Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

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First of all i just came to know about this book when I saw Instagram post of Ian Harding holding this book and giving it a positive feedback. Station Eleven is a science fiction novel where the story surrounds one person and one incident. Station 11 is the name of the comic book of one of the characters. The book starts with the incident where there is a production of Kings Lear play. There the main character Arthur Leauder gets heart attack and dies on the stage. There we are introduced with other 3 characters namely Jeevan Chaudhary, Kristen Raymonde and Kristen’s baby sitter Laura who was dating Arthur.

After that day there is a breakout of Georgia Flu worldwide and most of the humans are killed. The surviving one are Kristen the paramedic in training Jeevan (who is informed by his friend a doctor about the flu after the play) and Arthurs best friend Clark and Arthur’d second wife Elizabeth and their son Tyler.

Kristen survived with her brother who dies as he got cut by a nail and got infected. Then since that day she joins Travelling Symphony who travel all year long performing Shakespeare plays. Kristen is smart and a sharp Knife thrower.

Jeevan survived the flu was with his brother and through his story we come to know how everything from water, to electricity to spread of the flu is seen.

Then after Arthurs death his second wife their son and his best friend are travelling in the same airplane and they are re routed (The Severn City Airport) and survive the flu. This side of the story shows how people survive without anything. How planes becomes homes and there is a museum where credit card and things from this world which they call former world is stored.

Travelling symphony’s main destination is the Museum of civilization or The Severn City Airport. Jeevan leaves the apartment when his brother dies and meets Dahlia who worked for Arthur. Jeevan also recalls his life as a journalist and celebrity paparazzi where he met Arthurs first wife Miranda.

The story goes on in a beautiful manner where there is a prophet and people who long for something to believe in. People have forgotten what Airplane is, what is orange, what is coffee. Thing such as internet is something to be fascinated about. It is going to be 20 years since the flu that rocked the whole world and how people survived and how will they move on.

I loved the novel but I don’t consider this as a science fiction that it claims to be. It is a beautiful writing and starting the pace was slow but it keeps you wanting more and think about what would you do if you were in that situation? The biggest thing is who is the Prophet? The book also follows the love story of Miranda and Arthur.

The beautiful and simple story of Arthur and Miranda is nice and I cannot believe that Station Eleven is the name of the comic book that Miranda drew. It follows the story of end of the world or a space ship that goes through black hole and the captain’s name is Captain Eleven. Miranda gives two copies of the first two volumes to Arthur and Arthur gives one copy to Kristen and one copy to his son Tyler.

The ending was perfect and it melt my heart reading how Clark reads the comic and reminiscences about the dinner party at Arthurs where he meets and has a nice chat with Miranda outside and the seating arrangement during that dinner is the same as Station Elevens picture. The Captain of the comic book is sitting where Miranda was sitting and he sees that someone familiar resembling him at the corner in the comic book where he was seated for dinner. I loved the ending that showed hope.

 

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The Death Cure- James Dashner

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STORY:

Tom wakes up in a room alone and no one is there to answer him. It has been 3 weeks and all he can think of is eat, exercise and sleep. On the 20thday the door opens and he is angry over Teresa. Tom question Rat man and he relies by saying that the end result will justify their doings. He explains that Tom’s behavior is the blueprint of antivirus. There is a term used for people like Tom who are immune to flare they are called Munies. He asks Tom to clean up and meet his friends and Killzone is their brains. He does mention there are only few who are immune to flare but does not disclose their names.

Then he meets his friends. Teresa is happy to see him so she holds his hands and he discards it as he is angry over her but his friends take the action as embarrassment leading to not holding her hand. Rat man enters telling them they are willing to give all of their memories back. There are only three people who disagree in getting their memories back namely Minho, Newt and Thomas. Thomas is glad that the telepathy will end. It is only a small surgery that is required to get their memories back. Then rat man says there are two groups among the survivors those who have flares and munies. Through the listing they come to know that Newt is not immune and Thomas is shocked. Then when all agree except these three they decide the first chance they get they will run escape from this place.

All of them enter and there are only 6 remaining and 3 who said no. Then Tom sees Brenda in green doctor’s gown. She comes to him hugs him says not to trust anyone except her and Dr. Paige. While both are happy to see each other she is ordered back to operate. Although Teresa starts questioning Brenda Tom is happy to see her. The three who refused are put in a room for tomorrow. They refused and they are taken as hostage. Tom tells Minho and Newt what Brenda said and then they eat and sleep.

