Book: The Kill Order

"The Kill Order"

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 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.

I thought there would be more to The Kill Order than what we get, but for what it’s worth, it’s a good book–just don’t expect too much.

The Maze Runner is one of the best novels I’ve read recently, but I thought the sequel and the finale didn’t live up to the promise of the trilogy’s premise. Especially since the source of all the discord and drama barely gets touched upon. So I was happy that there was The Kill Order to fill in the blanks.

Unfortunately–or fortunately, depending on how you look at it–James Dashner focuses on human interaction instead of conspiracies. And so our supposed answer, The Kill Order, to the questions left behind by The Maze Runner trilogy falls short of actually answering questions. What we’re left with, after the trials and misadventures we take in this prequel, are suppositions of what might have happened in between the end of this book, and the beginning of The Maze Runner.

Now, I’ve always harped about how character development is more important than original twists and turns. And if we’re judging The Kill Order by character development alone, it hits full marks. But take the book out of the its environment, take The Maze Runner trilogy out of the equation, and you get a story about a boy who would do anything to save the girl he loves. It’s nothing special. And set in the background of a Post-Flare world, you would have no idea what was going on unless you’ve already read the trilogy that spawned this prequel.

While character development is important, I think it’s also important for a prequel to be able to stand apart from its series–especially if it’s populated by unknown characters, and happens before the events of the series that warranted it.

So would I recommend The Kill Order? Sure. If you’re already a fan of The Maze Runner trilogy–or, at the very least, have already read the series. If you haven’t, you might want to skip this one until after you have done so.

Of course, as I always say, all these are just my thoughts. Feel free to browse the ‘net to find what other people have to say about the book:
I’d So Rather Be Reading
Blog Critics
My Books. My Life.

Book: Plague

"Plague"

A highly contagious, fatal illness is spreading at an alarming rate, while sinister, preadtory insects terrorize Perdido Beach. Sam, Astrid, Diana, and Caine are plagued by a growing doubt that they’ll escape–or even survive–life in the FAYZ. With so much turmoil surrounding them, what desperate choices will they make when it comes to saving themselves and those they love?

I hated it for the most part. And then things picked up near the end–and now, well, the excerpt for the fifth book has me looking forward to reading Fear. But that doesn’t change the way I feel about the Gone series–and this book in particular.

I feel like the premise and the promise of the series went to waste. Of course, not being the writer, I could be off-mark and this might be what author Michael Grant had in mind from the moment he started writing the first book. I must say though, this is not where I thought the book would go.

My chagrin remains with the Darkness. Now on the fourth book, this villain just feels so out of touch with the whole community aspect of the series. It does play a bigger role this time round though, and it does manage to push the action a little fast–but I still can’t feel any threat. Especially since we have Little Pete, a character who isn’t just invincible–he can make anything appear and disappear at will. He’s that powerful.

And at this point, I’ve completely lost my empathy for any of the lead characters. The only one I’m left rooting for, from the original book, are Lana and Edilio. Major characters in their own way, but not really the focus of the story.

That brings me to another complain: while Gone had a great handle on the ensemble cast of characteres, author Michael Grant seemed to have lost that grasp in the succeeding books. It’s weakest with Lies, but Plague is barely any better.

It’s a bad thing when I’m cheering on the villain to kill characters, just so the story could have a better focus.

On the plus side, Plague finally does move the plot along with regards to the barrier that surrounds the FAYZ. And that’s the only good thing I can say about this book.

Of course, I might just be a cynical and jaded old geezer. Other people have other opinions. Let’s check those out:
Overflowing Heart Reviews
Icey Books
Living in Fiction