Blythe's Reviews > The Kill Order

The Kill Order by James Dashner
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Aug 30, 12

bookshelves: netgalley-edelweiss-arc, 2012-reads, didn-t-see-that-coming, i-totally-saw-that-coming, judge-a-book-by-the-cover, read-reviewed
Recommended for: Those who don't need character development along with their action
Read from July 05 to 07, 2012

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

There are the books that either have too little action and you're bored to tears reading said book, or book that have too much action, and too little of everything else. The Kill Order tends to fall in the latter category of books, and I'll bet that was where Dashner was intending The Kill Order to fall.

The plot for The Kill Order is simple - it's the end of the world, sun flares are destroying the Earth, and a group of teenagers (are they teenagers?) are trying their best to survive the apocalypse. Along with the solar flares, men in green suits are coming out of the sky in blimp-like vehicles called Bergs, shooting random people with darts that contain a deadly virus. The group of teenagers try to discover the cure to the virus by doing incredibly stupid things all while trying not to get synched by the solar flares.

Now, the execution for The Kill Order is anything but simple (and looking back on the synopsis I wrote, even that doesn't sound too simple). With the above synopsis, Dashner could have had a somewhat simple - but entirely enjoyable - book. While The Kill Order was still enjoyable, Dashner just had to add more to the book. And more. And more. From cults, to ritualistic burnings of people, to governmental deceit, The Kill Order just had too much.

With the aforementioned plot points, and much more seemingly random other plot points, you'd expect for there to be non-stop action, right? Well, if you thought that, then you would be correct. A large portion of this book is comprised of thrilling action, and while that might be your perfect cup of tea, it won't be others, and it wasn't mine, exactly.

Action isn't the only thing that makes a book a good book. If you don't have enough action, your readers will be bored. If you have too much action, your readers will have whiplash. But, no matter how much action - or lack of it - your book may have, it can't be the only thing going for it. This is the case for The Kill Order. With action, you need to have character and relationship development, especially in a book like this, where the characters are put to the test in an apocalypse. My feelings towards all of the characters in this book were pretty lukewarm - I didn't hate them, I didn't love them, and I didn't like them. They were just... okay... That's not to say that they're unlikable characters, because they're not. It's just that Dashner didn't provide me as a reader with nearly enough character development for me to care for the characters and what they're going through, or to like them.

That being said, if you're the type of reader who just wants mindless action after mindless action, pick up The Kill Order - you won't be disappointed in it. The action scenes are very well written and, for the most part, thrilling. However, if you're a reader who values character development in books as opposed to action, The Kill Order won't be the book for you. While I do consider myself the reader who values character development as opposed to action, I found The Kill Order to be a fun, thrilling, and quick read, but sometimes mindless action just isn't enough.

You can read this review and others on my blog, Finding Bliss in Books.
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Reading Progress

07/05/2012 page 21
6.0% "Very strong start. Let's hope it stays this way."
07/06/2012 page 126
38.0% "So a man in this book doesn't have ears, but he can hear perfectly? Yep. Makes total sense." 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-30 of 30) (30 new)

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Skyla Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books How do you have this already?


Blythe It's been on NetGalley for weeks! Go request it!


Skyla Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books I can wait until it comes out. I already pre-ordered it. It's only a few weeks =)

Thanks for letting me know though =)

Was it better than the rest of the series?


Blythe I haven't read the other books (I figured the prequel would be a good place to start) but I did like it. Just a little too much action and too little character development for me to care for the characters.


Skyla Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books The other books are like that too. However they have the same characters over the course of 3 books so there is some development, not a lot but some =)


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim Really good review, Blythe.:)


Blythe Jim wrote: "Really good review, Blythe.:)"

Thank you, Jim!

Skyla (Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books) wrote: "The other books are like that too. However they have the same characters over the course of 3 books so there is some development, not a lot but some =)"

Oh, that's a shame. Still, the action in this book was fun, so I look forward to reading the other three books!


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim :D


Erika I want to read it, but i can't get netgalleys :(
In my opinion, i think, this prequel would be better enjoyed after reading the trilogy because this prequel represents a spoiler for the ending of the third book... I assume that after reading the synopsis of the kill order.

I hope you enjoy the trilogy anyway, if you ever read it :)


Blythe Yeah, sadly I realized that the whole book was most likely a massive spoiler for the entire trilogy after I started it. Oh well! I have a copy of The Maze Runner, so I'll definitely be reading it. I'm just not sure when.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, this is the main issue I have with all of his books. Flat characters and o character development. All plot.


