Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: The Kill Order by James Dashner

The Kill Order
by James Dashner
327 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 14th 2012
Source: Library
Add it on Goodreads

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, the sun flares hit the earth and destroyed the world mankind took for granted.

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 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.

I'm a big fan of James Dashner's the Maze Runner trilogy so I was super excited when he announced that he was writing a prequel to the series! Of course, in classic Julia fashion, I didn't actually get around to reading the prequel till 8 months after it was published. Hehe. But the good news is, I finally did read it and I definitely think that if you're a fan of TMRT you should read it too!

The Kill Order is set several months after solar flares have hit earth and destroyed most of society and the world as we know it. Mark and Trina are two of the lucky few survivors left on earth. Unfortunately, the solar flares were just the beginning of their problems. Now they have to face a deadly disease, one that turns people insane and is mutating at an alarming rate. Together, with a band of other rag tag survivors, Mark and Trina have to discover the source of the virus before it takes them down.

The Kill Order was a fast-paced thrill ride. If you've read James Dashner's other books then you're already familiar with his style of writing; short chapters, cliff hangers, and lots of action. An added bonus of The Kill Order was that it had a lot of flashbacks which, though unexpected, ended up becoming my favorite part of the novel. These flashbacks told all about how Mark and Trina survived the original solar flare incident and personally I feel like the Kill Order could have been an even better novel if it was simply based around the characters living through and surviving directly after the solar flares instead of focusing on the Flare virus. The Kill Order was great, but I found myself pushing through the present tense chapters just to get to Mark's flashbacks. In my opinion those chapters were packed with twice as much suspense and intrigue as the rest of the novel. I just love a good heart pounding survival story! However, I can definitely see why James Dashner had this prequel center around the Flare virus since that was more of a focal point for the Maze Runner trilogy as a whole.

The characters of The Kill Order were pretty standard. However, I don't read James Dashner stories for the characters, I read them to get swept up in an adventure. That being said, I really did love Alec, a super badass military veteran with a heart of gold. No one does badass characters quite like James Dashner! None of the other characters really stood out to me, but that didn't matter because the story and plot were engrossing enough to keep me hooked.

For a prequel I felt like The Kill Order was an enjoyable read. It wasn't super fantastic, but it definitely answered some of the questions I had about the Maze Runner trilogy and that's what prequels are all about. If you're a fan of James Dashner and this series then I would give it a read!

Julia :)

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