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Maze Runner

by James Dashner

genre: dystopian, youg adult

A fantastic start, but the book fell flat towards the end. Find out why I gave it 3 out of 5 stars!

Summary

maze-runner-book-review(Taken from Goodreads)

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

This book is surrounded by hype. I decided to pick it up after seeing the movie trailer. The concept motivated me to read the book before I watched the movie. I still haven’t seen the movie, but I’d like to!

I found it hard to put down for about the first third of the novel. Nearly every chapter ended on an amazing cliff-hanger that kept you reading. I really enjoyed the no-fuss writing style with minimal description. It really helped drive the plot. But after the first third of the book, I felt things start to change. Maybe it’s because once you’re a third into the novel, you’re meant to feel invested in the characters, and I wasn’t. The main character, Thomas, is a Gary Stu. He’s just a conventional, good guy protagonist but he has no personality (because he doesn’t remember who he is). I think the end wouldn’t have fallen flat, or the ‘climax’ moments would have had more impact, if I cared about the characters. I think the author sacrificed character for plot and too much so. After sucking us into the story, he should have used the opportunity to make us care about the people we were reading about.

But I kept reading after the first third even though it started to become more ‘meh’ or average. I thought the world/concept was too cool not to know what was behind it all. I think people should read it if you feel like a decent dystopian YA book that isn’t immature and deals with some heavier themes. It could have been so much more though! This was a plot-driven novel with very little character. It started out as a 4-5 star and ended up being a 3.

Now I’ll discuss some aspects of the books but with SPOILERS. Look away now!

Why the hell did they introduce the girl? She was meaningless. She had no character. The telepathy seemed like a random addition. The most that I knew about her was what she looked like, that she was ‘beautiful’ and had black hair, pale skin, and blue eyes. So shallow. I was hoping that the only female character would be three dimensional and interesting. But no… Although I can’t be too harsh, Thomas feels pretty empty as a character too. She served no purpose than to just get them out. My favourite characters and the ones that seemed most real were Alby and Minho. Also, if these kids are meant to be the ‘best kids’ for experimental testing, the smartest and brightest, why did they need to bring her into the picture? They surely can’t be that bright. They must have been bored and wanted to get them out early.

I found it annoying that the reader had so little information for such a long time. I would have accepted it more readily if when Thomas goes through the Changing we experienced his flashbacks with him. But we were left in the dark again! There was no reason. Why do we have to have it summarised? That would have been a great opportunity for him to develop some character and for the reader to feel connected but the author wasted the opportunity. Also, they go on and on about how painful the Changing is. That the pain is barely bearable (hah!). But then when he goes through it, there’s barely any mention of the excruciating pain. Whaat?

Have you read the Maze Runner? What did you think? Did the lack of character annoy you too?

3 out of 5 stars

amazonbutton2 copyThis book is for you if you:

  • Love plot-driven novels full of cliff-hangers
  • Like simple and clear writing styles where few details are shared
  • Love cool dystopian world ideas

This book is not for you if you:

  • Love character-driven books
  • Were hoping for the new ‘Hunger Games’

 Ermisenda Alvarez

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