The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner (website)
I'll give both what I liked and what I disliked about The Maze Runner. There are spoiler alerts in this review - don't read it if you don't want to get them. :-)
I usually enjoy distopian styled books (Hunger Games is in my top three favorite series of all time), but overall, I didn't like The Maze Runner. I never truly "fell in love" with the plot. I know many people who really, really like this sort of fiction, and I'll recommend the book to them wholeheartedly.
First, what I liked:
The action was good - I wasn't ever really bored. I felt compelled to finish the story.
The characters were very well developed - especially Thomas, Chuck, Newt, and Minho. I truly liked Newt and Minho, which is very important for a story's success.
There were enough twists and turns and down times - the pacing between scenes was perfect.
Next, what I didn't like:
I felt like things were rushed, especially on Thomas' part. Examples:
- He didn't think out his decision to get Stung well enough - the reader didn't get the opportunity to come to the same conclusion.
- He didn't feel enough pain during the Changing - "Everything else turned into pain" is a classic example of telling vs showing.
- The night Thomas spent out in the maze went too fast - the sun rose several hours earlier than it logically should have.
I didn't like the premise - when the characters figured out that The Maze was just a test, and not real, I felt cheated. I felt like the whole story was based on a game of Suduko or something.
It was too graphic - seemingly unnecessarily so, and mainly due to Thomas over-thinking things. An author's job is to create images in the mind of the reader with a few well-placed words, not a barrage of them.
Like I said, I can easily recommend this book to other people - my younger brother LOVED it. I won't be reading the second book, however.
Now, back to what I was working on before I started reading The Maze Runner - that of unpacking. :-) Just posted a short update on my life, including publication information. Read it here.