BOOK REVIEW: The Kill Order – by James Dashner

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 Title: The Kill Order
(The Maze Runner #0.5)
Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: August 14th 2012
Finished reading: October 2nd 2015
Pages: 327

Rating 2,5qqq

“Scared. That’s good. A fine soldier is always scared. Makes you normal. It’s how you respond to it that makes or breaks you.”

myrambles1review

Those who follow my blog will know by now I was mostly underwhelmed by The Maze Runner series. Since I already owned a copy of The Kill Order and I was promised it was actually better than the third book, I decided to just read this prequel story so I could consider the series finished. While The Kill Order was slightly better than The Death Cure and I was surprised the annoying slang of the main series was nowhere to be found, I cannot say I was impressed by this particular story by James Dashner either. It doesn’t really have a connection with the main series and it’s mostly about a bunch of people trying to survive in the forest after the world went crazy. Sure, it also tells about how the Flare disease first appeared and why WICKED eventually had to be created in the future, but if you ask me it’s not really necessary to read The Kill Order in order to understand what happened in the rest of the books. My verdict? Don’t read this one unless you really loved the series and enjoy dystopian stories in general.

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It all started long before WICKED was formed and the Glade was built, when sun flares hit the earth and the world turned into a disaster zone. A part of the population was able to survive the sun flares, and Mark and Trina are among them. They were able to escape the city with the help of Lana and Alec, two ex-soldiers, and are now living in a community in the forest. But it turns out that the sun flares were only the beginning… A new disease that drives people crazy is quickly spreading across the eastern United States and the origin of it is quite suspicious. Even worse, the disease seems to be mutating… They are determined to stay alive, but will they be able to win against this invisible enemy?

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The Kill Order is a quick read and I was positively surprised that James Dashner didn’t use the annoying slang that is so typical in the main series. Still, I wasn’t really convinced by the story. The Kill Order is mostly about a bunch of characters trying to survive in the forest after the sun flares and there isn’t really a lot of plot development or real connection to the main series. I guess it means you won’t have to worry about spoilers and The Kill Order can be read either before or after the series, but I’m not sure it’s actually worth reading…

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WWW Wednesdays #59 – October 7th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern earlier this week and so far I’m really enjoying this read. Hopefully it stays this way! I’ve also decided to start reading my last pending ARC Firebolt by Adrienne Woods yesterday evening… It’s been a while since I’ve read stories with dragons and so far it looks promising.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Five finished titles this week… Looks like I’m getting back on track!
* Americosis Vol. 2 by Haydn Wilks was a novella full of chaos and madness I was able to finish the same day I posted my last WWW.
* I then finished The Kill Order by James Dashner, which means I can finally leave The Maze Runner series behind… I can’t say I was impressed by this prequel story either.
* Before starting with my creepy reads, I decided to read An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green first. It’s a quick and entertaining feel-good story, although nothing mindblowing. The teenage dialogues are very well done like always.
* My first creepy read of the month was Asylum by Madeleine Roux, a story with just the right scary factor and a bunch of creepy old asylum photos to look at.
* The last book I finished this week is I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells. I had high hopes for this series, but it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment… I just wasn’t expecting the whole supernatural-demon-serial killer angle.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have said it probably a million times before already, but this time I’m really going to read And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini next. This title has been on my TBR pile longer than any other book and it’s about time I read it… Plus, it will help me finish two challenges. I also want to read On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and I should read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey since I have been starting way too many new series without reading sequels. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is my newest TBR jar pick and looks like an interesting read as well. (Although I might try to read a few titles on my October/Halloween TBR first…)

