Book Review: The Kill Order (The Maze Runner #4) by James Dashner

“If she tried to speak, it would all come out: Her pain, her fear. Her anger. Her tears. And then her efforts to be strong for the boy would have been for nought. So she kept it in, a dam against a raging river.”

The Kill Order is the fourth instalment in James Dashner‘s The Maze Runner series. Set before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built and before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease. The story follows Mark and Trina who 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.


As a fan of The Maze Runner trilogy, I was looking forward to finding out what happened before we met Thomas and the gang in the Glade. But although it’s great to spend some time before the events of the Maze, The Kill Order doesn’t really answer any of the questions you’re left with from the main trilogy. Instead, it’s just a lot of action that happens before, rather than an exploration of why or how the sun flares hit.

There are a few interesting revelations and I like how it ties into the trilogy at the end, but The Kill Order is a very masculine feeling instalment. It’s led by two brutish men and is very action-heavy, and is drowning in male banter. Therefore, I couldn’t relate to these new characters so found it difficult to really care about them.

James Dashner is a good writer and he develops and tells this story well. It just wasn’t the story that I wanted to read about. The Kill Order is a spin-off rather than a prequel, so I imagine it would be fun for young readers who want a bit of action in an exciting apocalyptic world, but it’s not so interesting for fans of the original trilogy who want a better understanding of The Maze Runner world.

And if you want to find out more about Thomas and Teresa in the beginning, like I did, then I think we need to be reading The Fever Code instead? Let me know if you’ve read this and whether it’s worth reading or not.

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