Sunday, November 6, 2011

"The Maze Runner" Book Review

Pages: 374

Summary: When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

This book has been on my reading list for 2 years, and I finally was able to cross it off this past weekend.  I know there are a lot of fans of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games out there, and if you are a part of that fandom, then this book is for you (although it is nothing like The Hunger Games).  The people stuck in the Glade/Maze are the Gladers.  For 2 years now, they have been working in efficient ways to try and solve the Maze to escape.  Every month, a new Glader is brought into the Maze, their memories gone, and that's what makes the book work so well.  It makes the mystery of the book that much more prominent.  The Gladers (kids who live in a big field called “The Glade” which is in the Maze) enter the Glade in something they call “The Box.”  James Dashner has the ability to transport the reader into the box with the soon-to-be Glader.  The book opens when Thomas is in the box, and as I was reading it, I got sucked in.  Dashner has a strong ability to show how Thomas feels in the box.  He can project his confusion and fear off of the pages, and make the reader feel the emotions of the characters.
Now, this book did start a little slow, or at least it did for my tastes.  Of cours at first you'll keep reading to figure out where exactly these kids are. Then as you read on, you get a perfect idea of where it is they are living just a few chapters in, and that's when it starts to slow down.  The only reason I kept reading was because of the mystery.  I wanted to know where this Maze was located.  I wanted to know how they were put in there and most importantly why.  If it weren’t for the mystery, I wouldn’t have read it as fast because there wasn’t much action.  Lots of it was a creative way to write an (interesting) info dump.

About halfway through the book it starts to pick up.  There’s an... incident that I can’t get into due to spoilers, but that’s when Thomas’ desires are met and we get a little bit more info on the Maze and the Gladers’ past.  The pace keeps picking up from there, and although there are a few chapters that go by without anything big happening, there’s always that mystery there that keeps you reading.

I’d say that The Maze Runner, despite being the first in a three part series, has a plot line of its own.  Don’t get your hopes up, however; of course that there are unanswered questions at the end.  The last chapter, surprisingly, ends on a somewhat happy note!  It was a change up from the books I normally read... and then I read the epilogue and that relief of not having a cliffhanger vanished.   All right, so it wasn’t really a cliffhanger, but it made my brain melt in confusion and anxiousness.  All I knew was I needed to get my hands on the next book.  Luckily I thought ahead and already had it bought!   

A tidbit on The Scorch Trials (Book 2): It picks up right away and starts at a much faster pace than the first book.  It's kept its fast paced confusion up so far!  To all you readers, you are missing out if you don't pick up this book.  You find out it's much more of a Dystopia than originally thought, and that is one of the most interesting things about this series.

If you've read this book, who was your favourite character?  Why?  How might you have done things differently if you were in the Maze?

No comments:

Post a Comment