I was lucky enough to get an ARC (advance reader’s copy) of the prequel to The Maze Runner series, The Kill Order. The book comes out on August 14, 2012. Well, this is a prequel to in every sense of the word, and the book focuses on pretty much a whole new set of people.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had just finished reading the Maze Runner series, so of course my first thoughts were that this was going to be how Thomas and Teresa were involved, maybe hoping for a deeper insight to what their relationship was like before they had the swipe done on them and went into the Maze themselves.
Instead, what we get is something very intriguing and more into how the whole Flare was started, which actually makes more sense to write about in the deeper scope of things. The Maze Runner series was never about a love triangle anyway, and James Dashner has made it so that we are keen to remember that with this story.
The story itself is amazing. We are taken back to when the sun flares hit earth and the recent events after. And we get to see it through the eyes of a teen named Mark.
Let me just say that I already thought James Dashner’s vision of the heat-scorched earth and the people infected with the Flare was bad enough in the original series. But in this book, it just seems much more visceral and unfortunately, realistically terrifying, especially when you realize the “how” and “why” things happened.
Even though the results of natural catastrophes are undeniably scary, the thought that, were such things as sun flares hitting earth were to happen to the extent described in this book, people’s instinct to survive would cause perverse rationalizations for their actions is the true terror that Dashner has us venture into.
It is something that the author had already revealed in the original series, but it has definitely been brought more into light in this book as well.
I wasn’t sure if I could feel for the characters as much as I felt for the ones in the original trilogy, but it seems that Dashner made it a point to condense the amount of people to focus on so you could understand them and feel for them – the anger, heartache, pain, frustration, confusion, fear, sadness – you feel it all.
The thing about this book is that it doesn’t stop. You really hardly have time to rest from one chapter to the next and you just wish it would. But I guess that’s Dashner’s goal, to allow you to really get an idea of what it’s like to experience Mark’s world. There were many times where I just wanted to hug Mark and let him laugh and play and just have fun.
Now, I guess it’s labeled for Young Adult readers probably because of the fact that it’s from a teen’s POV, but the story and the actions in here are very adult in its violence and its tone, more than I thought of in the original trilogy. Still, it’s a great read and definitely makes you think, teens and adults alike.
When it comes out, I highly recommend you getting your hands on a copy ASAP, but of course, only after you’ve read The Maze Runner series first.
If you haven’t pre-ordered The Kill Order yet, you can do so here.