Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DNF Review: The Kill Order

by James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner 0.5
Hardcover, 327 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Age Recommendation: Young Adult

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

I went into The Kill Order expecting to love it. I let my brother pick it up first (I was in the middle of a few other books at the time) and he really enjoyed it. I dove into the first couple of chapters, and, although I liked what I was reading, I had to put it down. And then I didn't feel like picking it back up. At first, I thought it was too much despair and dystopia to read The Kill Order and Insurgent at the same time (which I was), but once I finished Insurgent, I still hesitated to pick it up every night. I found myself turning to audiobooks or choosing to read only a chapter or two in a sitting. I eventually came to realize that even by itself, there was just too much doom and death and not nearly enough hope to keep me reading. I kept at it for about two weeks nevertheless, but even after that extraordinary amount of time for a book only 327 pages long, I only managed to make it a little past halfway.

Now that I'm looking back, I kind of don't get why I didn't like it. I loved the Maze Runner trilogy, even the crazy world-is-falling-apart Death Cure ("so mindblowing that I couldn't get my thoughts together enough to write a coherent review"). I just couldn't connect to the characters and get myself to care. Even at halfway it seemed pretty obvious that everyone was going to die and the world was going fall apart even more than it already had. And if that was all, why was I bothering to struggle thorough it? The story seemed so hopeless. There was no redeeming glimmer of light for me to cling onto and cheer the characters toward.

BUT if you think you would like The Kill Order, do not let this review dissuade you from reading it! As I said, my brother (who, it should be noted, was far less excited than I) loved it, and I am sure that in a different frame of mind, I would have liked it just as much. For now, however, I will reluctantly put The Kill Order aside.

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