Thirteen years before Thomas and Theresa entered the Glade, teenagers Mark and Trina are struggling to survive in a world ravaged by sun flares. They have found a simple, yet peaceful, life in a settlement with other survivors, and spend their time foraging for food and trying to be happy again. Their lives are shattered yet again when a dart-spewing aircraft brings an incredibly contagious, deadly disease to the survivors. The virus, which earns the nickname "The Flare," seems to infect the brain, and those affected soon go crazy. Mark and Trina, along with military-trained friends Alec and Lana, set out to find out who is sponsoring the unprovoked biological attacks, while also trying to put a great distance between themselves and the disease. Together, and with the mysterious toddler tag-a-long they pick up along their journey, the four friends become the only hope humanity has against extinction.
The Kill Order is an excellent prequel to the Maze Runner series, and gives the reader valuable insight into the story behind the Flare. Mark and Trina were kind, courageous characters who did not let their occasional mistakes get in the way of their mission to do the right thing. Glimpses into their previous, "normal" lives added depth to their relationship, and the details about the sun flares help give the reader a more accurate picture of the setting. The plot was somewhat repetitive, with the main characters doing a lot of running around and stealing aircraft, but the less complex plot is perfect for a younger fan base that has followed the story from the beginning. I would definitely recommend The Kill Order to everyone who has read the Maze Runner series, and to all pre-teens and teens who enjoy action, adventure and science fiction.