Friday, September 26, 2014

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: The Maze Runner trilogy #1
Pages: 374
Genre: Dystopian
Synopsis: If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

Review: Despite the ratings on Goodreads, all the raving fans, and popular praise for this book, I did not very much enjoy reading The Maze Runner.  I know a lot of people will gasp when I say this.  It just was not that spectacular.

The book has some redeeming ideas, but it just isn't good enough. It had a premise full of promise that did not pay off.  The thing that bothers me the most is the constant withholding of information, which in turn makes the book extremely slow moving when I was expecting an action packed survival tale.  It is frustrating enough that I found myself wanting to throw it at the wall multiple times.  Even when questions were answered, the answers themselves were mysteries.  The fact that Thomas, the main character, does not demand more answers from he Gladers baffled me.  

Thomas was bland, with no really great redeeming qualities.  Sure, he is decently intelligent and does a few courageous stunts once and a while, but he is a flat character.  Actually, all of the characters were.  Aside from a few physical differences and "bad" or "good" actions, the boys in the Glade tend to blend together.  I found myself pausing frequently to wonder which character was which again. They're not unique in any way, and for a book that's centered around characters in a a desperate life or death situation, this is a unfortunate.  This made it hard to care when they were in danger or dying.  The one character who had some spark was Minho, but we hardly get to see enough of him.  Maybe I the book was from his point of view, it would be more interesting.

The supposed "love interest" was named Teresa.  She was not terrible, but, as the other characters, she is too boring.  Plus, I was totally confused as to why Thomas and Teresa liked each other.  Also, when did they fall in love?  Because I did not get a moment at all in this book where I was like, yes, they will be together.  James Dashner just sort of threw them together and said, "Love each other because why not". 

The writing was decent enough, although slow, which made it hard to get into or even to complete the book.  Thomas repeats his thoughts so often I wanted to smack him.  The made up swear words made me cringe.  And the environment was so unappealing.  Yes, I know it is supposed to be and the boys are supposed to be deprived, but the whole place made me uncomfortable.  The maze outside the Glade was such a great idea, but was too confusing and unrealistic, as were the disgusting monsters that wandered it. 

Overall, though I read and did sort of enjoy reading The Maze Runner, I had multiple issues with it.  The idea was intriguing but the execution wasn't done as well as it could have been.  

Side Note:  I tried to read the sequel, I really tried, but I couldn't even make it halfway through.  Adn I do not plan on attempting to read it again.

2.5 Keys


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