Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Kill Order by James Dashner


Title: The Kill Order (Prequel to the Maze Runner Series)
Author: James Dashner
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Teen Science Fiction
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: Graphic violence associate to an apocalyptic event
Premise: "Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.

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 living from 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 (King County Library System).
Opinions: I have mixed feelings about this prequel book to the Maze Runner series, so I will lay my thoughts out and let you determine whether this read is up your alley or not. 

James Dashner continues to impress me with his imagination, creativity, and intriguing characters. I loved this book most for his characters.  Each one of the major individuals that we get to know are three dimensional--showing not only their strengths, but their weaknesses and how they are affected by what is going on around them. I was fascinated by the glimpses into their personal history and the choices they make amidst a massive destructive force.  The overall premise of the story also kept me reading to where I had a hard time putting it down, despite some of the more horrific scenes.

My greatest difficulty with this book wasn't the way it was written, but my own internal overactive imagination and inability to handle incredibly dark and violent scenes. This story is about the earth being faced with the side effects of solar flares, and that thought alone is gruesome to me.  Then you add in a personal decision by those who survived as to how to make it through the recovery with very little resources.  And then how that choice affects the rest of humanity.  The overall plot provides a great baseline for moral and ethical discussion.  However, as I followed the characters along their journey through apocalyptic times the choices they had to make, and their subsequent consequences, were often more than I could personally handle.

Overall, I really liked this book, but there were several times I put it down unsure if I could handle some of the graphic scenes.  But then again, I still picked it up and finished it in its entirety and when I closed its covers I came away with the feeling (having read the Maze Runner series in its entirety) of "That makes sense." 

So the choice is yours, but I do recommend that parents of young teens who want to read this take the opportunity to either read along with their kids or to read it first to see if you are comfortable with what is shown.. 

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