Book: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
This was a book my friend got me for Christmas last year and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but I loved it! It’s a real page turner and although it’s billed as like the Hunger games, it’s really not-it’s even better if that’s possible. Here’s a synopsis of the book:
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. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything – even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out.
The mystery is part of what makes the book so good, so it’s quite difficult to review without giving away major plot spoilers. The chapters are relatively short but each chapter is so exciting that it doesn’t matter because you just want to keep reading. It’s very original, I’ve never read anything like it before. It’s going to make an incredible movie when that comes out because everything is so descriptive and it feels like you’re watching a movie when you’re reading it. Everytime you get answers, you are thrown more questions. Thomas, the protagonist can’t remember who he is when he arrives in the Glade, which basically means that you are as in the dark as the gladers themselves are which I loved because it means you get to learn about Thomas’ past as he does. The society the boys set up reminds me a little of Lord of The Flies except that it functions must better.
The grievers (these weird mechanical/animal hybrid things) are so creepy, but incredibly well written and you can easily understand why the gladers are so afraid. The gladers life in the maze gets turned upside down whe the last ever gladers and only girl-Teresa arrives, in a coma and it really changes the dynamic between this group of boys. Thomas recognises Teresa but he doesn’t know why and you are just as intrigued as he is to find out who she is in relation to him. The only thing he really knows is that he is destined to become a runner-one of the boys who run out in the maze trying to solve it. The chapters always end on some kind of cliffhanger meaning you have to read on and this is particularly important when bad things start happening after Teresa arrives. There’s no sugar coating of the blood and gore and evil of the maze but that just adds to the amazing world Dashner has created. Thomas himself is an incredibly complex character as he seems like the hero but as he learns more about his past, it’s clear he’s not quite as good as he’d like to think-yet you still really root for Thomas and his friends.
Hope, love and trust are the three main themes in this story and you’re often not sure as the reader who you can trust. If you’re hoping for an answer as to why the hell this dystopian world put all these boys in a maze, you won’t find it in this book-you have to read on. The lack of answers can make you frustrated at times but it’s also part of what makes the books so exciting and the lack of background story can also be frustrating but again it’s part of what makes the book exciting. The slang the boys use is a little off putting at first but you do get used to it. There’s some hints of romance between Thomas and Teresa but it’s not the main part of the book which I liked, because sometimes romance can overpower the action but it definitely doesn’t here. The ending of the book is spectacular and really leaves you wanting to know what happens next.
Chuck, is a little boy who Thimas kind of takes under his wing and he’s kind of annoying but sweet and the part of the ending which concerns him was so heartbreaking. Minho, I loved so much because with his sarkiness, he kind of reminds me of myself and I liked the friendship between him and Thomas. I didn’t really see as many parallels with the Hunger Games as other people did, it’s a great book in it’s own right. I didn’t see any of the big twists coming. I love how Thomas is a hero just using his wits through the book as are the other boys. There’s a sense of helplessness as the boys struggle to find their way out of the maze but they never give up.
This book is incredible and definitely worth a read for fans of books like The Hunger Games.
My rating-4/5 (the only reason I didn’t give it 5 is because the books just keep getting better!)
The next book I will review is the sequel to this one The Scorch Trials.