Tom dreams about mom. He is eating cereal and his mom is telling him that he is smart and immune and he will not have to go through what his dad went through. Then next morning 5 guards and Rat Man comes and he says it does not matter if they want it or not all of them are receiving their memory back. Realizing this is their only chance they try to escape but are over powered and Thomas is the first one to enter into surgery and he sees Brenda is the doctor for his surgery.

Thomas gets the hint that Brenda is with him. She tells him to trust her and what she did was her job and she is also immune like him. Brenda acts like she tripped and sedates a guard. Then attacking a female guard they escape and Rat man is electrocuted. They take female guard as hostage and while leaving they count to 3 and suddenly lights go out and siren blares. They are in weapon room and Newt leaves for a while and comes back with envelope and letter asking Tom to read it when the time is right.

They reach the Berg room to see Jorge already hit by Teresa and group who have escaped. While climbing Tom and Brenda get hit. Tom wakes up to Brenda on his side where she mentions that all of the things that happened in tunnel is true. Her father was indeed killed by WICKED and she joined WICKED. She met Jorge in Immune meetings and he is the guardian figure to her. She consoles him saying may be Teresa is not so wrong and kisses his cheeks.

They reach Denver and are in a mall and some guy from right arm slips a paper with address to them. It is a note from Gally. Brenda and all are looking for Hans who worked for WICKED and is retired now who can remove the chip from their brains. They meet Gally where he mentions he was being controlled and he acted crazy so that they would set him free. The group comes to know Teresa informed Gally that they are coming and there is a bounty in Hans name. He also mentions that those who are immune have reduced to half in past six months and is not a coincidence. They have vanished into thin air.

They meet Hans and before removing the chip Tom attacks however they are able to remove the chip and Tom has lost telepathy. While they are drinking coffee they are attacked. Tom is taken by people who want money instead of him. Van is attacked by rat man and they escape and when they reach Berg they realize Newt is gone. Tom reads the letter of Newt “KILL ME IF I WAS EVER YOUR FRIEND”. Next day they are attacked and they run in a van. Right Arm saves them and come to know that Right Arm is planning to destroy wicked by demolishing their building. Tom is going to plant in WICKED and Brenda is staying back they part by saying “be careful” “don’t kill yourself”.

To finds where Newt is that is with other infected by flare and Newt is mad because Tom did not do one thing he asked for. Newt attacks and Tom shoots him on the head.

Tom is captured in the WICKED building. The last part of the cure is to remove his brain tissue and analyze them. HE wakes up to see Ava Paige and she tells him about the letter and a map to exit from here. He leaves and meets with Gally, right arm people, Teresa, Aris and Brenda and all. They plan on saving all they go to the maze. While rescuing they get attacked by grievers and they hear WICKED being blasted and the buildings falling down. He reaches the maintenance room as per the map and sends people through flat trans. Then Tom is attacked by Jenson (rat man). They fight a lot and he is so consumed in bloodlust he keeps on hitting the dead Jenson. Just in a flash Teresa gets smashed into a falling ceiling killing her instantly. Lastly, Tom, Brenda, Minho enter flat trans and close the gate.

The place they enter is a paradise. There is Natural River, ocean, hills and many more. He goes to hill top to observe sunset. Brenda joins him saying it is better for the future generations. He does not question her but holds her hand. In return she kisses his cheeks then lips and hugs him. He promises in his mind that he will not tell anyone about killing Newt. HE pulls Brenda closer to him.

Epilogue:

Ava Paige emails all saying how to control the population they leaked the virus and how new test subjects a trials was unnecessary. It was a brutal method. The remaining immune people are precious for future and should not be wasted. WICKED was established for better future and she is glad two immune people helped her achieve the goal. She is happy about the new beginning and WICKED is good.

MY VIEW:

I loved the whole concept how the virus being spread to control population (somehow I can imagine that this may happen in the future). Sad about Newt being dead and happy about Teresa dying. Very happy about Tom and Brenda. A new beginning is a good start.

The Scorch Trials – James Dashner

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The Summary:

After arriving to a room Thomas and Teresa are separated and communicating telepathically they fall asleep only, to wake up where Teresa nowhere to be found. Thomas dreams that he is a little kid and his dad is already crazy from flare and his mom is telling him that he is special and he should not forget that.

