|Published: October 2009|
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Series The Maze Runner #1
First thoughts on this book after finishing it: not worth the hype.
Seriously. This was probably one of the biggest series recommendations for "What to read after 'The Hunger Games'" but honestly, it's not that great. I mean it's good...but just good. I was expecting mind blowing and amazing literature but what I got was an okay book filled with excitement then boredom; a roller coaster of ups and downs.
The story started out slow, and I accepted that it would pick up pace since Dashner most likely had to explain this dystopia world. I liked the description. It was very clear and brought the whole dystopia world to life. Thomas was...an interesting character. There were foreshadows throughout the entire story that he knew more than the others and that he was destined for more, especially since people said that they saw him during the Changing. I like Thomas, much better than some of the other characters. He seems very real and depicts genuine emotions. I didn't question his knowledge of the maze (honestly I just thought he was one smart cookie and could figure it out) but I guess, in hindsight, I probably should have been suspicious of that.
The Gladers, as they're so called for living in the Glade, have made quite a civilization here. It was a very well thought out society, living in the centre of the maze. They figured out how to get food and find shelter and live, in an essence. For two years, this is quite an accomplishment.
When the girl appeared. Well, it was sudden. I guess I'm so use to spontaneous action (I
mean Thomas' introduction was very spontaneous too was it not?) that I didn't think twice about it. OF course since this book consists of 99% males. James Dashner would make it so the girl would be the one to bring about the ending. I don't like the girl. Teresa seems to be very clingy and yet not at the same time. It's like she has two different personalities. Sometimes she acts as if she gets angry at him for calling her weak and some other times it's as if she's whining for his help or protection. Not like other dystopia heroins, but then again those other books were mainly consisting of one gender. I just don't like her (as I've mentioned before)because as the only girl, or at least the only one that really matters, her attitude and how she doesn't fit that strong heroin that I expect from dystopia literature. I'm certain Teresa and Thomas are suppose to have some sort of romantic attraction between the two of them but it sucks. There seems to be some awkward tension between the two. As readers, I guess we're suppoe to see these two as the couple of the series and they themselves also know that they're "suppose" to love each other but can't quite understand why. Most romances have that feeling, that unexplainable pull to their true love and it's very evident in their actions and manners, how they interact with the other that makes the outcome of the romance very predictable but in the Maze Runner, it's like the two characters want to love each other but can't in some way. They want to express their love for each other, and boy do they try, but all that happens is hand touching during awkward times and weird conversations that are meant to further develop their romance by exploring each other but it doesn't really happen. I'm not thrilled with this pairing and I understand that they have this whole telepathic connection between the two of them but really, if it wasn't already declared that they had "something" between them, I would never have thought that they would become a couple, although the fact that they are both the main female and male characters might have been a good hint. I apologize greatly for my very long rant on this but it was bugging me for awhile. I blame all the romance novels I've been reading. It seems I've grown somewhat attached to that sort of storyline and outline of events. Time to get back into the whole dystopia mind set.
Enough with the bashing, I will say though that James Dashner does an amazing job at depicting the boys memory loss and lack of knowledge. It's like teaching a baby what an object is. These boys invent their own language and give names to things that they're obviously familiar with but have forgotten the name of.
James Dashner is also very very good at leaving gripping cliffhangers. His chapters aren't very long but the ending of each one hooks you into the next and pretty soon you've read the entire book. I'm very interested to see how this series turns out to be although I'll be very disappointed if it did turn out to be like the hunger games, sequels that lead to a disappointing series end that could have been so much more. I really hope the sequels don't lose the essence of this first book, which is this fight for survival, whether it be in the maze or the dystopia world.
(close to 4 cups but just not there)