Saturday 15 February 2014

The Kill Order

The Kill Order by James Dashner (Chicken House)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 978-1-908435-59-0
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Mark and Trina are fighting for their lives.

Most of the human race has been wiped out by sun flares and the intense heat, toxic radiation and flooding that followed these. Those surviving, including Mark, Trina and their band of friends, have set up small communities and are concentrating on rebuilding their lives as best they can. But when a Berg (huge airships) arrives bringing darts filled with a virus instead of supplies, Mark finds himself on the run again. As the virus mutates and people get even more desperate, Mark and Trina rely on friends, two ex-soldiers, and their own survival instincts.

The Kill Order is action packed and addictive. As the intensity builds, it becomes impossible to put down and I had to read it in one sitting. The action starts with the survivors. The sun flares and Marks’s subsequent flight to the mountains is told in dreams and this works surprisingly well. Part of the suspense of the story is in the conflict between Mark’s sleep deprived present and his reliving the horror of his past when he does reluctantly succumb to sleep and dreams.

Tagged as a ‘must for fans of The Hunger Games’, the storyline is completely different but the theme and atmosphere is reminiscent - the dystopian setting, the desperation and the bleak disregard - of those in charge - for the general population.

The Kill Order is for teens. There is violence, death, destruction and some disturbing scenes once the virus takes hold and begins to mutate. But like all dystopian and apocalyptic tales, it will question what you would do to survive, how far would you go to save the ones you love. And fans of the genre will be totally engrossed in the story, cheering Mark and Trina on to the sad but inevitable ending.

The Kill Order is the prequel to the popular Maze Runner series by James Dashner. The first in the series The Maze Runner is currently in production and a movie is expected sometime towards the end of 2014.

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