When Tom wakes up he has lost the telepathic communication and there are people screaming on window who have flares and they are screaming to die. They search a way out and when they turn the kitchen lights on they see bodies hanging. They find a guy name Airs instead of Teresa. Aris explains how he was in a “Maze” full of girls. Then they see the name tag on the door where it is written Teresa Agnes the betrayer. Hearing his story he is the Teresa on the other maze. Thomas realizes that he can telepathically communicate with Aris and they keep this a secret. He comes to know that they killed his best friend. So Thomas realizes that instead of Chuck he was supposed to die the same manner in another maze.

Everyone has tattoo on their neck as group A or B and their role inscribed. Minho is the leader; Newt is the glue and Thomas as property of group A and to be killed by group B. When they return to the kitchen they see that it is clean like bodies never hung there. There are no screaming flare infected people anymore. They sleep and when Thomas tries to communicate with Teresa she shuts him off like she does not remember anymore.

The next day people are starving and they get package and they see that a man in white is on the other side. They call him the rat man. Rat man mentions they are group A and the first trial is over. He mentions how they can control them and the people hanging was just illusion and they can control their minds. There might be things that is there and cannot be seen and there might be things there but not visible to them. He explains them their second trial also known as “Scorch trials”. They will leave the next day through portal in between 6-6:05 am and after travelling for two weeks they will reach Safe Haven. The cure to flare is there. There is no rule no guidelines and all they have to do is complete the task.

The next day through flat trans (Flat transport) Minho leading the group and Thomas at last they travel. They are travelling in a tunnel and they hear “go back you won’t be sliced and diced” then there is a thud. Thomas gets hold of metal ball covered in blood and one of the 20 boys is dead (headless). Separating into groups they run and another kid gets killed. They climb stairs and see an opening but it is too bright. They get burns so they plan on leaving at night. A silver metal thing melts and burns Winston. As they remove the thing from Winston they decide they should leave now. The gladers move as far as they can and see two figures approaching them. One male and another female they mention that the gladers will either catch the flare or be killed by another group and they leave. They see a black thing ahead. Tome goes and meets Teresa there. They reunite but Tom can see that she is clean and looks like Gally she is being controlled by someone. Teresa advices Tom to come and join her and leave all the other boys but he refuses saying he will find her later. Upon returning he tells Minho everything.

Thomas dreams of him and Teresa when they were kids and being experimented. Teresa can communicate telepathically but Thomas can’t. Then after sometime he can and they smile.

When they reach place with buildings there is a storm and lightning. Many die (11 left) and Minho gets struck. Thomas helps Minho and they enter the building. Then it starts to rain. Jorge is there as leader with group of people. Minho and Jorge fight and Minho gets kicked on his face. Thomas demands 10 minutes from Jorge to explain and he gets the chance. Then Thomas comes t know that all of the people there have flares and they are surviving. Thomas talks about two options 1st to go and get cure from them and 2nd to kill all. Jorge agrees with option 1 but with a clause that Minho dies.

Then Jorge mentions that Brenda will also go with them. Brenda seems to like Thomas and she kisses him on his cheeks and nicks Minho. They eat and leave. Brenda explains how before scientist could warn people the flare was spread. Suddenly, a building collapses dividing them into two groups. Although Thomas feels that Brenda is hiding something he promises her about the cure. Then when they return they find the other gladers not there and blubs are cracking and a man with burn patches and no nose come to them and says I suppose he took my nose. They run and hide in a compartment and each and every moment he feels that he is cheating on Teresa. When they come out the attacker is still there and he grabs Thomas and Brenda attacks him and Thomas ends up killing the crank. Brenda tells her story. She was taken by WICKED and when her dad protested he was killed. Thomas squeezes her hand in support and she sleeps knowing that flare is taking over her. Thomas dreams about him being kid with Teresa and they hear someone talking about maze, variables and ending. That person also says too bad they won’t be alive to see the ending and future generation will thank them.

They see posters all over the place saying Thomas is the leader. Then three people come and take Thomas and Brenda to a party. Then as the gate opens someone greets them saying Thomas we have been waiting for you. They get trapped and when tom explains about flat trans the people refuse to believe saying only rich people can afford that. Then Minho comes to the rescue. While escaping Thomas gets shot. Jorge removes the bullet and he sees Brenda who says sorry to him. He faints and wakes up to hospital where a man and women are talking. They talk about sending Thomas to where he was because that is what he would want them to do.

He hears Teresa and she warns him the next day is going to be rough and he should trust her. Next day women group attacks and takes Tom as hostage. When Tom wakes up Teresa is not there and two girls interrogate him before Teresa comes back. He explains all. They tell him that Teresa does not like you and the kiss was just to manipulate him.

