Thursday, January 28, 2010

Maze Runner by James Dashner

I'm finally getting around to reviewing Maze Runner by James Dashner. On my side table I usually have 5 or 6 books of different genres I'm reading at one time.
After I read James' book, I immediately picked up another book to read, like I normally do.
It was okay but I didn't feel it was worth my time right then so I closed the book.
I picked up another book the next day and couldn't identify with the character. Shut the book.
On my third book I read about 3 chapters and returned it to the library.
Where are the good books? I wondered. Why can't I find another book with layered plots and twists and characters?
That is what James Dashner has done to me, folks; he's ruined my light reading. After reading Maze Runner, I found I was easily dissatisfied with the books on my side table. So I took a break from reading for TWO weeks ( thanks a ton, James!).

I haven't read a book quite like Maze Runner.
I take that back.
I've read books on apocalyptic days.
I've read books about kids stuck on an island/forest/town and have to learn to govern themselves and try to get home.
I've read books were a kid is called on to save the world/planet/universe only he didn't know that's what he was doing.
And all the above are in Mr. Dashner's book, only different.

Thomas wakes up in an elevator traveling upwards and the only thing he can remember is his name. Other boys have been sent to the Glade but they have no idea why. Everyday doors open to a maze and a handful of boys run it, bringing back a map in their head of what the section they ran.
The boys have learned survival. Some cook, some bag and bury dead bodies and some run.
Everything changes when a girl is sent to up in the elevator with a message.

I like to figure out the twists before they happen. I figured out the twist in Sixth Sense a fourth of the way into the movie. Dashner strung my prideful-self out as I smugly figured out a twist in the plot than BAM! He twisted it again. I figured out the maze, then James added another layer to it. I figured out the Grievers then he added a twist. I figured out the serum early but I'm sure there is more of twist to that too. I also figured out the ending but not the twist before it. And my prideful-self has made a few predictions in book #2...
Oh! I didn't figure out the names until I read the explanation in the book. Liked it! I'm glad James didn't put that bit of info early in the book or it might have distracted me (there are a few names I still don't understand so if I get the chance I'll ask James about them).

The book is dark. I hated reading about the pain and death the boys went through. And I was frustrated right alongside them. Why were they there? Who put them there? And why were their memories erased?
One negative; I got tired of reading the word 'shuck'. Too close another word which I figured was intentional.
I liked the way James ended the book. Not a major cliff hanger like Hunger Games (I threw that book across my bed when I read the end). James was nice enough to let his readers down slowly but with a good hook at the very end.
I'm not sure I can say I'm anxiously waiting for book #2 because it will ruin my reading habits for a few weeks AND I will wonder what twists and turns James will take me on again. I might wait for #3 to come out too before I finish the trilogy...

Here's a link to the game! Maze Runner Missions

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