In many ways I liked this book better than The Maze Runner trilogy. It was suspenseful, fast-paced, interesting, ominous...so many good qualities that I look for in a novel. It was gripping and I got through it much faster than any of its sequels. It was interesting to see the origin of the Flare virus as well as the initial days following the sun flares, and the Cranks in this story were even more terrifying than those in the original trilogy. However, there were quite a few elements that let it down. Although it was fast-paced in a good way, it was also too quick at parts, leaving me wanting more but ultimately not receiving it. I also didn't feel a real connection to any of the characters and we never got to really know them before they inevitably succumbed to the virus. You know from the get go that none of these characters will survive but I suppose I was hoping for a more emotional end for each. The actual ending was on the brink of being at that point and yet never quite got there as much as I hoped it would. Some of the dialogue was also unnatural and frustrating considering the circumstances but saying that, I did enjoy the relationship between Mark and Alec. There were parts that were too fleshed out when I would've preferred to see that level of detail elsewhere, but overall, I felt it was a strong book and a really fascinating take on an apocalyptic scenario. Enjoyed this book greatly and would highly recommend.