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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Kill Order
Having just put down The Death Cure, I turned quickly to The Kill Order with the anticipation of getting some answers making my knee shake with excitement. The first pages sent a thrill to me as I saw those few minutes before Thomas was sent up into The Glade ... but then the story took a journey to a place 13 years before.

This new story with new people (Alec,...
Published on August 14, 2012 by Lydia

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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The disappointment of the year
I have no idea what Dashner was thinking, but surely he forgot he was writing a prequel. This book has almost nothing to do with the series. I was so disappointed with it I forced myself to read it, muttering at Dashner the entire time.
Published on August 24, 2012 by Helen


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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Kill Order, August 14, 2012
Having just put down The Death Cure, I turned quickly to The Kill Order with the anticipation of getting some answers making my knee shake with excitement. The first pages sent a thrill to me as I saw those few minutes before Thomas was sent up into The Glade ... but then the story took a journey to a place 13 years before.

This new story with new people (Alec, Mark, Trina, and others) was something very familiar to me. Flashing back and forth from this new present to their past, James Dashner does what he does best: writes a racing, thrilling story and slowly placates his reader with tiny bits of information as he does so. And it was easy to like both Mark and Alec, so I gave in to enjoy the ride.

While it was frustrating to not get the history and understand more of certain elements of The Maze Runner trilogy (sorry if that's a spoiler folks - but I know a lot of people out there were very frustrated about knowing things), it was helpful to understand what Dashner did disclose and it pieced together a lot of pieces for me that were left undone by the ending of The Death Cure. Am I completely satisfied with what was given to me? No. And I honestly don't know if there will ever be answers given to us or if Dashner will continue to string us along. But I did enjoy a riveting, full-blown prequel that set up a world that was a place of complete confusion to me.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great prequel to The Maze Runner series, August 14, 2012
By 
First Impressions: I loved The Maze Runner series so much that I wanted to really love this book. I have a fascination with wanting to know what happens before I find myself in a story, and I love that Dashner has created a world that existed before the first pages of The Maze Runner were penned. I wanted to know more about the sickness infecting the world, the darkness that had enveloped a crazed planet. Well written as always, the opening pages of this book seemed like they were going to answer a lot of my questions. But, it didn't. I will go into that more later.

First 50 Pages: Besides the brief prologue, there is not too much that is familiar about The Kill Order. You are introduced to a new group of characters fighting a completely different battle. What this book does well, and instantly, is set up the post solar flare world. Everything changes on earth when a solar flare hits and nearly destroys everything. What is left are small settlements and resilient people. That is, until the ships come from the sky and reign a new kind of terror on the flare survivors. Instead of being their salvation, the giant ships sends Mark, Alec, Trina and Lana on a new, horrifying journey.

Characters & Plot: At first, I was a little disappointed that more of the story was not going to be dedicated to the characters I had met in the Maze Runner series. I wanted to know more of their story, for sure. But, Dashner created a whole group of characters that are tough, hardened and yet somehow still vulnerable. Mark, the main character, goes through every emotion possible in the pages of this story. He is hopeful, playful, angry, lost, scared and brave all at once. Alec is a strong support, leader and guide as they try and find their friends and, in the process, discover the dark truth of the disease that is wiping out people and making them go mad.

The story is dark, violent and more than a little disturbing. I found myself repulsed and disgusted on more than one occasion, that's for sure. There is a lot of exposition in this one, and a lot of major battles with people who do not really understand what has happened to them. Overall, the plot is well done from beginning to end, but I was shocked at just how dark and violent it really was!

