The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze runner is a decent dystopian – not bringing anything new to the genre but interesting enough to keep you reading and trying to solve the mystery of the maze.  The book is written purposely teen juvenile – representing the “Lord of the Flies” type of situation in which the characters find themselves. But ultimately I was left a bit disaffected by the whole experience. The spark of cleverness I expected to find at the end just didn’t materialize.

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Story: Thomas wakes up on an elevator that deposits him in the Glade – a giant open area surrounded completely by a steel walled maze. He has no memory of his past, as do none of the other boys there, but instincts are pushing him to go out into the Maze and fight the bio mechanical monsters within. The next day, a a girl shows up clutching a note: she is the last. And no more supplies come after that.  It becomes that much more imperative that the boys solve the Maze and escape before their food runs out.

What started out strongly, with great mystery and clues, never capitalized on that promise. From really idiotic choices by the author (such as naming an organization W.I.C.K.E.D. – really??) to the whole world and reasons for the boys being there making no particular sense at all.  I typically have to shut off my logic half for a lot of YA books but this ended up ridiculous. To say the ending reveal was anticlimactic is an understatement.

At first, I thought we would be dealing with a YA version of the movie The Cube. But that didn’t happen (in both a good and a bad way). Most of the characters in the Maze Runner were very one dimensional and with no surprises (unlike the robust cast of the Cube). And the traps in the maze ended up being one thing: the bio mechanical creatures. I think I would have enjoyed some really creative traps, all of a diverse nature, instead. It would have made more sense in perspective of the ending reveal. Or, in the very least, characters with all kinds of motivations and failings, as in the Cube.

In all, I couldn’t help wishing there was more to The Maze Runner: more nuances, more depth, and a lot more thought gone into the reason for the Maze (or even the maze’s mechanics themselves).

I listened to the audible version and the narrator did a decent, not great, job.

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This entry was posted in audiobook, Book Reviews, dystopian. Bookmark the permalink.

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