Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Maze Runner Review

                The last book I read last year was called The Maze Runner by James Dashner and, I have to say, it was very disappointing.
                The story is about a boy named Thomas who wakes up to find himself in a place he’s never seen before with no memory of anything from his past except his name. He is informed by the other boys who live there that he is in a place they call ‘The Glade’ and outside The Glade is a Maze that changes every night after the walls close. A new boy is sent to The Glade every month and each one wakes up without any memories of their past. Thomas is the last boy sent to The Glade and a teenage girl arrives the next day who seems to have the answers to all of their questions but she conveniently becomes unconscious soon after she arrives. Later (much later) in the story, it is reveals that Thomas is convinced that he is supposed to be a Runner. Runners are the boys who run through the maze and look for a way out but they never do. After many tedious and predictable misadventures, Thomas becomes a Runner and helps find a way out of the Maze to the outside world.
                What I didn’t like about this book was that the boys in The Glade are much too organized. This book obviously has a sort of Lord of the Flies vibe about it but unlike Lord of the Flies, it’s not an allegorical masterpiece about human nature and individual welfare. The boy’s actions in The Maze Runner goes against human nature because these boys have an entire society set up with an extremely organized hierarchy and designated responsibilities for everyone. It just isn’t realistic. These boys in The Glade are all between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, it is highly impossible that a large group of fifteen year old boys would set up their own culture and be able to govern themselves the way that they do.
                Also, it was extremely tedious, the characters are underdeveloped and to make matters worse, Thomas and the teenage girl who arrives in The Glade have a telepathetic bond and they often converse with each other with the use of their minds.
                The story had potential and could have been a sort of rebirthing of the classic tale by William Golding but instead it was an underdeveloped story with boring characters and unrealistic ideas.
                Perhaps it is just me, but I really didn’t like this book. But right now I’m reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld now and it’s extremely good so I’ll actually be able to write a review on a good book very soon!


Jonathon Arntson said...

Awwww! I am so sad that you didn't like 'The Maze Runner'! I disagree with your statement about the organized society being unrealistic. Here's why
1. The Gladers are older than the boys from 'Lord of the Flies'.
2. This book takes place in the center of a maze, not on an isolated island. It's as though your survival depended on you solving a puzzle and not based on being rescued.
3. The Gladers are receiving regular supplies from 'other people', so not only are they 'provided' for, they know there's an exit.
4. I felt like the characters were a perfect fit for a great book. The boys each had different personalities that were not solely based on stereotypes and their roles were almost predetermined.

I do agree that the telepathy aspect threw me, and it annoyed me at first, too. but, I think that is goes back to my #2 point. Science rules in this book and who knows when this takes place.

I hope you give book two a chance.

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