Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA Dystopia
Release Date: October 6th 2009
If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.
Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.
Everything is going to change.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
Remember. Survive. Run.
For a long time I’ve struggled to sort my feelings towards this book. While it’s not really bad, it didn’t blow me away either.
Thomas found himself in the Glade with no memory of who he was. He only knew that his name was Thomas, nothing more. The Glade was a strange place and he found himself in the company of those people who went through what he experienced. There was also the Maze, and he found himself drawn into it for reasons unknown to him.
I was unsure how I feel about this book for a long time. I think it’s not a bad book but it didn’t wow me either—which was a real shame because I expected a lot from it. I should say that the main thing that put me off the book was the main character Thomas.
I can’t put my finger on it but I’m always annoyed at him. He is a very curious person, he finds himself in a strange place called the Glade and everyone’s telling him not to pry about things and not to mess them up—which he totally did. Normally, I don’t have problems with curious, odd or adventurous characters but I found his stubbornness annoying. I should also mention the fact that his mood changes from one extreme emotion to another. Reading in his point of view was like reading from the point of view of a PMS-ing girl (and trust me when I say I know a lot about PMS-ing). I just can’t nail down his true emotions because they’re so unstable.
“I promised him!” he screamed, realizing even as he did so that his voice was laced with something wrong. Almost insanity. “I promised I’d save him, take him home! I promised him!”
And it’s not just Thomas either, I also can’t pinpoint what the other characters are feeling because sometimes they say or do something that is unlikely based on their personality. The characters are just too inconsistent.
There is also the romance element of the book which I think was meh. Sure it’s not the main theme of the book but Dashner could have done a better job at it. I feel like the romance between Teresa and Thomas was thrown into the mix just for the hell of it.
There are three characters that really stood out, one is Thomas and he stood out in a bad way. The other two are Newt and Minho. Newt is a great leader, he’s the rock of the Gladers and even when the world seems to be crumbling around their ears, Newt was there for them. Minho, the Keeper of the Runners, also stood out because like Newt, he was a great leader. He’s also very brave and he took Thomas under his wing.
“Shouldn’t someone give a pep talk or something?” Minho asked, pulling Thomas’s attention away from Alby.
“Go ahead,” Newt replied.
Minho nodded and faced the crowd. “Be careful,” he said dryly. “Don’t die.”
If there’s one thing I love about The Maze Runner, it’s the conflict and the villains. It’s really interesting how Dashner described the Grievers. They’re so odd—a mix of animal and machine. It’s peculiar things like this that would get your imagination going. I also love how he keeps hinting about what the situation outside the Glade was like without giving away too much detail. It made me wonder what it’s like outside the walls of the Maze, it made me curious enough to want to read the succeeding books even if there are some things that I think could be improved on.
So, overall I think The Maze Runner is… okay. But not so bad that I would totally avoid it. I just hope that the story gets better from here because I really want to know what would happen next to Thomas and the other Gladers.