Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Review: THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner

THE MAZE RUNNER has been on my TBR list for a while. I pick it up every time I'm at the bookstore but ultimately put it back on the shelf and say, "Next time." So finally my mom bought me the book for my birthday. Actually, she bought me the trilogy box set! I've only read the first one so far, and I really enjoyed it.

The story begins with Thomas, a teenage boy who wakes up in an elevator-type lift. He knows nothing about where he is, who he is (apart from his name), or what has happened in the past. When the lift opens, he meets a group of other boys who live in a mysterious place called the Glade. Next to the Glade is an enormous maze, and every day some of the boys (called Runners) sprint through the Maze, searching for a way out. The catch? The Maze changes every night, and it's full of monsters called Grievers that no one wants to be caught by.

Thomas barely has one day to get used to the Glade when a girl is sent up in the lift, the first girl ever to be sent to the Glade. She brings an ominous warning, and life in the Glade changes. Escaping the Maze is more important than ever, and Thomas begins to wonder if he is more linked to the Maze (and its mysterious creators) than he remembers.

This story is propelled by all the questions. The reader only knows what Thomas knows, which is (frustratingly, at some points) not much. The other Gladers dodge most of his questions for the first quarter of the book, and it isn't until page 100 or so that the real action and answers start to come along. But I stuck with it because I was DYING to know the answers, which we do eventually get. The book is very plot-driven, which keeps things exciting, but that also means we didn't get a ton of character development (not too surprising, since Thomas can't remember his past). I didn't care about him much as I read. I kind of just used him as my lens to get answers to my questions. Hopefully in the next book we'll discover more about who Thomas is.

My favorite character was probably Chuck, the younger boy who tags along with Thomas for the majority of the book. He's funny and adorable and a little vulnerable. I also like Minho, the leader of the Runners who teaches Thomas about the Maze.

I'm looking forward to reading THE SCORCH TRIALS and am hoping for more answers. I've heard a lot of mixed things about the trilogy (particularly about the last book, THE DEATH CURE, being a disappointment), but I'm going into it with an open mind.

What are your thoughts about this trilogy? Loved it? Hated it? In between? No spoilers about the rest of the series, pretty please!

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