What a fun read, and I don’t say that very often. I read The Maze Runner after I had been in a slump for several months, burned out from reading so many books that I didn’t actually want to read for both school and from review requests. I picked up The Maze Runner on a whim and it reminded me of what I liked about reading, of the joy of immersing myself in a story and enjoying the ride.
The book is a fairly standard set up for a young adult dystopia novel, a bunch of teens find themselves trapped in what seems like a game without a clue as to how they got there. A new kid is dumped into the group each month until one day everything changes. The set up for this novel was intriguing, even with a fairly standard plot, the curiosity surrounding the maze kept me reading. I was invested enough in the ragtag group of Gladers that I wanted to see what would happen to them. It was a little slow and difficult to get into because of the invented language in the novel, which takes a bit of getting used to. It definitely adds some flavor to the dialogue but I can see how it would be extremely hit or miss with readers.
“You are the shuckiest shuck faced shuck in the world!”
There are a few issues that I found with the writing that do need to be noted. The plot is propelled forward by the fact that crucial information is intentionally withheld from the main character, and by extension the reader, for absolutely no reason. While this set up is a commonly used writing tool in order to create suspense it can be incredibly frustrating for readers if executed poorly. The drama in the book relies heavily on the old amnesia trick, where the plot can only advance when the main character remembers things, making them unique and special.
On the other hand, I really liked the fact that the romantic elements, while they exist and there is a love interest, it isn’t the central focus of the story. It feels sometimes that this is all the dystopian genre has devolved into, so running into an adventure novel not bogged down by pages full of dating drama was refreshing. I found The Maze Runner to be a treat that I can honestly recommend for a non-serious, pure fun read. If you’ve seen the movie and are like me and hate it, consider giving the book a second chance, the movie was trash compared to the book.
Title: The Maze Runner
Series: The Maze Runner #1
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: September 25, 2009
Number of Pages: 386
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.