Sunday, September 7, 2014

"We need to be cautious and smart and ruthless"

The Killer Order (James Dashner) review
The before!
On my recent trip to Turkey, I finally finished the Maze Runner trilogy by beststelling author James Dashner. My Maze-crazed sister Margot had also brought The Kill Order (2012), a prequel to the series, so I decided to check that one out, too. I'm always a bit skeptical about prequels - oftentimes they're just obvious attempts at milking the success of something - but Margot (and Marlon, and Sarah) assured me my reservations were unwarranted. 

Now, let's dive into the plot.

The Maze is still 13 years away. New York City is hit by solar flares, and to improve their odds of survival, students Mark and Trina team up with soldier Mark, his co-worker nurse Lana and the rest of their group. Fleeing New York will prove to be extremely difficult and traumatizing, but the foursome does manage to escape and has appeared to have settled in a small village in North Carolina a year later. Until the village is attacked by Bergs, that is. The villagers are shot at with darts, which Mark & Co. later realize are filled with a deadly virus. As our friends go looking for a safe haven, things get pretty crazy.

Damn you, James Dashner!

I was hoping to learn more about Thomas and Terasa and perhaps have some still-lingering questions answered, but Dashner decides to go a completely different route. Instead of hacking into the meat still left on the Maze Runner bone, he decides to introduce us to new people and focus on the origin of the disease. Sure, there's the prologue and the epilogue to chew on, but other than that, no word on the Gladers whatsoever. In true James Dashner fashion, The Kill Order is still an action-packed tension fest likely to appease fans of the original trilogy.

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