Thursday, 27 November 2014
Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Publisher: Chicken House
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: September 4th, 2014 (tie-in edition)
When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade - a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there - or what's happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything - even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out.
I recently read The Maze Runner so the film wouldn't spoil anything, and I have to admit I was less that impressed. I honestly don't understand the hype surrounding this book, but maybe I read it too late. There were things I did like about it - the overall idea is quite unusual and something I haven't come across before - but unfortunately, as a whole, it didn't work for me.
I wasn't a big fan of Dashner's writing, his characters or the way the story was told. I felt like there was a lot more that needed explaining in greater detail, rather than a particular character just flippantly telling Thomas about it, and him going along with it no questions asked. It was all a lot to take in - huge mazes, Grievers, telepathy - but Thomas never really batted an eyelid. Well, not enough for my liking anyway.
I also wasn't keen on the new words/language the Gladers used, and I didn't really see a need for it. I did however enjoy the high-octane action scenes within the maze and fighting the Grievers, and they were easily the best (and most exciting) part of the book. It's a shame I didn't connect with any of the characters, but they all felt flat to me. Even Thomas, who I was hoping to like, was frustrating. Ask more questions, dammit!
The Maze Runner reminded me of The Hunger Games a little too much, though I'm sure it was written around the same time or just after. Still, the similarities are there and I feel that The Hunger Games did it much, much better. I know many people have read and enjoyed The Maze Runner, so do give it a go and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. Hopefully you'll like it more than I did!