I grew so attached to all of the characters: Mark, Alec, Trina, and others. From the beginning, I knew this story would be a hard read and it proved to be. I've lost track of how many times I kept putting it down because I just felt so drained and despairing with everything that transpires over the course of the novel.
But I love how Dashner doesn't shy away from the stark reality his world presents, gore and all. The desperation that the characters face mixed with the bleak reality of a world ravaged by not just sun flares but the virus The Flare as well, it was all really well portrayed. Perhaps, despite how gut-wrenching this prequel was, I loved it more than the trilogy, especially the last few moments leading up to the epilogue really hit home for me.
Normally I would be throwing this kind of a book across the room, but it really does stand on its own and prevents me from doing that in so many ways. Felt like I lived through it all, that's how draining it was for me. However I think in retrospect the way this novel was written and plotted in the way that it had ended really suits it because it reflected how fragile life could be.
Stories, while they may be facts of fiction and make believe worlds, its no different from our own world. Death and life follows us everywhere with every step. And it is also because, just because its a story it will always have a happy ending of some sort, some times, just some times you have to come to accept whatever happens.
I really loved how Mark's character evolved throughout the novel. His character growth really impacts you deeply, even in the last moments before the epilogue. I think many will be impressed by the fact he accepts his fate, even though he fights through the madness of The Flare to the last moments, I know I was.
Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to cry my eyes out and try to think happy thoughts or perhaps find another book to cheer me up...
Dashner, you gone and broke me heart to infinity! < / 3
BLAST YOU DASHNER!!! QAQ
(PS. I await anxiously for another book from you good sir.)