WWW Wednesdays #58 – September 30th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started both my current reads yesterday evening… The first is an ARC: Americosis Vol. 2 by Haydn Wilks. Since it’s a short story I will most likely finish it later today. The second is The Kill Order by James Dashner. I’m not exactly a big fan of the rest of the series (especially the last book was a mayor disappointment), but since people keep saying this one is actually better than the main series I decided to start it anyway. So far it’s quite a fast read.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I actually finished Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas before my failed trip, but I decided to count it anyway. I loved this fourth book of the Throne Of Glass series and I will be waiting impatiently for the next book… Although I’m grateful the ending wasn’t the mayor cliffhanger I was expecting. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski turned out to be a disappointment though. It had a really slow pace and I had the feeling the story could have been told with less pages. Most of the plot was quite cliche or at least predictable and I’m not sure I like the characters or prose for that matter. More of my complaints in the full review…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have Firebolt by Adrienne Woods, an ARC, lined up as one of my next reads. I might read And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini or Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver first though, depending on what genre I’m in the mood for when I finish my current reads. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is my newest TBR jar pick; a title I have been wanting to read for ages now and can’t wait to start soon!

WWW Wednesdays #56 – September 9th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Wait, only one book?! It’s been a while since I haven’t started more than one book at a time… But I really want to enjoy Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas without reading other stories in between. So far I’m loving it!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Six finished books since last week, which is quite a decent number.
The first is a travel memoir; Five Weeks In The Amazon by Sean Michael Hayes. I enjoyed the setting and it was nice to learn more about the Ayahuasca ritual. It was a fast read as well, although I did have some problems with it.
I read I Was Here by Gayle Forman next, which was my previous TBR jar pick. It was an interesting read, although I’ve read better books with the same suicide theme.
I continued with Legend by Marie Lu, a series I have been wanting to read for ages. I really enjoyed reading it and I will probably read both sequels soon as well. Still, I felt something was missing to turn it into something mindblowing.
The next book None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio was just as good as people kept promising me. A very interesting topic and beautifully written; definitely recommended!
I then read End Of Days by Susan Ee. I’m still not sure I have been waiting this long to finish this series! I really enjoyed it, although it wasn’t as good as the first two.
The last book on this list is Breakfast At Cannibal Joe’s by Jay Spencer Green, an ARC that was sent to me last week.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The Kill Order by James Dashner is still high on my list, although I will probably try to read Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer first. I was actually going to start it last weekend, but I got my hands on a copy of End Of Days and Queen Of Shadows and I just HAD to read those first. My newest TBR jar pick is The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski; a series I have been looking forward to start, but I’m not sure I will actually be able to read it before I leave…

WWW Wednesdays #55 – September 2nd

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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After finally finishing The Goldfinch two days ago, I’ve started two new reads. The first is a travel memoir: Five Weeks In The Amazon by Sean Michael Hayes. I will be reading various travel themed book within the next three weeks to really get in the travel mood for my backpacking trip… This one is interesting because I’ve been in Peru twice myself, although I’ve never actually visited the Amazon. I’ve also started reading Legend by Marie Lu the other day, a series I have been wanting to read for ages now. So far I’m loving it!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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This time I’ve ‘only’ finished three books since my last WWW, mostly because it took me a long time to actually finish The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’m glad I did though! It sure is a very well written book, but the pace is really slow and it took me ages to finish it. I’ve also read The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton, a very entertaining and fast read even though I had some minor problems with the characters and plot. The last one on the list is The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. As I already feared, this one turns out to be yet another overhyped book. It’s not a bad story and I like the fact that it has an unreliable narrator, but like with Gone Girl I’m not sure it’s actually worth the hype.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I will probably try to read Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer and I Was Here by Gayle Forman is still my newest TBR jar pick. I also want to read The Kill Order by James Dashner so I can complete The Maze Runner series…

BOOK REVIEW: The Death Cure – by James Dashner

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 Title: The Death Cure
(The Maze Runner #3)
Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: October 11th 2011
Finished reading: August 20th 2015
Pages: 325

Rating 2

“I don’t think there is a right or wrong anymore. Only horrible and not-quite-so-horrible.”

