Title: The Maze Runner [The Maze Runner 1]
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Rating: 2.5 rounded down to 2 Star
When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I had heard many mixed reviews about this book and the series in general so I was a bit iffy about going into, and much like some of the books I am iffy with, I found the series on sale for $19 at target or something so I picked it up and thought I might as well give it ago. But then I was looking for something to listen to on my endless drives up and down from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and beyond and then back again so I got my hands on the audio books of it as well. If I had of spend more money on these books I would have been very very angry at the utter waste of money.
The first half, if not 3/4 of the book was so utterly boring that I became filled with rage at the sheer stupidity of it all. The writing style was excruciating. My mind was in pain at certain points because I could think of a hundred different ways that certain parts of the book could have been written that would have made it just so much better and the fact that I got what I did just seemed frankly a bit disrespectful to the readers. Am I not worth some editing? Are we, the buyers of your books, not worth some thought or effort? If I had not of been listening to an audio book of it and were actually reading the books, I don’t think I could have moved past this huge chunk of the book and actually get to the parts I rather enjoyed.
The end is what bumped it up from 2 star to 3 star. Upon reading this review before publication, I decided that was way to generous. F you book, you are lucky you didn’t get a 1!
The issues I found with the first part of the book were simple. Nothing happens. Yes, they try to trick us into thinking things happen but it doesn’t. This book tries to be good with the idea that if you don’t know answers to the heaps of questions presented that makes the story interesting, but that doesn’t work so much when actually nothing ever happens. Oh we got a girl for a first time! Too bad she is in a coma for pretty much all the book and does nothing. Oh she can speak to Thomas’s mind? Too bad she does it very randomly, it very rarely makes sense, and Thomas denies it pretty much the entire time she is in the coma. Thomas asks a lot of questions, none of which are ever answered, ever really, throughout the entire book. Not through plot development, and not by any of the characters. “Why can’t I go into the maze at night?” We can’t just tell you there are monsters that will kill come out because that will make you go up and hug them. “Where are we?” No no, you are never going to work out or be able to handle being told we are inside a giant maze! The books tries so hard to be surprise and mysterious that is failed on all levels. You don’t need to shoot down EVERY SINGLE QUESTIONS THAT GETS ASKED EVER! Its called bloody plot development.
I also hated all the stupid nicknames that where given to everything. I think the word shank gets said more than the main characters name. No, that is not a clever made up word. None of them are. You are all so extremely stupid and annoying I wish you get killed off so the book ends I don’t have to keep hearing you talk.
I also felt zero connection or like to any of the characters. I thought they were flat and one dimensional and just so boring. At points they were dying left and right and I just did not give a toss. The only ones I liked where Newt and Minho, and I think this was in part to the life the voice actor was giving to the characters.
I found the Grievers really hard to picture which helped with the not being really afraid of them. So, they are like great bug slugs with metal bits poking out of them? Meh… I am not feeling that imagery.
Now liking the second half of the book was easy because stuff happened and it happened really quickly one after the other. I wont go into it even though lots of you already know what happens, but it kept me on the edge of my seat for the drive and I actually didn’t care if I hit traffic at any point because that meant I got to get more of the story. The end of the book was pretty intense.
I did really like the idea of this huge maze and kids who had no idea who they were and the things they did remember where planted and possibly not even true. I liked the idea of it all being just one great big test the kids had to go through for unknown reasons, and for the ending of the book I will continue with the next book, and because the other movie will be coming out sooner or later.
So yes, as a whole I think this book was a very big flop to say the very least. This book was so bad it actually fills me with rage to think of it. The action at the end and the idea of this test thing are the only parts I really liked about it, and I would hesitate to recommend this book to anyone when there are far better books of the genre out there. Also, since there are movies now you can do the whole thing in a much shorter time and that would be a better way for them to deal with it I think. This is not a must read for fans of the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are far better, and fans best stay away lest they become sad with the comparison.
Till Next Time…