As Crank Palace is nearing its first anniversary since its release, any Maze Runner fan who has not read the novella should do so now. With this bittersweet novella, we can see the Maze Runner universe from Newt’s perspective. We saw life with The Flare, from the immune, and now we can finally understand life from the infected. Crank Palace is a bite-sized story that is perfect for anyone who has already read the first three books, The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure. If you read this novella before reading the first three books you will face endless spoilers and constant confusion.
First the Glade, then escaping the Maze, surviving the Scorch, and fighting infection. The Flare is a deadly disease that destroys your mind. The infected will turn into cranks. They will completely lose their sanity, their body will have vine-like growths, and will develop cannibalistic instincts. A crank is similar to a zombie, maybe even worse. They are alive, unlike regular zombies, and can feel themselves slipping. They are very well aware that they are slowly and painfully turning into something so inhuman that they must flee or risk killing everyone around them.
What happens if you get infected while all your friends are immune? Should they abandon you or watch you descend into an insanity unlike any other? Newt decides to spare his friends from seeing him fall into madness and leaves. He ends up at the Crank Palace, the place for the infected and hopeless. Newt is a character that we all know and love as a smart and kind supporting lead. Of the Gladers, he was not one of the lucky ones, he was not immune. Here we can see the not-so-pleasant side of Newt as he reveals himself as he slowly and painfully succumbs to this deadly disease.
All Maze Runner fans know about page 250, and this Novella will only pull their heartstrings even more. If you thought 250 was hard to endure, prepare for this page-turner. It’s one that will have you inside Newt’s head, hearing his thoughts, fighting the disease, and struggling to survive until he meets his inevitable fate. Reaching Crank Palace, which was Newt’s last adventure, added a whole new layer to the series. This novella is like the true conclusion of the Death Cure and answers many unanswered questions from the original series.
My bookshelf has a shelf dedicated to The Maze Runner Series and this novella was the perfect addition, the final piece to complete the story. With three wonderfully written books, two prequel books, and three movies, this short piece was the final touch that fans were desperately waiting for. My high rating of this novella is definitely biased because of its nostalgic appeal. This was the series that sparked my love for reading. As a child, I only read books that were required for homework, until I read The Maze Runner. For years I anxiously waited for the two prequels and three movies to come out one by one. When I thought it was all over, author James Dasher released this novella, giving me the closure I needed. For anyone else who has a similar story, The Crank Palace is guaranteed to bring back those memories and give your younger self much-needed closure.