Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Review: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 6th, 2009
Genre: YA, Dystopia
When Thomas wakes up in a dark and enclosed area, he has no memories of his past or of who he is. The only thing he knows about himself is his name. He soon finds himself in the Glade, where a group of fifty or so teenage boys live together. The Glade is surrounded by a Maze, which is home to monsters called Grievers. Every week, the creators send supplies, and a new boy is sent monthly. When Thomas arrives, the boys already have life in the Maze down to a science. Each boy has a job, which is eventually assigned to him based on what he does best. Although Thomas is at first overwhelmed and frightened by the new life he has been thrown into, he feels like the Maze is familiar to him. He unexplainably wants to be a Runner, one of the boys who run through the maze every day, mapping it out and looking for a way out. The day after Thomas’ arrival, a girl is sent to the Glade with a message for the boys. As life in the maze begins to change dramatically, Thomas tries to solve the mysteries of his new life. Who are the Creators of the Maze and what do they want? Will the boys ever be able to solve the Maze? When Thomas’ past seems to hold some of the answers, he will have to find a way to remember life before the Maze.
I bought this book on a whim and am very glad I did. I loved it! I couldn’t put it down until the very last page, and after that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. As The Maze Runner begins, the reader basically has no idea what’s going on. In the beginning, there are so many questions about the Maze and why these boys were sent there. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I love having no idea what’s going on at the beginning of the novel. It’s a fast way to get me hooked. The plot was fast paced and exciting, with lots of action and mystery. It was really interesting to see how these boys had created a functioning community. I loved Minho, Newt and Chuck but was really disappointed in Teresa. She’s the only female character but her character is never built and she feels flat throughout the whole novel. Hopefully that will change in the other books in the series. I loved the concept and think that Dashner wrote a great story. Not only a good book for discussion and book clubs, it would also be a good choice for teenage boys who are reluctant readers. The Maze Runner is a well-written and promising start to the series, and I’d definitely recommend it.
Overall, The Maze Runner is based on an original concept that Dashner managed to turn into an exciting and riveting book. I loved the ending, and I cannot wait to read The Scorch Trials, the next book in the series. Gripping and full of adventure and suspense, this book pulls you in and makes you think.