Teresa and Tom get separated and they meet Aris on the road. She explains how she is with Aris kisses him and tells tom that being his best friend was just an act. Although Teresa explains how with Aris all was act and Tom realizes he does not feel right when Teresa kisses him then. Both the groups meet and join forces. Brenda and Teresa meet and Brenda does not trust Teresa. They are attacked by creatures that come from flat trans out of nowhere. Brenda is pulled up and they climb the Berg. The Berg is controlled by rat man. He is angry and says he has to kill one Jorge or Brenda. He mentions Brenda to play reverse psychology. He expected rat man to target Jorge instead but he pulls trigger to Brenda and Thomas attacks with full might. Although Teresa is talking to him telepathically he sleeps.

Thomas hears voice saying things will be hard for him in coming days and he realizes that it is Brenda who is talking to him. He is in a room it has been a week that has passed. The flare hit him. Lastly, he is told he should not contact Teresa and ends by saying WICKED is good.

Epilogue: Ava Paige emails saying there is no cure. The candidates are not decided and they have no idea who is immune to the flare.

My View: I liked the  book. I loved Brenda Character and I wish she ends up with Thomas because Teresa character is fishy. I want the ending to be different. I love the trio “Minho, Thomas and Newt.”

Lord of the flies by William Golding

Lord of the flies by William Golding. It is said that the concept is taken from the book “The Coral Island: A tale of the Pacific Ocean by R.M.Ballantyne”. It is also said that The Maze Runner‘s story is based on the concept of Lord of the flies.

Story:

Lord of the flies is a story about a group of kids and boys who are stuck in coral island after a plane crash. The main protagonist Ralph believes that they will be saved as his father is from the navy. The other character is called “Piggy” who is there with Ralph since the beginning and they are the ones who find the conch and blow it gathering all of the kids present there. Then the Conch acts a symbol of power. This results in voting and Ralph is made as chief. There are a group of choir boys who already have unspoken leader among them Jack Merridew. The choir group acts as hunters. Then there are rules where they will gather food, build shelter and also have fun. The story goes on where all follow the rules and the conch is the key that allows people to speak. They try and live a civil life. They always have smoke burning so that the rescuers can locate them. The group is divided as the biguns and littleuns. Piggy s left out from big ones and takes care of little ones. Slowly not wanting to live under Ralph, Jack starts to face power struggle. Then the little ones start talking about the beast which Ralph denies as the coral island is not habited. Then as the war is going on one of the dead pilot is stuck in the trees with parachute and they think it is the beast. Jack tired of Ralphs rule forms his own tribe and hunts a pig and gives feast to everyone. The ones left with Raplhs tribe are piggy, and the twins Sam and Eric. Simon wanders off and sees the pig’s head that was given as offering to the beast by Jack is now covered in flies. He starts hallucinating and starts talking to the head. He even calls the head “The Lord of the Flies”. The pigs head tells him how there is no beast. But, there is a beast inside everyone. He also sees that the person who is hanging in the tree is not a beast but a person. He is killed. Then one night Ralph and his tribe are attacked by Jack and his tribe. Then Ralph and his tribe go to the other tribe to get piggy’s specs back. The two tribes confront. Roger kills piggy and the conch shatters. Sam and Eric are captured and Ralph escapes. Being tortured Sam and Eric join Jack’s tribe. The next day there is a man hunt for Ralph. Sam and Eric help him and the forest is being set on fire. While calculating his moves and figuring the ways to escape he stumbles upon and sees a man in uniform. Then all are rescued and he bids goodbye to his adolescence and cries over what happened.

My saying:

So I wonder how come during the war time the plane was carrying these kids and sending them where? I say this because the groups of boys also include choir group boys. Why were there no girls? It is story of power, control and British boys trying to live a civil life. It talks about how civilization came into being. The conflict that arises when people want power and don’t want domination by other but are willing to dominate or become leader instead. The basic necessities food, clothes and shelter is not there how will the kids survive? The story is about independence and being free. How long will it last? How the rules and regulations are hard to maintain and living in a secluded place can drive people insane. Wonderfully written book that makes me wonder how we want freedom and after all it is survival of the fittest. How greedy humans can be that once given a choice the kids shifted to Jack’s tribe. They did it because of power that Jack possesses of being able to provide food and security. I think I don’t want to be stuck like that.

I have not seen a single adaptation of the movie of this book. Well may be when I get my laptop I will get a chance to watch the movie.