aka YA Literature

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

EDIT: Cody and I have not posted a review in FOREVER! What are the chances that we will both review the same book just days of each other. I typed this whole review and posted it before catching up on my ATR reading and realizing Cody had beat me to it.

Having recently given birth and returned to work full time, I don’t have much time for reading these days. However, when I walked into my school’s library and the librarian thrust The Maze Runner on me, declaring that it was “like The Hunger Games, only better,” I decided to make a little time for reading.

The main character, Thomas, wakes up in an elevator with no memory other than his names. When the doors open, he finds himself surrounded by other teenage boys in the same predicament. They are in an enclosed environment and forced to eek out their own survival. There is a maze in the enclosure that a few “Runners” try to navigate daily in the hopes of finding an escape. Unfortunately for them, the walls move around every day and they cannot go in the maze at night because of strange, dangerous beasts (aka “Grievers”).

The Maze Runner isn’t as deep or thought-provoking as The Hunger Games, but it is still a fast, compelling read. I liked the relationship dynamic between the boys…a little like The Lord of the Flies. Also, the main character is this great guy…a realistic hero, if you will. A few things I didn’t like: the one girl in the story is supposed to be this super smart girl who is key to solving the maze, her character just wasn’t consistent. Sometimes she would be all brave and tough, but other times, like when put in solitary, she gets all teary-eyed and timid. Also, the last part of the book kind of loses momentum. Overall, although I didn’t LOVE The Maze Runner, I still really enjoyed it and I am definitely looking forward to the sequel.


Cody said...

Really? I guess I'm just not seeing it...maybe it's the fact that I had to wait in the holds queue for two months - so my expectations were high. Sadly, I just don't see what's so great about this book. I too had heard it compared to The Hunger Games, so maybe that led to heightened expectations. Although there were a few brief chapters were I was excited about Thomas (the main character), Dashner in no way writes as compellingly as Collins in The Hunger Games.

Although I did find it a quick read, I found myself often asking the question, am I reading this quickly becuase I'm enjoying it, or because I just want to finish it...

My vote is to just wait until August when Collins's 3rd book is apparently being released!!!

On a personal side-note, have you noticed how I'm so extreme in my literary tastes? I'm either completely enthralled with an author or completely repulsed...there's no middle ground! LOL

Tammy said...

I have this sitting on my shelf waiting to be read-thanks for the honest review.
I've heard a lot of comparisons to the Hunger Games which gives the reader a huge expectation-I hope it holds up.