Saturday, October 9, 2010

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze RunnerGrade: B
Pages: 374
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. 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 expanse enclosed 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, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.

Plus: A quick take on a dystopian world, where kids are bizarrely put into the Maze as part of an experiment to showcase the really smart ones. I enjoyed the second half of the book, and the story got better once the girl woke up. The ending is terrific, and has a surprising twist.

Minus: Initially, when Thomas arrives at the Maze, he is obviously confused and has a lot of questions. What irked me is that no one took the time to sit him down and explain a few basic rules to help him aclimatize. The seasoned kids just brushed off his questions, saying he would learn for himself. In the book, they came off as callous, and Thomas appears utterly lost. Perhaps the author could have tweaked this so there wasn't such a long period of no-one answering questions. I also had a minor issue with the faux swearwords used by the guys - "Shuck" for ex, just seemed like a placeholder for a stronger word. 

Overall: Well, while I did enjoy the latter half of the novel, I found the first half really whiny. The characters weren't great, and not very memorable. I found it a little surprising that teenage boys could have self-organized to the extent of having a council - the characters described made it hard for me to imagine they had rational thought. The ending made up for a lot, so overall it is a decent read.
I would recommend it to:
Readers who enjoyed the Hunger Games series, YA fans looking for a different story.
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  1. HI Dee! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am still posting, I've just been super busy. I'm ready to start the read-a-thon! Woo hoo!

  2. Great review! Thanks for the honesty! I was curious about the book.

  3. i love how you mention both sides of your feelings on this so succinctly. are you going to read the sequel? i think it sounds like a great guy book but i'm not sure its my kind of thing, although i do love surprise twists :)

  4. @Nomes - I definitely wont be buying the book, but will borrow if I find the sequel in my library at any low-book point.

  5. It sounds like an interesting book! The idea of a Maze Runner intrigues me--I'd probably take this out of the library if I saw it. Great review!

  6. Nice review. very honest, considering lots of praise this book has been getting. I personally enjoyed the Maze Runner, but I think the Hunger Games was definitely better.
    I'm a new follower.I hope you'll come visit my blog back(:
    Angela Z

  7. This one has been near the top of my wishlist for quite some time; I'm happy to hear that the ending at least makes up for some earlier chapters. It's staying on the wishlist for certain!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  8. I think I have this book in my list to read for the dystopia challenge though I am not sure but I am looking forward to reading this book. :) Great review.


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