The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Book Review #161)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 26/02/18

My 17th book this year)

Thomas wakes up and has no idea where he is. He knows his name is Thomas, everything else is a blur, no clear memories, no people in his life, no recollection of family or home. He is surrounded by many boys, mostly in their teens. Most of them aren’t exactly welcoming or friendly, neither do they answer his many questions of his location and reason for being there.

Thomas soon realises this will be his new homestead. He must find a way to fit in and survive, just like all the others. They live inside a huge maze. They need to find a way out. Some have been there for two years and have found no clues as to where the exit may be.

Thomas has new ideas. Thomas has gut instincts of what to do, maybe he’s been here before. But his mind is blank and all he can do is gather information from the others and to try to make the most of his situation.

The maze is awful. With deadly creatures called Grievers roaming the passageways, the maze runners try everyday to find new clues and changes in the maze to help aid their escape. They must find their way back to homestead each evening before the enormous stone doors close up for the night keeping them safe and captive overnight from the deadly Grievers attacks.

Since Thomas has arrived, the routine and precision of the events in the maze change drastically. The others don’t know whether it is a good or bad sign. Many are wary of Thomas, but some soon think he may be able to help them solve the maze once and for all.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I thought this plot was absolutely captivating and amazing, yet the execution of the characters and the story itself was a bit of a let down.

I really enjoyed this, but that is probably due to my weakness for all dystopian novels. I love the uniqueness, the creativity and the possibilities of what could become our future. If you can focus on the story rather than the flaws, you will enjoy the flow of the book. The excitement and the suspense at each turn of the page.

The characters were rather bland and not much relatable to. Chuck is the sweetest character. Everything that happened to Thomas just seemed too coincidental and too easy considering how the others have been trapped for such a long time and he appears and just knows what to do.

Telepathy in this book really ruined the story because it seems totally irrelevant and unnecessary. So I guess this is where other readers have made the most criticism. However the plot itself was enough for me to give this book a rating of 4 out of 5.

I absolutely hated the Grievers. There should have been more of a variety of obstacles to cross and more monsters to deal with. It felt like the author couldn’t decide whether to write this book for young teens or a slightly older audience. The violence is too much for young teens, yet the way the story unfolds suggests a younger audience.

I love the idea of the maze, the moving walls, the unknown outside of the walls, the possible dangers, the life threatening possibilities, the hope and the need for survival. I would recommend this book to other readers and I am very much willing to give book 2 a read. I don’t think this book deserved it’s low reviews of under 3 stars, but many people like to criticise rather than to appreciate with an open mind, the authors version of a new world.

Written by Ling Lee (27/02/18).

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