05. September 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocalyptic, Courtney, Teen Books

The Kill Order (Maze Runner prequel) by James Dashner, read by Courtney, on 08/26/2012

OK. There were a few things I really wanted from this book. Namely, answers that I had left over from the first three books. I knew this was a prequel, but I had no idea where Dashner would pick up the storyline. I had *hoped* that it would involve Tom and Teresa’s work with WICKED prior to the maze. But, with the exception of the introduction, Teresa is nowhere to be found and Tom is only mentioned one more time in the entire book. Instead, it focuses on Mark, a teenaged boy who has become separated from his family in the aftermath of the solar flares, and Alec, a grizzled retired soldier-type, who leads Mark and several others to safety.
So there they are, a group of folks living in the Appalachian Mountains, minding their own business, when an airship lands nearby. The occupants of the airship begin shooting darts at the people in the settlement. Many of those hit die shortly after. Others take days to die. One thing is certain: if anyone is to survive, Mark and Alec are going to need to track down the source of the mysterious airship in the hopes that it can lead them to a cure.
So, if you’ve read the Maze Runner series, you very likely have a good idea of what’s in those darts. And really, this incident is about the only thing that explains any of the state of affairs in the rest of the series. I really wanted more world-building out of this series. The first two books were so good, mainly because they created so many intriguing questions. These last two books though…they just fall flat in spite of all the action. Fans of action will be pleased to note that this installment has it in spades. Nearly every chapter includes a near-death fight or daring escape, so it moves quickly. If it weren’t for the mentions of a few “Maze Runner”-specific lingo (i.e. “Bergs”, “Flat trans”, etc.), I might have even forgotten this was part of the series. In that sense, Kill Order can stand alone. It’s just that there was so much promise at the beginning of this series that it’s hard not to be a little disappointed when the ending/prequel doesn’t meet expectations.

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