Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{August 9, 2012}   {ARC Review} The Kill Order by James Dashner (The Maze Runner #0.5)

From Goodreads: 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.

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


I’m sorry to say that, while I liked this novel, I don’t think it did a great job of connecting to the series as a prequel.  Yes, it’s showing how the world was devastated by the sun flares, and how a virus was concocted that wiped out much of humanity, but even with the prologue and epilogue, I didn’t feel like the stories were really that intertwined, and so I found myself a little confused.

Mark and Trina are new characters to the series and their lives, along with Alec, Lana, and a few others, don’t really seem to have any association with the series as far as I can tell.  Had I known that going in, I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book, truth be told.  I was looking for something that would lead right up to the beginning of The Maze Runner, something that would not only explain the outbreak, but also the need for the maze in the first place, and this book isn’t it.  After I went back and re-read the prologue and epilogue, I guess I can somewhat see how the novels come together, but in retrospect, all the filler in-between, then, really wasn’t needed as I still don’t see it’s connection to the series.

Now, as I’ve only read the first book in the series, The Maze Runner, perhaps this prequel will make more sense once I’ve read the other books, but I’m not sure if that is true… I’ll have to read and see.  But either way, I have to say that I just wasn’t as impressed with this novel as I was with The Maze Runner.

Though there is a lot of action in this novel, I never really felt any kinship with any of the characters.  Their plight was terrible to face, but I actually found much of their ordeal to be repetitive and a bit dragged out.  I felt like the characters kept getting themselves into the same types of situations: running for their lives, then flying away, only to end up running for their lives, and then flying somewhere else.  And on top of that, a lot of the descriptions were a little too gross for me.  Had this been a horror novel, I wouldn’t have minded, but as it’s YA dystopian, I think it was a bit much.  In my opinion, the first time the reader was told what the virus did to humans gave more than enough description for us to fill in the blanks.  I didn’t need the constant repetition of bashing brains in, etc., to get the point.  But, that’s a personal preference, and some may really enjoy it as it did give the crazies with the virus a little more validity in terms of being very afraid of them.

Overall, I think the story was decent and I did like it, for the most part.  And, though I wished for more of a connection with the characters, it was worth the read. Three stars.

Random House Children’s Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on August 14, 2012.


I really enjoyed the Maze Runner, it’s the only book I read in the series too and while the intensity of The Kill Order sounds great I don’t think I’d be reading it until I finish the series. It sucks that you didn’t really connect with the characters and I was hoping it would give some given some closure to the unanswered questions I’ve heard that the sequels never satisfied.

Dovile says:

I’ve read somewhere on the net that The Maze Runner will be made into a movie, so this made me add the series to my wishlist. I’m always interested in books that get picked up to be made into movies, so I’ll try to read this one too just because it’s part of the series.

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