Final Thoughts: This was not the book I expected it to be. I guess I don't really know what I was expecting. I think I was thinking this would be more of an immediate prequel to the Maze Runner series, but instead it takes a pretty big step back in time and talks a lot more about the origins of the disease flare and the solar flare that nearly destroyed the world. The Kill Order is a really good book, and fits the world of the rest of the series well. I do wonder, however, how new readers to the series will take to this book, especially if they read this as the first book in the series instead of a new part of the story after reading the rest of the books. I would recommend it, although not while eating because it's definitely violent!
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The disappointment of the year, August 24, 2012
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I have no idea what Dashner was thinking, but surely he forgot he was writing a prequel. This book has almost nothing to do with the series. I was so disappointed with it I forced myself to read it, muttering at Dashner the entire time.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Prequel to what?, September 9, 2012
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This was not a prequel in any way to the original series. Its a bunch of 'run, fight, run' and then at the very end he just threw in a quick reference to one of the original characters. (Almost as if he forgot this was supposed to tie them together!) It was obvious that Deedee was Theresa, but no mention of Thomas until the very end and never did they put those two together. I kept waiting for the story to turn towards the storyline but it never did. It would be like making the prequels to Star wars without Darth Vader ever being mentioned.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ugh James Dashner, October 18, 2012
WARNING: Some spoilers here from the trilogy and a few details from this book too:

Just read The Kill Order and I totally agree that the violence/fighting was a bit over the top. I've read other reviews that call it "real" and "honest" but, I struggle to understand the "real and honest" physiology that enables an under-nourished kid and old man on the brink of exhaustion to keep fighting and functioning the way Mark and Alec do after they get their behinds kicked all over the place time and time again. I think I'd probably be dead after fight number one. That said, I've never been in a fight so, I guess I don't know. Maybe I would keep going like a zombified Energizer bunny after having my vital organs crushed by repeated punches and kicks, my limbs smashed in doors and pulled out of socket after hanging on to an aircraft in mid flight, and my head consistently bashed in by pieces of metal and other blunt objects. I have a student who missed three days of school because he got a concussion heading a soccer ball. He still can't look at a computer screen nevermind get into an all out death match fight with a gaggle of cranked out zombies. He would never survive in dystopia.

My having never been in a physical altercation of any kind had another downside as I read The Kill Order. I had a super hard time visualizing what was happening in the fight scenes. I couldn't always figure out whose fist was hitting what and which body parts were swinging around to where. There was one scene where someone hit Mark who I was sure had already been killed. It was all pretty much a gory, violent blur that I skimmed through until I got to the part where someone died, passed out, or ran away.

***POSSIBLE SPOILERS FROM HERE ON***
I was also left really unsatisfied with the account of what happened in the year after the flare; I wanted more details about how they made it to Ashville and what everyone elses' story was. How did so many people survive and how did they make it to the camps? The Thomas and Teresa part seemed confusing too. Why did Dashner bother including the tidbits he did about them (assuming that's who the epilogue was about . . .) I have a theory about who Deedee is but, then again who cares if we don't get a sequel/prequel to Kill Order.

And lastly, I guess I am just a little confused about the Kill Order itself. Why did the Post Flare Coalition decide it was necessary? It seemed to me like folks were just sort of plugging along in small settlements, eating food they found in old factories, hunting, keeping cool in the shade and mud huts or whatever. Were there really soooo many people in those little settlements being self-reliant and not bothering anyone else that Earth's resources were being depleted? By the sounds of it, New York City was pretty well wiped out. That's like 10 million people GONE right there! Where are all of these resource depleters and what resources were they depleting? I didn't even realize any of the settlements knew about the other settlements near-by. Why didn't they have socials or dances with each other or something fun!? Dashner made it sound like Mark's peeps were there all alone, but according to the Post Flare folks, there were tons of settlements all over Appalachia and the world?! I'm just not sure I buy that . . .

