I love reading like a Koala loves eating eucalyptus

The Kill Order by James Dashner

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The Kill Order is a prequel to the Maze Runner series.  The series follows Thomas as he goes through a series of trials meant to map his brain in an attempt to find a cure for a disease called the Flare.  The Kill Order  provides some insight into how the Flare came to be an issue and what led up to it.  This book follows a new set of characters; mainly Mark, Trina, Alec and Lana.  This group, along with a few others, was able to survive the solar flares that wiped out most of the world.  After holing up in an office building and living on vending machine food for weeks, they are able to leave New York City on a boat and head for make shift villages that there are rumors about.

They live pretty well in one of these villages until a berg (future flying craft) appears overhead and starts shooting at the people living there.  They aren’t shooting bullets though, instead darts are being shot and people are dropping like flies.  Mark and Alec learn that the darts contain an extremely deadly disease.  Those shot by the darts die quickly, but the disease is very contagious.  Those who took care of the original casualties catch the disease and die much more slowly.  This process continues on making the disease rampant.  The main characteristic of the disease is that it eats away at the brain and drives people crazy.  Some describe it as if there is something living in their brain, others just completely change in character and go crazy.  They start trying to kill people and attack others.  Lots of weird stuff happens because of the disease.  Mark and Alec get separated from Lana and Trina and their main goal becomes getting back to them especially after learning that a group of crazies has taken them.

Through Mark and Alec, the reader is able to learn that the disease is not acting as was planned by those who released it.  It was supposed to diminish its effects after the first victim rather than be able to continue its killing spree.  The original plans were to release the Flare to eliminate some of the surviving population because there are not enough resources available to sustain everyone.

Alec and Mark are not able to save Lana from the attacks of the crazies.  They are able to rescue Trina and Deedee (a very young girl who appears to be immune), although Trina is not able to remember them.  Eventually it becomes clear that Mark, Alec, and Trina are all suffering from symptoms of the disease.  They are able to send Deedee to the headquarters of the people who made this plan in hopes that they will be able to find a cure.

The prologue and epilogue of The Kill Order help to connect the book even more solidly to the rest of the series.  The prologue is a glimpse at what happened with Thomas and Teresa just prior to them entering the Glade.  The epilogue is when Thomas is taken from his family in order to be used for the Glade experiment.

I really enjoyed this book and got pretty into reading it.  The only thing that I think would make it better would be a stronger connection between the characters in this book and the rest of the series.  Thomas’ mother remains nameless so there is no way of knowing if she is connected to anyone else in the book.  While it answers a lot of questions about what led to the situation on earth, it almost creates more questions about how the kids were selected for the experiment.  I just wanted a little more about the characters from the rest of the series rather than just the situation in general.


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