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The Kill Order by James Dashner

The Kill Order

by James Dashner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Maze Runner (prequel)

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7432612,532 (3.39)12

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The Kill Order is the prequel to the Maze Runner trilogy and it touches on the aftermath of the sun flares, and the beginning of the virus that became known as The Flare. Mark and Trina survived the deadly flares, but when their small community is attacked, a deadly virus breaks out and now the must survive that while searching for answers.

What I liked:
This book is short and easy to read. Unfortunately those are its only merits in my opinion.

What I didn’t like:
Once again Dashner prefers to tell, rather than show and unfortunately his prose was no fun to read. We’re introduced to new characters in this book, primarily two teens, Mark and Trina, and two adults, Lana and Alec. Sadly they were flat and I felt zero connection to any of them – they had no real outstanding qualities and I didn’t feel any sympathy for their plights. As you may know from reading my previous reviews of the Maze Runner trilogy, the first book was a blast for me, but as I delved deeper into Dashner’s world I became bored and confused. Honestly, the more I think about this series, the more questions arise and the more I begin to feel Dashner’s idea wasn’t fully developed. The prequel really put the nail in the coffin for me and I can’t understand the hype this series has received.

I don’t want to rant about this book, but I’ll say that due to a lack of connection to any characters that were created in this book, character deaths were utterly meaningless. I’d say that most characters were killed for the “shock value” but anyone who has read the rest of the series will know that Dashner loves to kill characters, so I wasn’t even shocked. The actual event of the sun flares is hardly touched on – the events are only revealed when Mark sleeps, in a series of dreams that magically pick up exactly where they left off last time Mark woke (don’t get me started on that idea…). The connection that these characters have with each other is almost as non-existent to my connection with them – they simply escaped the city when the sun flares struck, and thus, they’re like a family now. There’s the overdone “innocent child in danger” trope – Deedee’s character was the least developed of them all – a lone girl found abandoned in a deserted village that the group must now risk their own lives to save because…well because she’s a child. She has little to no dialogue, often puts herself into dangerous situations and had virtually no purpose other than the “twist” at the end of the book. I found myself skimming several pages at a time only to realize I hadn’t missed a thing.

My biggest issue with this book overall is that it felt unnecessary. It didn’t answer a single question I had regarding the original trilogy, and what’s worse, the whole point of the book could easily be summed up in a page or two. Seriously, the virus known as The Flare could easily be explained in a few sentences, as well as why/how it came to be. That’s it. Done! It should have been an extra epilogue at the end of the last book, rather than the 343 page snore-fest I forced myself to read because I’d already invested in the previous three books.


I can’t say that I’d recommend this book to anyone – even if you’ve read the trilogy, you could easily look up a summary for The Kill Order online and save yourself the time. If you already own the book, might as well give it a shot, because it won’t take long to read. I still think that Dashner has a great idea, I just don’t think it was fully developed. My love for The Maze Runner is still strong, as I fully enjoyed that book and had a blast reading it – I look forward to seeing the movie as well. But the rest of the series was a major flop for me, each book more disappointing than the last. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Sep 1, 2014 |
After reading the series it was interesting to go back and see what life was like right after the flares and the beginning of the virus. I became really entrenched in this series. I really liked the end of the world by solar flares, it is a possibility. ( )
  selinalynn69 | Aug 19, 2014 |
2.5 stars. I didn't like this one as well as the others. Too much of the same action descriptions for me. Got bored feeling like they were doing the same thing over and over. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Just don't. Not really a prequel. ( )
  Tigerlily12 | Jul 9, 2014 |
The main character, Mark, lives in a post-solar-flare world where ice caps thawed into the oceans, land shrank due to the water of the oceans, and people started new beginnings. As the government is no more, a secret government attempts to kill off some of the people as the earth is still overpopulated. Things took a turn for the worse when the supposed quick and painless virus began to live longer inside of the human brain, forcing people with the disease to suffer until they died. As Mark and his group of friends investigate who and what has caused this, they begin to long for hope for a cure. I recommend this generally to all teenagers. It is good to read about friendship and creativity. This book would also be good for adults that enjoy adventure or trivial fiction. ( )
  lchs.mrso | May 21, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Dashnerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important places
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For Kathy Egan. I really miss you.
First words
Prologue: Teresa looked at her best friend and wondered what it would be like to forget him.
Chapter 1: Mark shivered with cold, something he hadn't done in a long time.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385742886, Hardcover)

A Letter from James Dashner: Top Ten Things I’d Want During the Apocalypse
10. Very, very strong sunglasses.

9. Lots of plastic to wrap around my house.

8. A stranger taken in who happens to be the smartest, ablest doctor in a thousand years.

7. A server containing every show that’s ever been on HBO and a nice entertainment system on which to watch it all.

6. An e-reader loaded with 5,000 books.

5. A generator and a gas refinery next door to provide fuel so I can watch all those shows and charge my e-reader.

4. Deodorant that smells like a rotting dead body so zombies think I’m just one of them.

3. Lifetime supplies in my basement of the following: hot dogs, Almond Joys, potato chips, and Mountain Dew.

2. A cloaking device to hide my house from the tyrannical, evil, bloodthirsty government that will inevitably spring up.

1. Oh, and my wife and kids.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:28 -0400)

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"Mark struggles to make sense of his new, post-disaster world in this prequel to The Maze Runner"--

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Average: (3.39)
1 8
1.5 1
2 14
2.5 7
3 39
3.5 9
4 42
4.5 4
5 19


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