Right so, I’ll admit it the only reason I read this book is because Dylan O’Brien was cast in the movie but in my defense there are a lot of books to read and this one isn’t really my kind of thing. But thanks to my obsession with the young star I have read it and I figured I might as well share my thoughts with you lonely reader.
This is your spoiler warning; don’t come crying to me if you don’t listen to it.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner centres on a young boy, probably around sixteen, who wakes up inside a mysterious lift with no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. The only thing he knows is that his name is Thomas. He soon finds himself trapped in a place called the Glade, which is surrounded by a seemingly unsolvable maze, with about sixty other boys that remember nothing of their life before.
The Maze Runner is your basic YA Dystopian novel. It’s in the style of The Hunger Games in that it starts small, Thomas has to remember who he is and solve the mystery of the maze, before expanding to reveal greater issues within society at large. As I have not yet completed the series I’m not sure what the moral is yet, but the mystery has certainly intrigued me enough to keep reading.
Thomas is fairly bland and far too selflessly heroic for my tastes but that’s hardly unheard of in fantasy novels (I’m more of an anti-hero girl myself). He gets a tad righteous at times and everything comes a little bit too easily for him, but that does help to keep the story fast paced and action packed. This book is definitely more concerned with moving the narrative forward than getting to know the characters.
The biggest problem for me was the serious lack of estrogen. There is only really one female character and she spends most of the novel in a coma. Even after she does wake up she is still fairly pointless and her sole purpose seems to be to prevent any homoerotic undertones from taking over. I’m hoping she comes into her own as the series progresses but something tells me that’s not likely.
That said this book is entertaining, easy to read and action packed enough to hold my attention. The mystery of the maze kept me guessing and the Greivers are nightmare worthy monsters. While I appreciated Dashner’s attempts to create slang for the Gladers, the language doesn’t flow well enough to be comfortable and can be jarring at times.
What I can say is that I think The Maze Runner will translate well to film. The in depth descriptions present a visually stunning world and while there is never a dull moment there are not that many significant plot points making it easier to cut down. The characters are pretty beige but the actors they have cast are fantastic and if anyone can breath life into Thomas it’s Dylan O’Brien.
If you’re a fan of YA dystopian sci-fi then The Maze Runner is probably worth a look (I found it enjoyable enough) otherwise you’re probably better off waiting for the movie.
… and that’s all I have to say on the matter.