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The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel) by…

The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel) (edition 2012)

by James Dashner

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8223011,042 (3.38)13
Title:The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel)
Authors:James Dashner
Info:Delacorte Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Kill Order by James Dashner


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Inevitably, when a trilogy does well, publishers push for prequels or sequels. Sometimes those books are great, more often they are merely a cash grab. The Kill Order isn’t quite a cash grab, but it’s close.

The Kill Order is a prequel to the Maze Runner series telling how it all began. However, the original trilogy clearly spelled out the tragedy that led to the trials, solar flares followed by a devastating plague, so that doesn’t leave much room for suspense. Here readers meet Mark and Trina and a few companions, who survived the solar flares only to a face a new threat in a deadly plague. How the plague came about was obvious and predictable, and the ensuing “story” has no plot or mystery. Mark and company decide to track the plague to the “source” in hopes of finding answers or a cure. But, there just isn’t enough material to sustain a book. What follows is a retread of material in the original trilogy: encountering Cranks, government resistance and obstacles of Nature.

That is not to say the book doesn’t have some redeeming qualities. There are some exciting action sequences, and like the original books, not everyone is going to survive. Flashbacks to the day of the solar flares were cool – like watching a disaster movie and seeing what people do to survive; how quickly civilization falls apart. It also has a good hook for how it leads into the original trilogy, but that hook is at the very end and in an epilogue. This would have made a great novella/e-book, but unfortunately it got padded.

Overall, I don’t regret the purchase as it came in a box set with the original trilogy, but I found myself skimming over many passages that were just more of the same. Recommended for completists. ( )
  jshillingford | Oct 21, 2014 |
The prequel to the series was disappointment. I desperately wanted there to be at least one character that we could link to the other books, which would have preserved the rhythm of the series. I also thought that the violence and zombie-like descriptions of the "cranks" was a bit overdone. ( )
  silva_44 | Oct 15, 2014 |
Sun flares scorch the Earth. Disease takes over the minds of people until it destroys them. People are willing to do anything just to survive. Mark, Trina, Lana, Alec, and the others want to find out why. The Kill Order, a science fiction story about the Earth struggling to survive after sun flares nearly destroyed it, is the book that I read.
The Kill Order begins with a small group of people working together to attempt to survive in a desert-like world. Mark, Trina, Alec, Lana, and all the rest finally created a community that they could survive in. Then disaster struck. A Berg airplane landed and began firing off darts, killing most of them on contact. The darts were filled with a highly contagious virus that infected and killed those who didn't die upon the impact. Alec and Mark managed to kill most of the attackers and get inside the plane. The plane was then intentionally crashed by the pilot and the chaos continues. When the group meets up again, Mark, Trina, Alec, and Lana are the only survivors. They had to endure by using Mark’s intelligence, Alec’s bravery, Lana’s leadership, and Trina’s optimism to survive alone in the wilderness. They then discover a little girl who was shot by the dart, but lived and didn’t suffer any of the symptoms of the disease. They later discovered that she was immune to the disease known as “The Flare” and the group does everything they can to get her to safety. They believe that she could be the key to the survival of the human race.
The Kill Order was a book that I didn't want to put down. The author kept the suspense building throughout the entire story. He kept the reader wondering who, if anyone, would survive. The author also used vivid descriptions of the setting and the actions to make the reader feel like they were right there with the survivors on the scorched and destroyed Earth. Finally, the author made me feel connected to the characters. He showed the character’s attitude in their dialogue and through the actions that they make throughout the story. This is an amazing book for anyone who enjoys sci-fi or post-apocalyptic stories. ( )
  Jobr14 | Oct 13, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book sooo much and I recommend it to everyone out there!!!!!! ( )
  mallon | Oct 5, 2014 |
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 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Dashnerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Kathy Egan. I really miss you.
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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: (3.38)
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1.5 1
2 16
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3 44
3.5 9
4 42
4.5 4
5 22


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