The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel)
  • The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel)
  • The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel)

The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel)

4.3 384
by James Dashner

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The prequel to the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series.

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

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The prequel to the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This prequel to Dashner's dystopian Maze Runner trilogy, set 13 years before those books,focuses on a new character—Mark—who lives through the "sun flares" that decimate Earth. He creates a new family with other survivors, including Alec, a tough old soldier, and Trina, his love interest. But then strangers arrive on an airship and infect villagers with a mysterious virus, which quickly spreads and mutates. Maze Runner fans may be surprised by the new protagonist, but they will be swept up in the breathless, cinematic action. Whether Mark is flashing back to his escape from the sun flares, stealing an airship with Alec, or battling hordes of virus-infected maniacs, Dashner's adventure is filled with near-constant melees and peril (some readers might want to trade some fight scenes for more narrative and character development). Even so, Dashner has crafted a clever prequel that will appeal to fans anxious to see where The Maze Runner came from, while enticing those unfamiliar with the later books. Ages 12–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Aug.)
VOYA - Mark Flowers
Thirteen years before the events of The Maze Runner (Delacorte, 2009/Voya December 2009) and only a year after sun flares have caused a global environmental catastrophe, a small group of survivors, led by an ex-soldier named Alec and a teenager named Mark, is just beginning to put their lives back together when they are attacked by a strangely well-equipped force calling themselves the PFC, and shot with a mysterious serum. In their attempt to discover the reason for the attack, Mark and Alec soon learn that their friends have been injected with a deadly virus dubbed “The Flare.” Meanwhile, two members of Mark and Alec’s group, and a young girl who appears to be immune to The Flare, are kidnapped by the PFC. Most of the novel is taken up by countless action sequences (set off by cringe-inducing dialogue) as Mark and Alec fight off the PFC, save their friends, and learn the reason The Flare has been released, a reason as incoherent as it is obvious even to readers who have not read The Death Cure (Delacorte, 2011/Voya December 2011). What makes this novel so infuriating is that interwoven within this main plot are far-too-brief flashbacks to the much more interesting story of the first days of the sun flares. This plot by itself would have made a far more promising novel. Instead we are left with a prequel that only die-hard fans of the Maze Runner trilogy will love. Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
A prequel to the series that began with The Maze Runner (2009) takes readers back to the moment when the sun flares devastate the Earth and tells the story of the birth of the killer virus that followed. Mark and Trina were riding the New York City subtrans system when the flares originally struck. Glad to have each other, they were very lucky to meet up with Alec and Lana, both ex-military and equipped with plenty of survival skills. It has taken them a year to get to relative safety in the Appalachian Mountains and to establish a settlement with other survivors. Life is beginning to resemble "normal," when they are once again attacked from the sky, this time by soldiers. The situation worsens when survivors begin to sicken and die, but not before going mad. The small group makes its way back out into the forest, hunting for their attackers and looking for answers. It's only a matter of time before one of them, infected, goes insane….Blending past, present and future, this is a gritty and unnerving look at a post-apocalyptic world that both recalls early classics of the genre and looks forward to Dashner's already-established trilogy. For fans of the original books and of the genre as a whole, a must read. (Science fiction/thriller 12 & up)

Set in the pre-WICKED world, this standalone prequel to the Maze Runner dystopian trilogy describes the fall of mankind .That dramatic story gives an added depth and drama to the conflicts and trials that lay ahead. A prequel to a reader favorite series; now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

From the Publisher
Praise for the Maze Runner series:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
A USA Today Bestseller
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year
An ALA-YASLA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick
"[A] mysterious survival saga that passionate fans describe as a fusion of Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, and Lost."—
“Wonderful action writing—fast-paced…but smart and well observed.”Newsday
“[A] nail-biting must-read.”
“Breathless, cinematic action.”—Publishers Weekly
Heart pounding to the very last moment.”—Kirkus Reviews
Exclamation-worthy.”—Romantic Times
[STAR] “James Dashner’s illuminating prequel [The Kill Order] will thrill fans of this Maze Runner [series] and prove just as exciting for readers new to the series.”—Shelf Awareness, Starred

"Take a deep breath before you start any James Dashner book."-Deseret News

From the Hardcover edition.

