Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review - The Kill Order by James Dashner

The prequel to the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series.

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.

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 living 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.
Reading The Kill Order by James Dashner was interesting. I expected more like the other books in the series but was pleasantly surprised that I liked how completely different it was. I was also pleasantly surprised that even though I'd gotten so used to reading about Thomas and Newt and Minho and the rest of the crew, I didn't miss them at all going through this story.

The sun flares have come and damaged much of the earth. If the heat didn't kill you then more than likely the flooding would have. Still, there are always a few who survive. But not without the help of others. Mark and Trina were lucky when they ran in to the old bear of a military retiree, Alec. The trio, along with several others, set up sort of a little village in the mountains where they've been surviving since escaping after the sun flares and flooding.

One day, though, the Bergs arrive. And start firing darts at people from the sky. Not just any dart... but darts that we find out are full of a virus that makes you feel like you've got bugs crawling around in your brain. Ick. Some it affects immediately, some take a little bit longer to fall ill. But eventually... everyone is going to succumb.

Mark, Trina, Alec and co. travel out in search of answers and stumble across a lot more than they bargained for. Including a little girl they take under their protection. And then everything goes wrong. Some of their group is taken. Mark and Alec learn that they're infected and don't have much time. They need to rescue their friends and get them somewhere safe before they, too, fall to The Flare.

I will say, again, as with the other three novels in the series, I thought I had figured a certain character out. But I hadn't. Thought that maybe what he was going through was simply a figment of his own imagination.... I hate being wrong. Although I'm not sure why I expect any different when it comes to these books. I haven't been right about any of them.

I really liked reading this. I won't say I enjoyed it, because how can you enjoy a book with the subject matter being what it is. But it was a good read. It was full of action and excitement (maybe just a little TOO much action for poor Mark).

My favorite character would have to have been Alec. He was a secondary character to Mark, but he was fantastic. He was their rock. The one who could hold everything together when it all threatened to fall apart. The one you could always count on to get you out of a tight spot. Even if he wasn't quite sure how he'd accomplish it.

I loved reading the flashbacks as well. You get a better glimpse in to Mark's and Alec's character. I do believe that they're really the only characters in the story who are fleshed out enough to really invest in their outcome. I felt sorry for Trina, and DeeDee, and Alanna, etc... but losing or almost losing them didn't really bother me. For me it was all Mark and Alec. But mostly Alec, if I'm being completely honest.

The twist there at the end was something I DID expect (yay me! one right finally) about 3/4 of the way through the book. So I was super glad when it came out how I'd thought it would.

I've read through a lot of reviews on this novel and a lot of people seem to be disappointed in it. They thought they'd be getting more of Thomas and Teresa and co. But really? You can't judge a book based on expectations like that. If they'd read the back of the book or even past the prologue it would have been completely evident from the start. And I will say that I vehemently disagree with all the negative reviews that are based SOLELY on the lack of Thomas and his friends.

I would recommend this if you've read the Maze Runner series. But I would warn you that if you're just reading it to get answers to questions the other three books have raised... don't. If you want more of Thomas (even if it's just a little bit) read Thomas's First Memory of the Flare. Just go in to this expecting action and a bit of heartache and you'll be fine.

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