Hey people! Sorry I’ve been so behind on book reviews…I’ve actually finished a couple of books recently that I still need to write reviews for. Gah! Luckily I’m knocking one off of my list tonight by reviewing The Maze Runner by James Dashner.
The Maze Runner begins when the main character, Thomas, awakes in a dark box resembling an elevator and realizes he knows nothing about himself or his past. He cannot remember where he lives, how old he is, or what his family looks like. Although he does seem to have memories of the world and how it works, he cannot remember how he knows these things. Furthermore, he has no idea where he is or why he is in a dark, rising box.
Soon the box surfaces and Thomas finds himself surrounded by other young boys in a wide expanse of land they call, “the Glade.” Soon the boys explain to Thomas that the Glade is actually a fully-functioning little community with crops, animals, and even a small board of boys called “Keepers” that act as their government. The Glade is also surrounded by high stone walls that mark the entryway to giant mazes, which change each night. There is a group of boys called “Runners” who make it their job to run through the mazes each day to try to find an exit from the Glade. Despite the fully-functioning community in the Glade, the boys are all unsure why they are there and are constantly seeking a means of escape. While Thomas cannot remember who he is or why he’s been put in the Glade, he has a strong urge to become a runner.
Soon after Thomas’ arrival, a girl is unexpectedly brought into the Glade by the same box, which is the first time that has ever happened in the two years that the boys have been trapped there. She comes with a warning that everything will change and then shortly after she claims that she has “triggered the ending.”
When everything changes in the Glade Thomas finds his courage and makes friends with other “Gladers” by showing them that he is loyal and will risk his life to save a stranger. Together with the help of the girl and a select group of Gladers, Thomas is able to use the maze to solve a code, defeat horrible monsters called Grievers, and escape from their entrapment.
The book ends abruptly without Thomas or the other Gladers really figuring out what has been going or why they were put in the Glade in the first place, but they know the world has suffered a terrible disease and they were selected to try to save the world.
I was told to read this book from a couple of different people (though now, of course, I can’t remember who) and was hoping that it would be along the lines of Hunger Games and Divergent. In other words, weird, but well-written and engaging. However, I found The Maze Runner to be too fast-paced and far-fetched to keep up with. As soon as I got used to an idea, I felt like it was being challenged and changed into something else.
For example, when Thomas first arrives, the Gladers tell him that no one in two years has ever survived outside of the walls at night. However, a few quick chapters later, Thomas goes and does just that. Also, at the beginning of the book no one had ever defeated a Greiver (the terrible monsters), but at the end of the book about half of the Gladers do. It just seemed a little too unbelievable and I wasn’t really a fan of the plot.
This was still an interesting and fun read, but I have to be honest when I say that I was kind of happy when it was over. It made me want to go read a history book and I felt like I lost a few brain cells from reading it, even though it was fun.
If you’ve read the book, feel free to share your comments on the following questions in the comments section below!