The Maze Runner by James Dashner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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.
I just realised I never actually reviewed this, and now when I’ve finally gotten started (and almost finished) the second book I thought – maybe I should get this thing done.
I have some problems deciding what I really thought about this book. At first thought I loved it. I fell in love with the story and the mystery and the whole world with the maze and secrets and a puzzle that’s gotta be solved in order for them to escape. I loved following the clues and see the characters figure them out, and I felt the excitement when we got closer and closer to the end and a hopeful escape from the place they’d been sent to.
So when I first finished it, I was absolutely amazed. Now I’m reading the second book, and I’m starting to think back at the first one and wondering, did I really love it as much as I first thought?
Looking through other peoples reviews I remember things that actually did bug me while I was reading, but that I sort of forgot about when I got lost in the excitement.
First off, one of the things I find most important in a story ever is really poorly written, and that’s something I didn’t realise until I was half way through the second book and started to think, and then I went back to skim through the first one and I figured… hell this is so crappy written, I’m not even sure why I didn’t see it the first time. This thing is feelings. What I find the most important when I read a story, no matter if it’s a book, a short novella or a fanfic online, feelings is what I focus on the most. I don’t want the writer to constantly tell me what’s going through in their characters minds. I don’t want to read that someone is scared, happy, confused, sad or angry. I want to understand it anyway. I want it to be shown in the way the character moves or talks. I want it to be written in a way that I feel it myself, so I can put myself in the mind of the character I read about and feel what they feel.
In these books, so far, I don’t.
I’ve been completely blinded by all the mystery and need to find out what the hell is going on to focus on the one thing I always find the most important, and sure, creds to the writer for that, because it’s something that usually makes me stop reading very fast, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s something the writer should’ve put some more focus on, instead of repeatedly tell us what he wanted us to know.
Thomas is pretty annoying, and so are many others. I got so sick of them giving him a “stop asking questions” kind of replies instead of just explaining what the hell was going on. Yes, I know it’s a part of keeping the suspense, but come on it’s not realistic. A whole place of young men and no one cares enough to take the time to explain some shit to the newbie? Nah, I’m not buying it.
And with that we move on to all the damn secrets and Thomas oh so conveniently remembering things from his past, just to not bore us to death. As it is right now, I’m starting to feel like I’m only still reading to find out what the hell is going on, but I have no connection to the characters anymore. That’s also a big ass warning to the writer doing something wrong, main characters dies and I barely even raise a brow. Then we have other writers that makes me cry, yell and scream at my book when a character I barely even knew I cared about dies… So that’s clearly something this writer needs to work on a bit more – to wake the emotions of the reader.
I feel like I’m not saying anything positive at all, and yet I actually claim to like the first book… let’s see. Positive things about The Maze Runner:
The whole idea – Even though I at many times feel like this could’ve been done a lot better, I do love the whole universe this writer has built up for us. The flare, The Maze, the world outside they don’t remember, Thomas being a part of WICKED (even though we don’t really know much about that yet), Theresa and Thomas having a special connection, The way the gladers have built up their life and have their own important roles, what happens if you get stung, the creatures only coming out at night, the different clues bringing us closer to a way out – all this I love. I just wish the writer had handled it better. I wish the characters felt more alive and that I actually felt something when bad things happened to them. I wish I had been afraid when they got stuck in the Maze over the night, I simply wish I had some connection to them at all.
The idea is great and the book isn’t bad. It’s really a page turned and when you’ve started it’s difficult to put down, and I do really recommend it, but I still wish it would’ve been… well… more.
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