Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Maze Runner

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. 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 expanse enclosed 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, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.

The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable.

And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.


This was a very fast read; I started it the day after I finished Boneshaker, and finished it two days later. It was absolutely impossible to set down, and is gifted with one the greatest science-fiction plots I’ve ever read.

The story starts with Thomas, who, one morning, wakes up to find he doesn’t remember anything about himself except his name. Also, he’s in a dark elevator, and he is quickly going up. The very first sentence seems to have a pull, wanting you to read more, and faster, in order to understand everything that is going on.

Sadly, I didn’t feel much attached to Thomas, because he was a rather typical hero. Courageous, fair, intelligent, though luckily not a beautiful and mysterious sue, he was a little too close to the perfect man to make me completely happy with his character. But the other characters were very good, and I liked them much more than I liked him. Newt was one of my favourite characters, and Minho wasn’t very far behind. I also really liked Gally, even though he was a “bad guy”. Honestly, I kind of thought Thomas was annoying, but I could pretty much ignore him most of the time and concentrate on the extraordinary plot.

The story was very original, one of the most original I’ve read in a long time. A bunch of boys are stuck in the middle of a maze, the Glade, and are trying to get out of it. They have a whole community going on, with farms and stuff, and their whole life revolves around solving the maze, and getting out of the maze before nightfall. Indeed, during the night, horrible creatures called Grievers roam the maze in search of lost boys to eat. The Grievers were disgusting things, seemingly unbeatable, and I hated them passionately and was rather afraid of them throughout the book.

The whole mystery and secret behind how the boys got to the Glade, and who put them there, and why, and why their memory was erased, was mesmerizing. I couldn’t wait to get explanations about everything, like all the characters in the book. Also, I loved the many little clues that were disseminated in the novel, and I was very glad to see my predictions were only half right.

Only one thing seriously irked me: the telepathic communication between Thomas and Teresa. It wasn’t even necessary to the story, and it added a touch of cliché to the novel. This is negligible, though, since it never occurred very much anyways.

Finally, I think this book was, in some aspects, a little similar to Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. I really loved the whole Ender saga, and I’m certain anyone else who did will like this book too. Overall, this was a terrific piece of science-fiction. I think it deserves more recognition, and definitely more reads.

I find it quite hard to say as much about good books than about bad books; therefore I will end this short review now and tell you to go find The Maze Runner and read it. I just can’t wait for the sequel.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Rating: 9,3/10


Utterly disappointed. This book was just, so boring.

The characters were a joke. Thomas is your common gary-sue and hero that is there to save the day and that knows how to do everything and can deal with everything. His voice was weak and and made the entire story seem unoriginal. I didn't care for any of the other characters, perhaps maybe for Minho because he was actually entertaining, but really, I couldn't relate to anyone deeply enough to enjoy the read.

The plot seems very original, but I think it could have been better. There could have been more to the maze, more mystery, more SOLVING and more riddles. I don't know, but it wasn't enough. The resolution also wasn't amazing. And the Grievers, the evil creatures who eat the little kids? They didn't seem scary enough to me. Really, a lot of elements in this book were plain and flat.

Just as Aithen said, telepathy between the common guy and common girl; blah.

I browsed through the last 100 pages because I was so bored and couldn't take it on anymore. The story never did hook me up, picked up very slowly, and I was very annoyed at first when things were explained only, like, 200 pages after they were supposed to be explained. Aithen though it was mysterious and made you keep reading. I was just annoyed and irritated and it was no fun.

It could have been a great book if the characters were interesting and didn't speak some wannabe-cool slang ('shunk-face' and 'klunk') and if there was way more action and mystery and something to cling to in the story. No really, I disliked this to the point of not finishing it. I could have gladly just been told the spoilers and skipped this read.

For once, Aithen's and mine's reviews are very different. Consider this book wisely before picking it up. If you're more like Aithen, you'll like it. More like me, you won't. I'm not discouraging anyone to read it. I just think that this book is the kind of book you either like, or don't. In my opinion, it could have been much much better.
Rating: 6,4/10

1 comment:

  1. I've heard of that book before, and I've REALLY wanted to read it ever since. :)


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