As a fan of The Maze Runner series, I was ecstatic to learn more of the history of James Dashner’s infected world. Throughout the first book, he was able create a sense a mystery and confusion in both the characters and the reader, making us hungry for information. Even though later books started to lack this element, it still kept me interested because of the high stakes of the situations that Thomas and their friends were put in.
And now we get to see what was going on behind the scenes at WICKED, who are scientists who are trying to find a cure for the zombie-like disease known as the Flare. At least, that what James Dashner is saying about the book. It seems that the mystery element was front and center for the marketing for this latest installment, stating that “All will be revealed in the fifth book” on Amazon. So does The Fever Code deliver on revealing the history of WICKED, Thomas, and the building of the maze?
It’s true that it does have bits of information that can’t be found in any other installments, including a bit of history on the fan-favorite character, Newt. However as I read on, I started to get a lingering sense of déjà vu. If you have read all The MazeRunner books before reading this one –and you have to otherwise The Fever Code will spoil them – then you will start to notice that some of the “big secrets” in this book have been revealed in the earlier installments, starting with book one.
It was a bit disappointing to see that this book, which has promised to reveal secrets about the franchise, was using information revealed in the other books. In fact, since that this book repeats facts from the other books, it almost didn’t seem necessary.
Admittedly, writing prequels are hard; the author has to find a way to tell a story when the reader already knows what will happen next. But, because barely any new information was revealed, the success of Fever Code was dependent on how fun it was. Unfortunately, that element is a bit hit or miss with this book. While I was happy to see these characters play around in this unfamiliar environment, their actions and thoughts towards these situations was a bit predictable. In events that would normally emotionally challenge these characters, their reactions can sometimes be reduced down to “I don’t like this” or “This is morally wrong”. This is consistent with Thomas as well, even though he should be the most interesting person in the book, being the main character.
However, not everyone in the book is that shallow. Interestingly enough, all of the supporting characters seem to be a bit more deep, most noticeably the WICKED scientists. This makes sense, as they are arguably the most emotionally conflicted characters in the series for reasons that will not be revealed here.
So all in all, I’m still happy I picked up a copy. This was still an engaging book for its colorful world, the situation the characters are in, and yes, I was a bit surprised by some of the information uncovered in this book. However, I still think that The Fever Code was a bit predictable in its character interactions, and failed to reveal anything game-changing to anyone who has read the other books.