Oh, the agony! James Dashner’s The Maze Runner stared at me for three days before I was allowed to read it. It was finally my turn at the library, so I picked it up – but because it was part of my “2015 TBR Pile Challenge,” I couldn’t start it until the new year!
This YA dystopian story has a unique premise: teenage boys have been sent one by one to an area where necessities are provided for them and they govern themselves, but they’re not only surrounded by a maze with deadly creatures, their memories have been wiped and they know nothing about their past except their names. Runners are sent out daily to explore the maze (which keeps changing) to find a way out.
The first third of the book actually felt a bit slow to me. It’s not as tightly written as The Hunger Games and I felt like we spent too much time in Thomas’s head as he wondered what was going on. (I actually put Maze Runner down for a while to go back to a very different book set in Africa – Milele Safari, which I’ll review later.)
Once Thomas got past figuring out how the teens had their community set up and what the dangers were, the story picked up. He started trying to work out the problems, pushing the boundaries, and both the tension and pace rose. It led to an intriguing resolution, which I can’t even tell you about without spoilers! Aarrgghh! Suffice it to say that the kids discover the set-up and are in more danger than ever, leading to the rest of the series.
I’ll give it 3-1/2 stars – I liked it and I’ll probably watch the movie now and compare, but I don’t know if I’ll read the sequels. I consider the book okay for younger teens – the characters have created their own swear words so there’s no obscenities in the dialogue, and the fantasy violence isn’t too outrageous.
Have you read The Maze Runner? What did you think? And how would you compare the movie?