The Maze Runner by James Dasher
Genre: Action/Adventure, Dystopian
Published by: Chicken House
Series: The Scorch Trials (#2) | The Death Cure (#3)
Where to Find: GoodReads | Amazon
I have a confession to make. It’s terrible, I know, but….I saw the movie first. But after I saw the movie, I was filled with the best feeling ever. MOTIVATION! I could not leave ‘The Maze Runner’ where the movie did – that epilogue section was too much. I needed to know what happened next. So, I decided I would read the book, experience everything as the author intended and then continue the series. So, now that I’ve witnessed both the book and the movie, I can say: the movie was better. (Book-to-movie review coming soon.)
Plot and Pacing
The Maze Runner is your classic dystopian. Some kids are chucked in an arena and have to try and survive. Unlike ‘The Hunger Games’, all the kids co-operate. Order is everything. The aim of the game is simple: escape the maze. Well, we weren’t really excepting them to stay in the maze, right? Wrong. Over fifty kids have been stuck in this maze for two whole years. UNTIL our protagonist Thomas arrives.
Thomas, like any normal kid in this situation, has some question. Unfortunately, the one thing the Gladers (kids that live in the centre of the maze) don’t like is questions. Answers are like a currency – to get them, you have to earn them. It’s kind of repetitive and highly annoying that Thomas is kept in suspense for about two thirds of the book. If Katniss didn’t know what The Hunger Games were until two thirds of the way in, she would have been in trouble.
As for the pacing, I’d say the book moved moderately quickly. This was probably due to Dashner’s talent for describing settings and tasks. The majority of this book was taken up with action over dialogue, which was refreshing, but I do love a bit of conversation. It ensures character development. Too bad conversation involves questions.
Thomas was kick-ass. I can’t remember reading a book of this genre with a male protagonist since ‘Percy Jackson’, and I can happily slot Thomas above Tris on my list of favourite dystopian characters. He was curious (which was made out to be such a strange personality trait) and he was eager. When none of the other boys would tell him what was going, he took matters into his own hands. I admired the selfless way Thomas acted and how he acted as a motivator for the Gladers to attempt for the trillionth time to escape the maze.
However, as with any messiah leading the way, there are going to be some people that want to spit in his face and kick him in the shins. These characteristics were embodied in Gally, the antagonist. He was skeptical of anything Thomas did, and when Teresa arrived, Gally was ready to enact some capital punishment. (Don’t worry Tom, he’ll get what he deserves.)
As for the other boys, it was like a sci-fi TV show. If they weren’t given names, you knew they were on the enemy’s hit list.
Newt was by far my favourite, but overall, I think the boys were very violent and horrible to each other. I was glad there wasn’t much dialogue, because the dialect used by the characters was strange and clunky…or should I say klunky? Ha!
If you’re reading a dystopian, you want to know about the world and what’s happened to make it get to whatever state its in. Much to my dismay, we were only given tidbits of information, none of it enough to grasp what had happened to the world, outside the maze. I couldn’t figure out what the purpose of the maze was and why there were only boys. In the end, I had more questions than Thomas. In a way, this is what motivated me even more to continue the series, but if I don’t find out what’s going on soon, I feel boredom might start to eat away at me.)
This book deserves three stars. It did nothing to disappoint me, or impress me. I don’t know if I’d have the same opinion if I’d have read the book first, because then I wouldn’t have been expecting the outcome, however, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for the next dystopian obsession!