Title: The Kill Order
Author: James Dashner
Publisher/Year: Random House 1/7/14
Length: 360 pages
Series: The Maze Runner 0.5
They thought the end came in a flash.
Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth, killing most of the population.
The worst is yet to come.
Mark and Trina were there when it happened. They survived. But now a virus is spreading. A virus that fills humans with murderous rage.
There is no cure. No escape.
They’re convinced that there’s a way to save those who are left—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.
The end is only the beginning.
So, if you’ve read my reviews of the rest of the series, it’s really not a great outlook on this one. I loved the first book and then really had to suffer through the 2nd and 3rd. But…since one of my co-workers just made her way through the series, and clearly didn’t share the same opinion that i have, i told her that i would read the prequel with her and then we could regroup on it.
What started off surprisingly good to me – this 4th (yet .5) book had my attention for the first half and then some how lost it. I think that the element of the ‘years just after the solar flash’ or whatever were the most interesting to me, to see what was happening right after, and then it just slowed down.
We meet a group of characters and follow their story – yet we have no idea how they are tied to the main story since we’ve never heard of any of them in the big series. What we do have though is a story about survival, the unknown and really the understanding of not what the Flare is but what some crazy organization is trying to do.
There is a saving grace though in the fact that James Dashner is clearly a decent author. He’s got a way of painting these pictures for us that give you a very good sense of what’s going on, what the world looks like to everyone and really making you feel how horrible and bleak things were seeming for a while.
We follow Alec, Mark, Trina and a a few others as they are trying to survive in the present while we keep rehashing what happened RIGHT after the flares through Mark’s dreams. It’s actually nice that we’re able to see the past in this story since that’s a key bit of what happened in the big series. That no one knew where they were coming from since they had their memories erased. You want to hope for the best for some of these characters – Mark and Trina the most since you get their back story – how there was a lack of a bond before the flare, and yet the circumstances made it inevitable . We also got to invest ourselves in Alec – who was clearly a leader before the Flares and is necessary even after.
So on that note – i think that it’s a better installment in my opinion than the 2nd and 3rd books, and while it takes you until the end to understand how it’s all related, it’s worthwhile. I just wish that i didn’t feel the drag 1/2 way through. hopefully you won’t!