Gr 7 Up--The return of plants and animals to a land ravaged by sun flares is finally giving the humans reason to have hope for the future. Mark and Alec are just heading out to hunt when an airship approaches their primitive village, hovering overhead while its crew shoots darts into the inhabitants. The pair manages to capture the airship and discover that the darts are infecting the villagers with a highly contagious virus. Some inhabitants die immediately, while others suffer a long, agonizing death. Mark and Alec, along with their cohorts, set out to find and stop whoever is responsible. They discover that other villages have been infected, and that the virus is mutating, causing widespread madness. They find a five-year-old girl who has been shot with a dart, but doesn't show any signs of illness. As each of them begins to succumb to the virus, the significance of the little girl's immunity becomes apparent. Realizing that it's too late to stop the spread of the virus, and believing that the child is the last hope for human survival, Mark and Alec are determined to get her to safety. Throughout the story, flashbacks describe what happened when the sun flares hit and the horror of the days following the disaster. This prequel (Delacorte, 2012) to James Dashner's "Maze Runner" trilogy, is narrated by Mark Deakins, who does an excellent job of keeping the tension high, switching seamlessly between the new cast of characters.-Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA[Page 59]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.