Jessica The Demigod I found this whole series AMAZING and I loved the characters so much. I have pre-ordered The Kill Order and I'm so excited to read it! My fav in the series would have to be The Death Cure though.


Blythe Jessica wrote: "I found this whole series AMAZING and I loved the characters so much. I have pre-ordered The Kill Order and I'm so excited to read it! My fav in the series would have to be The Death Cure though."

I did like this book, but the lack of character development was a massive downfall. I do think that I will enjoy the other books in the series, though. And from what I've heard from fans of the series, The Death Cure was their least favorite. It's refreshing to see something different - I hope to come up with my own opinion soon.

Kara wrote: "Yes, this is the main issue I have with all of his books. Flat characters and o character development. All plot."

Aw, that's a shame. Are the plots any good, though?


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh God yes. The plots are amazing. I liked the first 2 books better but they are all good.


Blythe Well that's good to hear. The plot in The Kill Order was great, so I can't wait to see what else Dashner can come up with.


Calvin Though you were fair about reviewing this it would be nice to see a new review after you read the other books


Blythe Perhaps I'll reread this after I read the full trilogy, then write a review on my thoughts then, but I'd leave my full review so readers could compare and contrast my opinions on this book before and after reading the trilogy.


message 18: by Carla (new) - added it

Carla Maybe the answer is in this book. A lot of readers complain why Dashner never explain about the Variables and it's subject, about the WICKED and the Flare that led to a big downfall throughout the whole series. I won't give up on this series yet. I'll read this one then I'll decide for the overall, but I'll already decided about the character development. I'll give this a one last shot. Thanks for the review!!


the golden witch. I'll have to say that throughout the series, the character development isn't stellar. It's really plot-driven, and though I haven't read book 3 yet, it's what I've come to expect from the series. Still, great review for this prequel - my review will be going up shortly. :)


message 20: by Kristin (new) - added it

Kristin Aw, I kinda liked that he didn't develop the characters - that way I didn't have to feel bad when he bumped them off.


Candice spoiler alert


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

There are no spoilers in this review.


message 23: by Mara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mara His Maze Runner series has always been more plot-driven than character-driven, though I cared a whole lot more for the Gladers than I did the characters in this installment. I agree with you on the action - there was a lot, it got repetitive, and therefore dull. But I would venture to say that plot-wise, there wasn't enough.


message 24: by Gigi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gigi Romano I could not disagree with you more. The LAST thing this book is is mindless. I recommend you give it a second read.


message 25: by Aiden (new)

Aiden THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK! However I thought that the book has way to much action and way to little character development. And it didn't help that half the main characters died in the first few chapters.


message 26: by Bla-bla-bla (new) - added it

Bla-bla-bla I am actually very very upset. WHY THE HECK IS THEIR A PREQUEL, i wanna know what happens to stupid BRENDA and stupider THOMAS, he shouldn't be kissing BRENDA, he should be crying his BUGGIN SHUCKIN eyeballs out because TERESA is dead. Anyway, i think James Dashner should have finished the series, and then written a sequel, or he can write the fifth book for The Maze Runner series, which will not happen, so i am going crazy right now, because i dont want thomas kissing brenda and teresa dead, i want thomas kissing teresa and brenda dead!!!!!

phew, calm down


message 27: by Bla-bla-bla (new) - added it

Bla-bla-bla BTW, im reading The Kill Order, im almost done with it


Blythe Bla-bla-bla wrote: "I am actually very very upset. WHY THE HECK IS THEIR A PREQUEL, i wanna know what happens to stupid BRENDA and stupider THOMAS, he shouldn't be kissing BRENDA, he should be crying his BUGGIN SHUCKI..."

Well, I haven't read the other books, so...thanks for spoiling all of that for me.


Candice deleted user wrote: "There are no spoilers in this review."

Read the review and you have read the book


Alyson I think when given the context of the story there isn't much room for character development and I usually abhor books that don't have character development. It was plot driven and I thought it was a good prequel. The characters were of different ages and is very explicitly stated many times (which I found to be repetitive how many time Marc had to refer to Alec as an old bear). Both Lana and Alec were much older and military trained (definitely not teenagers) while Marc and Trina are teenagers. I think you should give the book a closer read if you missed those obvious points.
As for the non stop action I agree with you that it was so much and that it's not really my cup of tea but again in the context of the story how can you expect peace and quiet?


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