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The Kill Order    by James Dashner order for
Kill Order
by James Dashner
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2014 (2012)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Kill Order by James Dashner is a Maze Runner prequel, that shows how the world got into such a sorry shape and the sacrifices that good people made in an attempt to assure humanity's survival.

It opens in a settlement where survivors have gathered after sun flares destroyed most of mankind. Teenagers Mark and Trina have always been close friends and have become more after a year together in very harsh conditions. We gradually learn their back story and how ex-soldier Alec (who has a heart of gold) gathered them into his small group in the tunnels below New York City, along with ex-nurse Lana (she and Alec worked together for the defense department), Misty, Darnell and the Toad. They have come a long way together since then.

It's a good day until they hear 'engines in the sky'. A Berg (airship) shows up but instead of showering the assistance they expect, it unleashes death, on orders from the Post-Flares Coalition - their Kill Order. Heavily suited figures shoot darts into the crowd. Most victims die, but not all. Alec and Mark are not hit, but leap into action. They capture the Berg and inside they find out what their friends were shot with - a highly contagious virus!

Alec, Lana, Mark and Trina travel on together and find a small child, Deedee, at another abandoned settlement that had clearly also been attacked. There are captures and escapes, and plenty of the action fans have grown to expect from a Dashner novel as these survivors seek to understand what has been happening to them and why. Along the way, they learn that there is something very special about small Deedee and that they must keep her safe if there is to be any future for humanity.

Fans will revel in this exciting, action-packed prequel, that illuminates how the Maze Runner scenario developed.

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