Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.
Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next.
Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees.
Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they’re determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive.
This is the story of Mark and Trina, two teens who were in New York City the day the solar flare hit Earth, baking it. Rescued from the subways by Alec and Lana, they left New York City, and we find them in the forests of North Carolina one year later, which is where the story begins. Mark and Trina are still trying to overcome the trauma of the day the solar flare hit, and it seems to be a good day, until a Berg (akin to a helicopter or heavy-transport plane with VTOL capability, from what I can gather from descriptions) arrives over their camp and begins shooting darts at them. Those who are hit die, but it soon becomes apparent that a vicious virus is spreading amongst survivors. This, then, is the inception of The Flare, a virus that attacks the brain, and which the Maze, the trials and the variables of the three later books are aiming to find a cure for.
I really appreciated reading this book. It was good to see when and how The Flare started. This book also sees the introduction of both Thomas and Theresa (named Deedee), though it mainly centres around Deedee. Like the rest of the books, fast-paced action and relentless challenges face the main characters, including The Flare.