Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Review: "The Maze Runner"

"The Maze Runner" by James Dashner
Book 1 in the Maze Runner series
First published in 2009
375 pages
My rating: 4 out of 5
(image source)

I picked up "The Maze Runner" because I heard several times that it's "Hunger Games"-esque. And I have to say I agree, though it's not as well-written, fast-paced or gripping and Suzanne Collins' crazily famous series.

Like "The Hunger Games," "The Maze Runner" is set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world, though at first readers are only introduced to the Glade, a perfect-weathered seemingly fairly happy self-sustaining community made up of around four dozen teenage boys. It might even seem idyllic except that the Glade is surrounded by huge stone walls with massive doors that close of their own accord at night, either to keep the boys in or to keep out evil killing-machine creatures called Grievers. Or the fact that the walls of the Glade are surrounded by a massive, ever-shifting maze that certain boys -- Runners -- spend hours a day exploring and mapping in an attempt to find an escape route. Not to mention that every 30 days a new boy arrives in the Glade via "the Box," a metal elevator-like contraption, with absolutely no recollection of how he got there or his life before the Glade. They boys refer vaguely to the Creators -- anonymous people who somewhere, somehow are running the show, who send supplies in the Box each week, and whom the boys know are watching their every move.

When Thomas, our protagonist, arrives in the Box, things in the Glade quickly begin to change and it becomes apparent that, good or bad, an endgame is looming. Will the boys solve the mystery of the maze, will they learn how they came to be in the Glade and why their memories were wiped clean? And how many boys will have to sacrifice their lives for this to happen?

While I ended up really enjoying "The Maze Runner," this book and I got off to a rocky start. We only see things through Thomas' eyes, and when he first arrives in the Glade he's completely ignorant of everything, including the odd and confusing slang spoken by the Gladers, and no one will give him any information -- therefore we as readers are in the dark as well. Pieces of information weren't doled out fast enough to keep my interest in the plot, and I may have given up on it had a friend not warned me that it was hard to get into. But I was glad I stuck with it -- it really does morph into a page-turner eventually.

There are currently three other books in the Maze Runner series -- two sequels and a prequel, which was just released, and a movie is in the works. I'm anxious to read book two, which I think will get off to a much quicker start than the first installment. And I have to pass on the recommendation: if you liked "The Hunger Games," you should definitely give "The Maze Runner" a try -- and don't give up on it when it gets off to a puttering, snooze-fest of a start!

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. This book does sound similiar to "The Hunger Games". I will keep it mind for future reading.


Thanks for stopping by! Comments make my day, and I read and appreciate every single one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...