Total Hours to Read: Just under 4
--Average pages per minute: 1.46
Sex/Romance: No sex, and only light mention of something that might be construed as romance in a couple spots.
Language: Minimal use of mild language.
Violence: We get up close and personal with some people as they Crank out, plus some pretty heavy moral issues as well, so there is a good amount of violence and gore.
Thoughts: This book is what I had wanted for years. To finally know the background of how the maze came to be, what role Thomas and Teresa played with WICKED, and what all came before the Maze Trials. Here's how it went:
I didn't feel that there was any need for some big twist to shake things up. This book was just background. A behind-the-scenes, if you will. If you have already read the trilogy then you know exactly where everything is leading. You're just curious how it came to be. The author obviously felt differently, and I think the story of the entire series suffered for it. The twist felt forced, cheap, and honestly a little bit desperate. Almost as if the author was searching for something, anything to be a big enough surprise to make the readers feel the book was worth it and potentially blow a few minds in the process. My mind was not blown, it just made me feel sad and cheated.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< BEGIN MAJOR SPOILER >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Cheated, because it goes so against the character of our female protagonist. The new character it proved her to be felt more in line with the movie version of her. I don't know if this book was already in the works and influenced the movies, or if the author was unavoidably influenced by the movies created from his previous work. Either way it felt forced and not true to character and, like a poison, that spread to her character in the rest of the series since this story comes before the rest.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< END MAJOR SPOILER >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
My other main gripe with this book is that as the final(?) book in this series, I can now say that every female in this series is either practically useless in every way or a villain in some way. And the author still characterizes any display of emotion as weakness.
However, I think my main issue of why I personally had a hard time reading this one was just because the actions and motivations of the antagonists are some of my biggest triggers for hating characters (abuse/exploitation of literal children, and some of the more specific moral beliefs).
In the end: 3 out of 5 stars. Interesting background, if a bit difficult to swallow.