Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA Thriller

Where I got it: ODLC (the library’s e-book collection)

One sentence: Thomas wakes up with no memory of his past in a community of teens inside a giant maze, but as soon as he gets there, things start to change in the maze and in Thomas, as he realizes he might hold the secrets to finally escaping the maze.

Themes: Secrets, loss of memory, suspense, mystery, post-apocalyptic

Main character:
I felt like there was very little characterization for the main characters, Thomas and Teresa. I couldn’t really connect with them beyond imagining what I personally would feel in the situations they were in. Thomas had Gary-Stu qualities; he showed up having no idea where he was, magically knew he wanted to be a runner, broke all the rules, became a runner anyway and earlier than anyone before, and ending up leading the entire group.

Secondary characters: I found that I liked some of the secondary characters like Newt, Minho and Chuck better than Thomas or Teresa, simply because they had more depth. They had faults that I could connect with and were interesting to read.

Writing style: A little dry. Sometimes I knew there was an intense moment and I just couldn’t get into it because of the writing. I like how Dashner came up with new slang for the Gladers because it really expanded the world and reflected the fact that they had been so separated from the rest of the world that their vocabulary had evolved differently.

Plot: This is what really drew me into the story. I loved the idea of the maze and how Dashner wove in the post-apocalyptic bits. The only part that really disappointed me was the ending (see section below). It probably should have just cut off when they left the maze.

Best scene:
Where Thomas, Minho and Alby spend the night in the maze

Positives: Plot, suspense, gasp-worthy scenes and epiphanies, setting, mysteries of the maze

Negatives: Characterization, some dry writing, ending.

Ending:
A little disappointing after a good rest of the book. Probably could have waited until the next book, just because it was so different from what the rest of the book had been.

Verdict: A good, suspenseful read. The few flaws did not distract me too much from the great plot. I will definitely read the next book.

Rating:
7.6 / 10

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