Book Review: The Maze Runner (James Dashner)
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: January 1st 2009
Summary (From Goodreads):
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.
This one has been on my radar for a while (I mean, who hasn’t heard of it?) but it’s taken me a long time to get round to it. It says right on the cover that it’s for fans of The Hunger Games (which I am one of) but I didn’t go in expecting too much. Probably the opposite actually, as I tend to be a bit sceptical of the really hyped of books *cough* Twilight *cough*.
It took me over a week to read, which is unusual for me. I just found it really hard to get into, but I couldn’t put my finger on why that was. It should have been really gripping and exciting with all the crazy stuff that was going on but it just didn’t grab me.
One reason I think was the constant use of their own made up slang words. I imagine it was to add some character to the boys and show how they’ve formed their own kind of society by living in the Glade on their own for so long (although two years isn’t really that long…) but it was really confusing to start off with, and then annoying once I got the hang of it. A few words would have given a nice picture of the world but some of them just seemed silly, especially when they knew the real words for them (just say ‘graveyard’ instead of ‘deadheads’, fools).
The characters were okay for the most part, although the main guy was a bit of a Gary Stu. He comes up with the amazing way to defeat the Grievers (literally just dodging them, it’s not really rocket science). He’s a bit too ‘Chosen One’ for me and while there is some explanation of why that is, it still didn’t do it for me.
I’m still not convinced by the whole Maze being a test and some kind of zombie like disease going round, but I guess we’ll hear more about that in later books. Despite everything I’ve said, it’s not a bad read, action packed for certain and already a hit with loads of people. If I was expecting something a little more Lord of the Flies then that’s my fault, but I’d still say it’s enjoyable and I’ll see what the next books have to offer.