The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure and The Kill Order – James Dashner


Okay so I probably should have just put all of these together including The Maze Runner, which I wrote about here, into one post. But I didn’t. So now you just get to read about the last three books. Yay!

Totally honesty time. I did not enjoy The Scorch Trials or The Death Cure as much as I expected too. The ending was FANTASTIC and I’m so happy I finally found a book series where I completely and totally loved every part of the ending. However, all of my previous critiques of Dashner’s writing stand. He does not describe scenes or people or emotions as well as I would like, and the humour sometimes feels a little forced. Often he tells you how characters feel, once or twice even how you the reader should feel, and I think that’s a mark of poor writing. Instead of telling me how a character feels, show me. Write exactly how they react to the emotion with their body language and their words, tell me exactly what the scene looks like, how the character behaves. These are the little things that take a story from good to great and they were missing. That being said, it’s still a great series. The story is very interesting, if a little reminiscent of some other young adult dystopian novels. The characters are for the most part likable, if a little underdeveloped. The plot progresses at a quick pace, if not a little too quick sometimes.

It seems every bit of praise I have for the series comes with an addendum except for the ending. I’m going to attribute that to the writing and my very non-forgiving attitude towards young adult fiction to the sheer amount of novels and series in the genre. If your book isn’t great it just won’t stand out. I think with this series it was the story line that makes the books stand out, not the quality of writing. Maybe I’m just hating on this poor guy for no reason, I don’t know but I just thought the books could have been much much better.

The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure wrap up Thomas and Teresa’s story so well, I very much enjoyed the end (yeah I know I’ve told you that about twelve times now, it’s just so good!) The last book in the series, The Kill Order, is actually a prequel to the whole series. This might have been my favourite out of all of them. It features a whole new cast of characters, which I actually liked more than the set in the series proper. WARNING! I’m going to rant about another ending. If you’re sick of hearing about endings, or reading about endings, or even reading the word ending(s), step away from your screen.

Okay, so The Kill Order is all about how the Flare began, what happened to make the world into the dystopian society it was in the series and how the Flare was spread. I found this bit really interesting (hello, bio nerd), and I also liked reading about the daring escape made by the characters that was required to escape the solar flares that destroyed the earth. I don’t know, guys. The Kill Order just stuck out to me above and beyond the other three books in the series. If you’re struggling your way through the series and aren’t sure if you’re going to finish, keep plugging along. The ending to the series is fantastic. And The Kill Order is so good. I mean, it still features Dashner’s writing flaws, but the characters show some growth and it isn’t as forcibly written. Plus the ending has a major twist that made the whole series worth it for me. Actually it’s not even a twist as much as a reveal. Or a surprise. Or something, I don’t know it’s just great. I kind of guessed at the ending, but I wasn’t sure until the last few pages. Just take my word for it, okay? Okay. (This is where I picture all of you going off to the library/bookstore/your bookshelf and picking up the book and getting started. In reality you’re not doing that, but in my head you are.)

We’re going to move away from the books for a minute and head into the realm of really bad/hilarious jokes. I’m a huge dork (as many of you know) and I think dad jokes are hysterical. So over the next couple posts I’m going to share a few because even if you don’t think they’re funny I laugh just from telling them, so at least one person will laugh, right?

Okay, here goes: What’s the difference between unlawful and illegal? One’s against the law, and one’s just a sick bird.

…HA! Okay so that one isn’t great, but I’m saving my best (/worst?) material for the end. As one of my friends likes to say, “you know it’s going to be a bad joke when she giggles before telling it.” If you’re wondering, I giggled.


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