With the same compelling writing that made James Dashner’s “Maze Runner” such a success, “The Kill Order” takes the reader back to the terrifying time where sun flares destroyed the earth and threatened the lives of the remaining population. Skin hanging off the body, radiation, guns that vaporize people, and an edict to destroy a portion of the population to save others, are only some of the things packed into “The Kill Order.” I anticipated that the book would explain how the maze in “The Maze Runner” came into existence and how the world collapsed. Dashner put together an excellent story of the end of the world, complete with a tsunami, radiation, solar flares, and human attacks. What the book did not do was explain anything associated with WICKED, or the maze. In that sense, the book was a little disappointing.
In this adventure, the reader follows Mark and Alec when they are ambushed by a mysterious flying saucer, which attacks their village. When Alec and Mark find themselves on the contraption, they are suddenly forced to battle strangers and discover the cause of the attack. After their friends are abducted by a weird group of sun worshipers, they risk everything to save them. While the book’s very fast pace catapulted me through the story, it made it difficult to really connect with the characters, who never seemed to fully develop. I particularly enjoyed Mark’s flashbacks to when the sun flares first struck the earth and how he narrowly reached the surface from the subway. Of course, right after reading this, I was in the BART system in San Francisco and the entire time I was hoping sun flares wouldn’t strike the earth! Ha! It was also interesting to read how people helped each other and came together during the disaster. I only hope there is someone like Alec around to help me if that happened!
I wouldn’t have felt complete if I hadn’t read this prequel to the main series, and anyone who loved “The Maze Runner” wouldn’t want to miss this book either. Based on this story, I expect another installation to the series to come out soon.