Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review - The Maze Runner by James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade-a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they've closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up-the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
I went out and bought The Maze Runner by James Dashner on a recommendation from a couple of different friends. One, who urged me to read it a LONG time ago. And one just recently. I'd been looking for another series to jump in to so I thought why not.

I was definitely not disappointed with The Maze Runner.

Thomas is just kind of dumped (or lifted, as it were) in to this brand new life style where he remembers absolutely nothing but his name. No friends, but apparently already an enemy, though he can't figure out why.

He doesn't know what's going on or what he's supposed to do and no one is too keen to tell him.

He's forced to accept this new existence in a place completely alien to him while he deals with trying to fit in, trying NOT to get killed every time he sets foot in The Maze, and trying to figure out what he's forgetting... and who the girl is who came up after him. Something is knocking at the back door to his memories but he can't quite unlock it and open it to see what he's missing.

This is an interesting book. The language really stuck out to me from the get go. Cussing without cussing (ha!) so it's safe for young-ish readers as well. Words like klunk and shank are part of their normal vocabulary and klunk is really the only one explained so it's pretty much left up to your imagination what you think the others might be.

I was frustrated for Thomas. Brought up in to this new place with absolutely zero idea who he is and what's going on. And no one wants to clue him in. I mean, can you imagine how upsetting that would be? To be desperate for answers but not given any? Especially when Teresa comes up after him and all of the sudden he's in the spotlight because things are different now. So obviously he MUST know what's going on.

He showed his stuff pretty early on. Being terrified and yet still having the juevos to do some of the things that he'd done, despite the rules.

I liked Newt and Minho from the beginning. They were likeable and seemed pretty easy to get along with. It didn't matter that there were a few hiccups in their party, they did what needed to be done when it needed to be done and generally didn't let emotion or judgement rule their actions.

The grievers were disgusting. Mostly because I couldn't quite solidify a picture of them in my head, so the ones I came up with were just... globs of gross. The noises they made and the things that they did to those poor boys, though, was all too easy to picture thanks to the details given by the author.

Although far from a utopian society, the boys in the Glade and the Grievers kind of remind me of the Eloi and the Morlocks from The Time Machine. The boys each have a specific job that they work at to make sure the Glade runs smoothly, but just outside the walls of the Glade are creatures that will end their world just as quickly as it began.

After you get past the first couple of chapters, the book really picks up. It's full of action and suspense and it's a really good story to jump in to. There are some wicked plot twists at the end that will throw you for a loop but have no fear... it picks right back up in book 2!

Like I said before, because of the language in this book, I'd recommend this, really to anyone. It may take a bit to understand exactly what's going on, but young and old readers alike can enjoy this one!

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