myrambles1review

To be honest, I mostly read The Death Cure because I want to start finishing series and not because I was actually looking forward to it. I didn’t really enjoy the first two books and now I’ve read the last one I can’t say I was impressed by it either. I felt The Death Cure lacked a proper plot and I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. It just felt too forced and it kind of came out of the blue; I guess The Maze Runner series is yet another one that suffers from the disappointing-third-book-syndrome. James Dashner‘s prose was still filled with the annoying slang that bothered me in the previous books. The pace is pretty fast, but due to the lack of plot it took me longer than usual to finish The Death Cure. I’m glad I’ve finally finished this series (although still have to read The Kill Order), but I can’t say I would actually recommend reading it. I just feel there are way better dystopian series out there…

shortsummary1review

WARNING: do not read this summary if you haven’t read the first two books of the series yet! It will most likely contain spoilers, even though I’ve made sure to keep it short.

WICKED has been playing with Thomas his mind ever since he woke up in the maze; slowly taking away everything from him. His memories, his life, his friends… But they promised the trials would be over, just one final test and Thomas and his friends would be free to do as they wish. What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers quite a few things; enough for him not to trust them at all. But who can he trust? And can he really afford to keep escaping the truth and save his friends at the same time? Things are about to get even more complicated…

finalthoughtsreview

The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials were still somewhat enjoyable despite the problems I had with them, but The Death Cure is definitely my least favorite of the bunch. In addition to the annoying slang and characters I don’t really like, the third book also doesn’t really have a clear plot and the ending doesn’t actually make sense. I’m not sure I will start another James Dashner series any time soon: there are too many series out there I still want to read and the prose, plot and characters of The Maze Runner series have never fully convinced me.

WWW Wednesdays #54 – August 26th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started reading The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins the other day and so far I’m really enjoying it. Fingers crossed that it will live up to the hype! I’ve also decided that I want to finish The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt before the end of the month, so I will try to dedicate more time to it. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before my next WWW post!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

Partly thanks to the Bout Of Books read-a-thon last week I was able to finish no less than NINE books. I guess this month is going to be a new record! I’m seriously behind on my reviews though, so I will have to start writing them soon before I start mixing up the different plots and characters…
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The first one on the list is Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Not as good as the main series, but it was interesting to learn more about how Levana became the person she is in the series. The prose was solid as always.
I continued with My Heart And Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, and it was just as good as I was hoping for. Interesting characters, prose, plot… And the author described depression really well.
I read The Death Cure by James Dashner next and wasn’t impressed. I felt it lacked a proper plot and I wasn’t a fan of the ending… Definitely my least favorite book of the series so far.
Joyland by Stephen King was good: I loved the 1973 carnival setting and the prose was interesting as always. I didn’t see the ending coming for sure!
The Geography Of You And Me by Jennifer E. Smith was my TBR jar pick last week and unfortunately not as good as I thought it would be… Some of  the scenes just were too cheesy for me.
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Next up is Me And Earl And The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I’m still not sure what to think of it; it’s highly original, but I’m not sure the humor didn’t go too far at points or if I actually liked some of the main characters.
I then couldn’t wait any longer and read Never Never Part Two by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher.  This part was even better than the first and unfortunately ended with a big cliffhanger as well.
Anatomy Of A Misfit by Andrea Portes wasn’t that great. I didn’t like most characters or the fact that it has a love triangle and the ending felt forced.
Last up is All Fall Down by Ally Carter, a read I have been looking forward to and even though it wasn’t what I was expecting, I ended up really enjoying it! The ending is a mayor cliffhanger though; I need the sequel!!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I will probably try to read The Kill Order by James Dashner so I can finish the series…Hopefully I will like it better than The Death Cure. I have been wanting to read Legend by Marie Lu for ages, so hopefully I will be able to finally start that series… And I have been wanting to read None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio for a long time as well. The last one on this list is my newest TBR jar pick: I Was Here by Gayle Forman. This one was already on my Bout Of Books TBR, so I will probably get to it soon.