Thursday 26 March 2020

Book Review - The Kill Order

Title: The Kill Order
Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner - Prequel
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: 14th August 2012
ISBN13: 9781909489431

When sun flares hit the Earth, intense heat, toxic radiation and flooding followed, wiping out much of the human race. Those who survived live in basic communities in the mountains, hunting for food. For Mark and his friends, surviving is difficult, and then an enemy arrives, infecting people with a highly contagious virus. Thousands die, and the virus is spreading. Worse, it's mutating, and people are going crazy. It's up to Mark and his friends to find the enemy - and a cure - before the Flare infects them all ... 

My Review
I really enjoyed the first book, and was interested in reading the other two in the series. They weren't my favourite books in the world but they kept me intrigued enough to want to keep going. I liked Thomas as a character and wanted to know how his story ended. BUt the series keeps you guessing all the way through about the backstory, I wanted to know where WICKED came from, how Thomas got involved - throughout the series he feels a sense of guilt and hints that he is responsible in the set up of the maze and possibly the disease, so I was hoping that the prequel would answer these questions.
This book did not answer any questions! It is set something like twenty years before the events of the maze runner and therefore doesn't have any of the characters we know from the main series. Instead we are introduced to Mark, Alec, Lana and Trina who are living in some sort of settlement in the mountains. It is set just after the Sun Flares hit, the world has shut down and thousands have died. Mark and his group are just settling into some sort of normality when a flying berg appears and wrenches apart their society. People start to get sick and they have to find out what's caused it and if it was deliberate. This seems to be the only link with the main series - the disease that makes everyone goes crazy has only just been released, so you get a bit of history from that. 
Because i didn't know the characters, i found it hard to care about them to start and i found the story quite slow to start with, and to be honest it didn't get much better. The story is split between Mark and the team trying to solve the mystery of the illness and work out their next steps, and flashbacks of Mark's experience of the day the sun flares hit the earth. 
I actually enjoyed the flashbacks more, they were more like the writing of the first Maze Runner book, more exciting and pacey. I found myself skimming the rest of the book to get to these parts. This could have been a mini spin off on it's own. 
This book wasn't anything like what I expected and to be honest I don't think it really added anything to the series. I ended up trying to finish it as quickly as I could, just so i could say that I had read the series. I keep thinking that I should just give up and move on but something keeps pulling me back to it. But if I were starting again, I would read the main trilogy but not bother with the prequel, it didn't add anything and just felt a bit flat to me. 
I've just found out that there is another book in the series, 'Fever Code' which sounds like it is Thomas' story and the missing backstory that I wanted - so I will try it to complete the set. But honestly, if you are reading the series, I think Kill Order is one you could skip. 

My Rating

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