The Kill Order (The Maze Runner #0.5) – James Dashner

The Kill Order (The Maze Runner #0.5) – James DashnerTitle: The Kill Order (The Maze Runner #0.5) by James Dashner
Publishing Info: August 14, 2012 by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 23, 2012 (DNF)
Related Posts: The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2), The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3)

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.


Oh brother. I should have just quit while I was ahead. I was pretty disappointed with the last book in the trilogy and I had heard that a lot of people hadn’t really liked THE KILL ORDER… so why did I feel the need to try it?

There was nothing “wrong” with it per se, but I didn’t really think it had any connection to The Maze Runner series. Here we just see how the Flare came to be and what happened immediately after but I wanted the prequel to give some more answers, and that was my first mistake. I was left wanted more answers after the third book and I think deep down I was hoping this prequel was going to give me that and I really should have known better!

THE KILL ORDER follows a completely separate set of characters, none of which actually appear in The Maze Runner trilogy directly in any way (although I did read that apparently people who bought the B&N copies got more info about DeeDee….. but why not share that with everyone? I think that would redeem the book a little bit, don’t you think??). I was just really frustrated that I had to follow these characters. I don’t know them. They’re not the ones I invested my time in and none of them make an appearance in the trilogy to tie it all back together.

Then there was the fact that I was just tired of hearing about the Flare. Ok, so TKO follows the events directly after the sun flares happen. But why did this story need to be told if it didn’t directly link into TMR? I’m tired of the crazy almost zombie-like people. It was kind of annoying and mindless. I guess that was a plot point that just wasn’t meant for me (although somehow I didn’t mind it one bit in THE SCORCH TRIALS)…

character_breakdown1Mark // Thomas 2.0 anyone? I felt like he was so many different pieces of Thomas, put into another character, except this character was more clingy, whinier, and more argumentative. I couldn’t stand him.
Trina // I don’t like the name Trina. So there was that. Sorry, but I have this weird thing where if I don’t like the character’s name, it’s hard for me to get on board with them… I was annoyed by her too and she didn’t seem to serve a purpose except to be an annoying love interest for Mark. And she reminded me too much of Brenda. Who I hated.
The characters in general // I was kind of annoyed by everyone. I felt like too many of the characters were carbon copies of the the actual characters in TMR series, and then aside from that, they didn’t have any depth. I felt like Dashner chose one thing about the character and then latched onto it and made it the most defining thing about them… but they didn’t have anything else going for them. They didn’t grow, they didn’t change, they didn’t do anything except be who they were and I felt like they were all really predictable.



I just didn’t feel like this one was worth finishing. I was actively turned off by it, unfortunately, and the fact that I didn’t really seem to coincide with the actual story line of the rest of the series made it feel kind of pointless…



Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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7 thoughts on “The Kill Order (The Maze Runner #0.5) – James Dashner

  1. Trenton Barnes

    This book was good to read if it had not killed 4 out of the 5 main characters, this was just as disappointing as THE DEATH CURE. But if I had not read the first part of the series – THE MAZE RUNNER, THE SCORCH TRIALS, THE DEATH CURE – then this would have been a very good book.

  2. Kathy

    Same here! I did not like this book. This, also, is not one of my favorite series. The first book was really good and promising but it went downhill beginning with book 2

  3. acps927

    So I checked out this review after seeing it linked in your recap and this made me smile: “And she reminded me too much of Brenda. Who I hated.” I hated Brenda too! So glad I wasn’t alone there. What’s sad is I remember so little about the characters from the prequel though. I do remember NOT enjoying the book though.

  4. ocdreader

    I just found the last two books in that trilogy at a used book store, now to get my hands on The Maze Runner! Sounds like I can skip this one 🙂

  5. tigerlilyrachel

    Aww, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like it! I remember reading this one, but I can’t actually remember what I thought of it lol. I think when I read it, I viewed it as a completely different story because I couldn’t remember what happened in the other three books (terrible memory), which definitely helped make it seem better. I did have the same problems with characterization. Everyone seemed pretty flat and definitely reminded me of the characters in TMR trilogy, which was disappointing.

    I think overall, I thought it was a good story, but I wasn’t blown away or anything.

    1. Brittany

      I can agree with that! The story was just good and if I didn’t have a connected to TMR I didn’t see why I should read it. I just got too frustrated and said “That’s enough!” haha

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