The Fever Code by James Dashner // Book Reviews

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23267628The Fever Code by James Dashner

Series: The Maze Runner (#0.6)
Genre: Science fiction
Publication: September 27th 2016 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 347
Source: Borrowed
2.5 stars

Once there was a world’s end.

The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled.

Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man.

Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy.

The boy’s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze.

Now there are secrets.

There are lies.

And there are loyalties history could never have foreseen.

This is the story of that boy, Thomas, and how he built a maze that only he could tear down.

All will be revealed.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I found this book slightly better than its prequel: The Kill Order. However, all my expectations went down the drain and none of the questions I wanted answered actually were. A lot of the novel was repetitive with information readers would have gathered from reading the original trilogy. This could just be me. A few exciting scenes here and there. Perhaps this series has just lost its appeal for me.

PLOT

The book had an interesting start which really pulled me into the story. I enjoyed the prologue which actually starts with Newt’s point of view. I promise it’s relevant. We finally learn of Thomas’s real name and that scene was so devastating. It was so heartbreaking. I really felt for him, that poor child. This prequel promised answers and revelations, but I already pieced together half this stuff from reading the original trilogy and the shock factor just wasn’t there.

This book starts from when the subjects are children to the start of the first book of the trilogy so a large portion of the book follows Thomas’s routine with a couple of different scenes in between. As you can imagine, that got pretty repetitive and boring fast. Did I really care that Thomas had classes and tests every day? Did I want to read that in every chapter? No John, I did not.

It was the stuff that the adults and WICKED were hiding from the children that I wanted to find out the most. What was WICKED’s reasoning? Why did they choose the maze? Why the separation? How did these trials actually help towards a cure? How was the maze made? What other things were being done besides these trials on children? I wanted that detail. Instead of being thorough with that stuff, it was “Thomas went to class again, Thomas ate at the same time again, Thomas is making progress on the maze again.” I wanted adult logic.

Ultimately, all I thought about in the novel was WHY this and WHY that?!? And unfortunately, all the information that they withheld from the children, and although realistic in that sense, the readers don’t find much out.There would be parts where the book would have partial answers but they didn’t really have clear reasoning, just vague explanations. Let me example: so the adults consistently say that the trials would help finding a cure by analysing the killzone. But that’s all the depth it goes into. What are they going to do with that information? We don’t know, and I don’t think we’ll ever know.

There was hardly any action except for the ending. [spoiler section below]<spoiler> I didn’t think the kids killing all the cranks during the purge was believable but I did enjoy those couple of scenes.</spoiler>

WORLDBUILDING/SETTING

We learn about the environment of the maze although there weren’t too many details. We get details about grievers and how they function which was interesting. I would have liked to learn about the algorithm of changing structure of the maze and the reasoning. Since the book is in Thomas’s point of view who is a child and all information is kept from him, we don’t get to know much about the structure of WICKED except for the gang’s secret little adventures. We are told about the state of the world heavily affected by the flares but readers don’t really get to experience it.

CHARACTERS

I still can’t get fully attached to the characters. They feel distant. However, I did enjoy seeing how the characters came to be and how they developed.

This prequel mostly focuses on the characters of Thomas and Teresa. The development of their friendship was cute. Actually it’s more like Thomas with some appearances of Teresa and WICKED staff and mini inserts of the gladers. And I really wanted to know more about the backgrounds of the boys. I know this is focused on group B but I’m really intrigued about the dynamics of group A (the girls) and how they got on.

The main character as consistent with the original trilogy is Thomas. The difference is that he’s 10 years younger. Or at least when the book begins. So although this is marketed as a young adult novel, technically it’s more of a children’s or middle grade. I’m more accustomed to YA novels but the age of these characters didn’t bother me as they sounded like adults speaking throughout the book. My problem with this was, the huge timeframe of years didn’t affect their dialogue or thinking and the tone remained pretty much the same throughout the book.

Thomas is such a Gary Stu. He does learn and develop as the book progresses but his passivity frustrated me quite a bit.

It too too long for the rest of the gang to come into the story. And they’re all alive (don’t think about the last book, don’t think about the last book).

Ummm I basically hate all the adults in this book which isn’t particularly strange in this series because in some way they’re portrayed as evil. Major trust issues. And I still don’t understand the famous quote of this series, why “WICKED is good”. They’re so cruel and no matter how it’s justified, it’s child abuse.

My blood boils every time Randall is mentioned. That name (you’ll understand if you’ve read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon).

My feelings on Dr Paige: *flips table and kicks chair* arghhhhh.

I really enjoyed reading about the interactions between the children and the development of their relationships. I loved seeing the character we know younger and the development of their characters and personalities. It was so adorable. Seeing Chuck made me so happy. Unfortunately with Thomas being the narrator (which made a whole lot of problems for me), and him being special and isolated from the others, these interactions weren’t that frequent. I sort of appreciated that “slow-burn” effect but the content we were left with felt like filler information.

WRITING STYLE

Each chapter had the date and time which showed the progression of time, but I personally didn’t see its usefulness. I forgot what time it even was by the time I started the next page. I’m still not the biggest fan of Dashner’s writing style and I haven’t with most of the books in this series. However, the first book of this series, The Maze Runner is one of my favourite books which I read a while back so I don’t understand how I could love it so much with the consistent style of writing. So excuse me while I have an existential crisis.

The chapters are very short  which is very typical of James Dashner books. It felt as though it was replicating a report paralleling to the story as the children are treated like test subjects. It was clever but it didn’t really help make the book more exciting. In fact it had the opposite for me and felt extremely dragged out. This repetition eventually drained the tension and suspense that is characteristic of this series. The way you feel reading the book is exactly how Thomas feels at the time: kept in the dark with lots of boredom and frustration.

PACING

Technically, the book progressed pretty fast as it went over a decade but then again, I never got the detail I wanted. The book skimmed past many details only showing highlights of Thomas’s adventures (if you could call it that) and made the book rather disconnected.

– – – – – – – – – – – – SPOILERS AHEAD! – – – – – – – – – – – –

3… 2… 1…

I didn’t think the kids killing all the cranks during the purge was believable but I did enjoy those couple of scenes.

Seeing the kids get their memories wiped and struggle from “behind the scenes” with Thomas was so upsetting.

I was interested in Newt’s backstory and I really felt for him because my poor child was just a control subject who was unintentionally included in the trials and he wasn’t immune.

Let’s talk about the ending: Teresa you little snitch. I can’t believe that she sold Thomas out and went into the maze with her memory intact. That was a twist I did NOT see coming. Dude I was so angry. And Dr Paige. All the betrayals were shocking. But speaking of that, this book really villainises females. Huh.

– – – – – – – – – – – – END OF SPOILERS! – – – – – – – – – – – –

There were moments where I felt the emotion and felt sorry of the characters. I skimmed parts and towards the end of the book I don’t think I was registering half of what was going on. I was struggling between deciding to DNF or not but I was so very close to the end. So, I just finished it. All in all, this prequel raised more questions than actual answers and I wasn’t satisfied with it. Honestly, by the end of the book, I didn’t know that much new about WICKED or what their plan was. I was disappointed.

2.5 stars

Goodreads   Purchase *

Emily x

LET’S CHAT

What did you think of the book? How do you feel about prequels in general? Thoughts on WICKED? Comment below!

* I am a Book Depository affiliate – for more details, you can read my Disclosure HERE.

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