Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Kill Order

The Kill Order
Maze Runner Prequel

James Dashner


Synopsis:
A year has passed since deadly solar flares decimated the planet. With the help of former soldiers Alec and Lana, Mark was able to survive the initial weeks of flooding, radiation, and intense heat, and now he is living in a colony of survivors deep in the Appalachian mountains. Mark starts to think things are starting to become normal again, even if life has been changed forever. However, life turns upside-down once again when a berg shows up and shoots darts into many of the people in his colony. Trying to strike back while they can, Mark and Alec board the berg and attack the crew. Most of the crew is already dead, but two remain. While Alec interrogates the pair, Mark discovers a box of darts labeled "Virus VC321xb47" that look exactly like the ones shot into his friends. In an attempt to flee, the two crew members crash the berg, but Mark and Alec survive and slowly make their way back to the colony. However, when they return, things are far from normal. Large numbers of people are dead, and one of Mark's friends, Darnell is covered in bruises and blisters and has gone completely insane...

My Thoughts:
When I heard that The Maze Runner was going to get a prequel, I was incredibly excited to finally get some answers about WICKED. Unfortunately, there aren't nearly as many as I would like, and Mr. Dashner has shared that this is his last Maze Runner book. However, just because it isn't what I expected doesn't mean I didn't like it. Since Thomas and the other Gladers would have been so young at the founding of WICKED, writing about them wouldn't have fit. Instead, following Mark, Trina, Alec, and Lana through the fall of humanity fits the style of the other three books much better. Also, since these people are just normal people, not test subjects, the things that happen to them can seem even worse than the trials of the Gladers. An interesting aspect of the book was that the main goal seemed to change near the end due to the extremity of the situation. It changed from "get answers" to "save Deedee". However, this may have actually been the story behind Teresa... At least this is my theory. Teresa was one of the founders of WICKED, Deedee was sent near the outbreak of the disease. Deedee seemed really smart throughout the book, Teresa is too. Deedee and Teresa are immune. Deedee's age roughly matches up to what Teresa's would have been at the time of the maze. It just seems to work in my mind. The final thing that I want to say is that the book really makes you think about moral issues. The world doesn't have enough resources for the number of people on it, so no matter what, people are going to die. Lots of people are going to die. Who can really say if the intentions of the PFC/PCC were really all that bad?

Questions for Thought:
1. Were you Mark, would you be brave enough to follow Alec up into the berg despite the danger?

2. After returning to the colony and seeing Darnell, what would your reaction be? How careful would you be around other people who might be contaminated?

3. If you were in Alec's place, would you have the courage to put Toad out of his misery? Was it right for Alec to do so?


4. Obviously people were going to die, even after the flares, due to the lack of resources. Should the PFC have taken action to essentially kill off people so that the survivors would have enough to survive? If so, how would you go about deciding who dies and how they die?


5. Is the PFC good? Do their actions change your opinion of WICKED?


Please leave your comments and answers!

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