Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: The Kill Order - James Dashner

The Kill Order by James Dashner
Series: The Maze Rummer #4
Genre: YA, post-apocalyptic
Published on August 14, 2012
Published by Delacorte Books
Pages: 327
Read From: 3.18.13 - 3.21.13

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and destroyed the world mankind took for granted. 
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 from the 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.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? It’s all right. Like the other covers in this series, it doesn’t do anything for me. The title would have peeked my interest if I hadn’t already read the series, but the cover definitely wouldn’t have. It’s just kind of boring.

Characters: I’m one of those rare people who actually cared about Thomas in The Maze Runner; I didn’t find him flat or annoying and useless. I felt sorry for him, he had a good personality, and he did his best in the circumstances. But the protagonist for The Kill Order - Mark - I just didn’t care. My feelings were, for all of the characters, lukewarm: I didn’t dislike them, I didn’t like them, and I didn’t care what happened to them. The latter feeling might be due to the fact that I knew the story couldn’t have a happy ending, but more on that later. There weren’t even any side characters to get attached to because the Author killed them off too quickly for them to even become characters.

The Romance: This Author has never spent a great deal of time focused on romance. Mark and Trina have a thing for each other, but because I didn’t care about either of them, I didn’t care about their attachment.

Plot: Sun flares have baked the Earth to a inhospitable wasteland. Resources are scarce, people have turned against each other in a war for survival, and now a deadly virus has broken out. Mark, Trina, and Alec are trekking their way to what they hope is a safe haven, but deadly secrets await them along the way. Sounds rather exciting, but really, there isn’t much that happens. There is a lot of action, as Mark and Alec fight their way past virus-infected crazy people, and it gets super repetitive. Seriously, how many times can they get surprise-attacked; how many times can Mark make a stupid move that almost causes him to lose the fight; how many times can he almost fall out of the Berg’s window? There isn’t a big revelation of secrets, though The Kill Order did confirm a lot of things I suspected in The Death Cure (why they were measuring brain patterns. The book doesn’t get specific, but the idea makes a bit more sense. And more importantly, how did the Flare come to be in the first place). But it’s a pretty basic storyline, and not a whole lot happens. At times, it’s kind of boring.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: The same as the others: action-packed. There’s no annoying Glader slang in this one, which was rather nice, and his action sequences, while tiresome, are well written and easy to follow. There’s not a lot of character development, but his books have always been more plot-driven. Still, it would have been nice to have some.

Content: The violence isn’t as meaty as in previous ones, since a lot of the crazy people aren’t nearly as far gone as the Cranks in the other books. Still, there’s some rather bloody moments that made my stomach turn a bit.

Conclusion: Just a warning: don’t expect it to be happy. About halfway through the book, I knew how it would end, but since I didn’t get attached to any of the characters, I didn’t get choked up at all. As a prequel, The Kill Order does pretty much what it should: it gives background and explains a few things. I definitely would not read it without reading the other three first, otherwise it will ruin the mystery of the other books, and it might put you off the series entirely, simply because it’s rather slow and doesn’t have any really good characters. But it’s what I was expecting, so I wasn’t disappointed.

Recommended Audience: Guy-read, sixteen-and-up, post-apocalyptic fans.

Others in This Series:
1)The Maze Runner
2)The Scorch Trials
3)The Death Cure
4)The Kill Order

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