All in all, I liked The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials ok. I tolerated the Death Cure because it was the last in the series and I was totally underwhelmed there. I probably just should have moved right on past this one but, it just looked so good and I really did wonder about WICKED and was always confused about what the pre-teen darlings T & T actually did before they got old and went into the maze. But Kill Order was sort of lame. If you love gore and fight scenes, enjoy obsessing about what supplies you may want to stock up on or skills you'd like to hone before the apocalypse, or if you're a gambler and are betting that Dashner is going to write a pre-prequel or sequel prequel or whatever and actually answer some of the questions you had after reading the Maze Runner books or answer all of the new ones that popped up after Kill Order, than this book's for you.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Super Disappointing, September 4, 2012
I read the Maze Runner trilogy and felt very invested in Theresa and Thomas. I was excited to read the prequel and find out who the creators were, how WICKED started, how Thomas and Theresa were involved with creating the maze, the glade, all that. The Kill Order had almost nothing in it about Theresa and Thomas (except the part about the little girl Deedee, who I didn't even realize was little Theresa until I read it in another Amazon review). The Kill Order was all about a new set of characters that I didn't care about, and I kept waiting for the part with them to end so we could get back to the important stuff about Thomas and Theresa, which never came. This book didn't answer any of the questions that I had from the first three books and I was very disappointed when I finished it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read...but too far off to be a Prequel, August 29, 2012
The only references to the Maze Runner trilogy characters can be found in the Prologue and Epilogue of this book. Thats it! The story gives back ground on what happened to the earth - but doesn't answer the questions you'd expect from a prequel! The story is 20% relationships 80% fighting zombies - well written and descriptive but too much fighting for me. Maybe the prequel has a book 2 or 3 to give the readers what we were looking for. OK book as a stand alone and hopefully it is a trilogy too!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, September 15, 2012
Let me start by staying that I love the Maze Runner series! I thought it was an interesting concept and gave a bit more of a "boyish" spin on the dystopian thing. So I was quite excited when I heard that there would be a prequel. I knew that some details about how this had all come to be had been revealed in the trilogy, but I figured it would be interesting to see it al play out. Unfortunately, I found this book downright boring at times. I wasn't attached the the characters. There was no real sense of mystery because you knew from the beginning pretty much everything. And most of the book was spent with the characters running away from zombies. The book had so much potential, but in the middle I found myself starting to skim just wanting to see how it ended. There was just little meat in the middle. I wish I had just skipped this one and stuck with the original trilogy.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Run and fight, August 23, 2012
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Run, fight infected zombies, repeat, repeat and repeat again. While we do get some of the back story, most of the book is recurrent "barely made it" escapes that seem mainly there to give the book enough length to justify buying it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing.. but well written book, August 24, 2012
By 
N. Kovach (Dallas, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Okay, so it is obvious that the book is a prequel to the Maze Runner Trilogy but.. I was a bit taken back at how little of the book actually discusses the history of Thomas/Teresa. It was interesting to hear how horrible everything was after the Solar Flares and the new characters were interesting.. but..

(Spoiler alert)

Here is my main gripe with the book. First, I was never very keen on the whole Zombie / madness aspect of "the Scorch Trials", so that might tell you why I didn't like this book as much. I really couldn't help but laugh at how the virus was distributed.. shooting Darts? And.. then.. the reality of having too many people with not enough resources was fine but it really seemed kind of silly that they would decide to kill everyone off humanely with a brain destroying virus?

Again, please don't read any further if you don't want to spoil the book but I got through about 95% of the book and just threw my arms up in the air when it became clear they weren't going to discuss Thomas or any of the other main characters from the main book. Yes, I know they would have just been little kids but they never explained the relationship with Theresa and Thomas (how did they learn to do telepathy?). I would have been okay with 50% of the book explaining where the virus came from but seriously.. why not spend a little time talking about the families who gave their kids to the cause of finding a cure for the disease?

Sorry, I was almost expecting there would be a trilogy of books for the prequel because it just didn't go far enough for me. And, to be honest, if I had not read another review on Amazon explaining that DeeDee was actually Teresa I would never have caught that twist. Throw me a bone.. I kept thinking that little girl was Teresa but it never clearly stated that anywhere (perhaps in book 3?)

I do feel bad giving it such a bad rating because it was quite entertaining (if you didn't read the first 3 books). It just seemed a bit too horrific at times and disturbing with all the Zombie business. It seemed like the book was preparing to be an action movie.. after the 10th fight scene.

Regardless, I really enjoyed all the first 3 books, so I had to read it.. just to see. It didn't quite go where I wanted it to go.. but I guess that is the author's decision.
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The Kill Order (Maze Runner, Prequel) (The Maze Runner Series)
The Kill Order (Maze Runner, Prequel) (The Maze Runner Series) by James Dashner (Paperback - January 7, 2014)
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