Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scorched and dead

Imagine a world destroyed by solar flares hitting the earth. In order to control the population, the remaining functional governments release a deadly biological weapon - a disease called the Flare. In obedience to the law of unintended consequences, the world is still in ruins, but now is also overrun by murderous, insane people, or "cranks," infected with the Flare.

This is where Thomas and his friends find themselves in the second and third books in the Maze Runner trilogy, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure. Thomas and his surviving friends think they've escaped the Maze and WICKED, only to find themselves given another trial, this time in the Scorch. The Scorch is a burned-out wasteland of searing heat, dust and deadly electrical storms. The boys have two weeks to get to the safe haven while trying not to die from the elements or get murdered by cranks or a rival team of girls. In the third book, finally out of the clutches of WICKED, Thomas and his very few remaining friends must defeat their former captors and save the world. But is that even possible?

I do enjoy post-apocalyptic novels. While, The Maze Runner was my favorite of the three books, the last two were very good also. The characters are easy to care about. It's interesting to think about what decisions I'd make in those situations. Thomas has to do some horrible things to survive, and it's written well enough that I felt his pain. As he gradually regains some of his stolen memories, Thomas learns that he is somehow responsible for the trials and experiments and deaths of his friends. Now that he knows what he's done, he must decide what kind of person he'd like to be. He realizes WICKED is not good. How can a group of people decide that's its all right to put a bunch of teenagers through hell? How do these teenagers rise to the occasion and make the difficult decisions necessary to survive. What if they can't survive the Scorch or the Flare?

In the end,whatever the disease, death is always an effective cure. Even after the cure, there is always a way to begin again.

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