Children's Literature - Kasey Giard
With memories of the sun flares that destroyed major cities and much of the world's technology still fresh in their minds, Mark, Trina and their friends find themselves face to face with another catastrophe, and this one may not leave any alive. The plague's first victims survive mere hours. But as the disease mutates and spreads, its victims survive longer, becoming mad long before the end takes them. Mark and Trina band together, determined to stay well, track down the source of the vicious illness, and do whatever it takes to stop it. In this prequel to the "Maze Runner" series, Dashner reveals the story of civilization's fall and the mysterious disease that ravaged mankind in its wake. While providing answers to many of the questions "Maze Runner" fans have been asking, The Kill Order lacked the density of thrill and suspense that have rocketed readers through the bestselling series. Reviewer: Kasey Giard
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In his short life, Mark has seen sun flares that killed millions, including his family and beloved younger sister. Afterward, floods, food shortages, and continued devastating heat, along with individuals bent on surviving at all costs, have made his chances pretty bleak. Against all odds, he and a close-knit group of other survivors move inland and set up a community together. But before long, a flying ship brings something wholly unfamiliar: a disease, transmitted initially by darts, but soon spread person to person at an alarming rate. Mark's friends all work together to figure out what this illness is, how it spreads, and why it drives people mad, while trying to hold onto hope for themselves and save others. A prequel to the "Maze Runner" series (Delacorte), this story does indeed show how the world started to fall apart prior to Thomas's time in the Maze. However, Thomas's and Teresa's stories are contained to the prologue and epilogue, so readers hoping for information about how WICKED began will be disappointed. Dashner achieves a high level of emotional involvement for readers in this prequel. Mark knew and loved his family, which makes him a more relatable character than memory-challenged Thomas. The action is nonstop, although a little unrealistic at times, and Mark seems wise beyond his years. This novel works well as a stand-alone.—Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Maze Runner Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.20(d)
HL810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years


