of Thomas as he is taken from his infected parents and brought to an institution where the adults, mostly doctors and scientists, tell him he is immune from the disease and the hope for humanity's survival.

Dashner answers many of the questions left unanswered at the end of the trilogy, including what exactly was Thomas and Theresa's involvement before they were inserted in the Glade, who is Wicked aside from the ones running the trials in the trilogy, and a lot of the background relationships between the kids of the Glade.

"The Fever Code" is a dark read, detailing the lives of the few people left after a disease has wiped out most humans on Earth. Dashner raises many questions of what is right and wrong when all the rules have changed, and how children's minds are easily influenced by their upbringing, but moral instinct can still prevail.

With vivid descriptions and beautiful insights into human emotion, Dashner fills in the gaps of his story while keeping the pages turning with surprising twists and exciting events. The reader finds out how Thomas came to fill his role in the maze and how his Wicked training backfired on the institution as he figured out how to do what they couldn't.

"The Fever Code" contains mild language, no sexual content and multiple scenes of violence, including physical person-to-person attacks, shooting and zombie killing.

Tara Creel is a Logan-native-turned-California-girl and mother of four boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com, and she blogs at taracreelbooks.wordpress.com.


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