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The Kill Order 4.3 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 384 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
James Dashner has done it again! In this prequel to The Maze Runner, friendship, love, and humanity are put to the test. Scales (1 to 10) Characters - 6 The characters in this book aren't as likeable as those in The Maze Runner. The just don't have the same pizazz as Thomas and his friends in the maze. Writing - 7 Dashner definity improved his writing tecniques since The Maze Runner trilogy. However, sometimes I felt as though the author was only writing certain selections for the sole purpose of appealing to young people through unecassary violence and romance. Violence - 9 The book is packed full of action seens. Although it's not as violent as The Maze Runner or even The Hunger Games. The gore is kept to a minimum although parents and teahers should be wary. Sexuality/Sensuality - 4 The main character, Mark, has a girlfriend. The do hug and kiss on some occasions. Towards the begining of the book, his girlfriend makes a joke about the two of them having sex and later in the book, they spend the night togeather but the book goes into no further details. Drugs/Alchol - 2 There are a few minor alchol references in the book, but nothing extreme. Swearing - 4 Mild inapropriate language is used. Words such as "damn," "hell," and "bastard". Sexism/Prejuicism/Racism - 3 There are practically no strong female characters in the book. Recomended minimum age of reader: 12
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Man this series has been so goodneven though there was a little bit of language but other than that if i could i would give this series a 1,000,000,000 from a scale of 1-10!!!!!!!!!!
Cupcakegirly More than 1 year ago
I was really looking forward to this prequel to the Maze Runner trilogy because I thoroughly enjoyed those books. (Team Minho FTW) However, this wasn't what I was expecting. There's a prologue and epilogue that focus on the characters of the Glade but other than that, this is a completely different story with new characters. It's still interesting and action packed with characters as intense as the ones we've come to know but for fans looking for more information on Thomas, Teresa, or Brenda, they might be disappointed. I was hoping for more background on the Gladers themselves. For those readers who are just beginning the series, I would say to this is a good place to start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the Maze Runner trilogy. The first book was awesome, the other two were alright. The end of the third book left many questions and curiosities unanswered, but The Kill Order helped to answer most of them. I love that we were able to see what it was like when the sun flares first hit Earth and the mass chaos that ensued after. I was put off at first because the book focuses on different characters than the ones in the trilogy, but soon warmed up to them and wanted to know their story. A little more violence than I cared for, however, I think it was a necessary evil, considering the nature of the book. I would definitely recommend reading the other three books before reading this one. It says it's a prequel, but things will either not make sense or ruin some of the magic from the other three if read first. Didn't give it five stars for a few reasons: 1. Some parts of the book move slowly. 2. Some parts are unrealistic (yes, I know, the whole thing is unrealistic, but you'll know what I mean when you read it). 3. I still want more. Questions still unanswered. Maybe that was the author's intention though - leave it up to the reader's imagination. In sum, read it. It's entertaining, interesting, and will make you think what life could be like in post apocalyptic America.
mrsvaljones More than 1 year ago
In a prequel to the Maze Runner series, we start just after the sun flares began and wreaked havoc upon earth. Mark and Trina were in New York when it happened. Lucky to escape with their lives, they pair up with Alec, Lana, and a few other survivors and head to the mountains, where settlements of survivors are rumored to exist. The group manages the trip, and attempt to survive in the horrible heat and nearly desolte planet. Over a year after the initial sun flares, a new disease surfaced, a deadly virus that causes it victims to go crazy and die violently. But there is something suspicious about this new disease, and the rapid way it spreads, killing everyone in its path. After the disease ravages their settlement, and they realize that it is mutating, the group seeks a cure and the truth about where the disease really came from. The truth; however, might be more devastating than the disease itself. With humanity on the line, Mark and Trina are in a race against time and death. Told from the point of view of Mark, and intertwined with flashbacks to the beginning of the sun flares, The Kill Order is an action packed and emotionally intense novel. Each of the characters has their flaws, but their human qualities and friendship among one another leave the reader turning the pages waiting for the conclusion and paving the way for the story of WICKED, the Glade, and Thomas’s quest in the Maze.
starofthebunch More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of the Maze Runner series, so when I heard that a "prequel" had been published I was very excited to read it. However, it ended up being hugely disappointing. While the book answered some questions as to where the Flare came from and gave some good background to the later books, it was not at all as exciting as the later books in the series. It felt as if the same "action" was happening over and over again- halfway through, I could already predict what would probably be happening next. There were very few surprises and I didn't feel any sort of attachment or connection with these characters the way I did in the later books. It almost felt like a pointless story to me, and I think Mr. Dashner could have come up with a much better story than this one. That being said- if you're a fan of the Maze Runner series, it is worth reading only because of some explaination as to the Flare. That's about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the series in the first place- sooooooooooo sad it had to end, i wish these books would never end- but wanted to know what happened before this all. Savin up my money to buy it!!!!!
Carrigan More than 1 year ago
The is a great prequel to the Maze Runner Trilogy. It answers a great number of questions I've had from the first page of the Maze Runner. I enjoy James Dashner's writing style, even as a "not-so-young-adult" reader. The story line keeps the reader engaged from the first page until the last and leaves you wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes it does tie up some loose ends from maze runner trilogy but i could be a completely different series. It did not connect to the gladers from the trilogy. And it had very little down time, they finish one task and bam another problem presents itself. But besides that it was a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book had an amazing story through out and very vivid in detail. Right away the book was great. It was exciting when the book was being set up; most book are boring when being set up. It is definetly one of my favorite books! Make sure to also read the maze runner seriese.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only reason i give this book four stars instead of five is because the ending dosent tell you anything that happed to the main charactrs. You should defanatly read this book and after your done read the third book in the series again it makes the book even more awesome XD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed with this prequel. I loved the Maze Runner series so I pre-ordered this book months ago. The writing was subpar and quite repetitive. The character development was lacking, to say the least, and entirely unbelievable. Such an amazing story deserved more of an effort from the writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was insane! I was hesitant to read it at first because the story takes place with completely different characters, but I'm glad I did. The story starts before the Maze (obviously), and right as the flares begin. James Dashner is incredibly talented, twisting this book so that it all comes together with the rest of the series. The end of it all blew me away! This is an absolute must-read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it.i havent read death cure yet but i cant wait. 5 stars.if u dont want to purchase it then get it from a library but ur realy missing out on this action packed,sad,happy,slow,fast,and creative story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book did not give away to my expectations!!!!! It was just so wonderful!! Although it was a bit cunfusing at first lol. XD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved it
Dakota_Boyens More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It is the prequel to "The Maze Runner", and tells the story of a small group of friends that survive the sun flares. They are living in a small settlement when a ship comes and shoots most of them with darts. These darts cause everyone to get sick, and this group of friends decide to investigate. This decision takes them all on an adventure that may cost them their lives. I found this book very interesting. There is a good dose of violence throughout the book, and being a teenage boy, I really appreciated it. You should really read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time finishing this book. I don't if it's because it was too predictable, any literary mind could have know most of the events and themes in this book by simply reading the series, or if I've just had other things on my mind (like 20 new books to read). I devoured the Series in a matter of days but it took me weeks to finish The Kill Order. I easily found excuses as to other things I could spend my time doing, and once I picked it up I was easily bored and distracted. While I do not suggest this book, I do however suggest The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever!!!!! This book is so well written it makes it seem as if i could hav really been there
Eaglejack1 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Maze Runner. But this book did not compare. Very dull with nothing but fighting. Don't waste your time. Very difficult to even finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I did not love it as much as a loved the original series it's still a really great book that gives some interesting background on the series:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book. I have read the trilogy. The kill order felt much more hopeless than the other books. But, i guess the prequel to the end of the civilized world should be pretty bleak.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read the first three books and i cant wait to know about things before the glade and before thomas had to assist WICKED in making the maze
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Kill Order ties the Maze Runner series back to the beginning. As always, James Dashner's skilled use of suspense and detail kept me anxious and I never wanted to put this book down. Loved it and didn't want the series to end!