Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: The Maze Runner- James Dashner

It seems like after The Hunger Games, YA dystpoian novels have become so popular.  I decided to pick this book up after hearing so many good reviews.  A lot of people say if you're a fan of The Hunger Games, this book is similar.  I hate to say, I would have to disagree.  Although I wanted to like this book, I finished it and felt a little disappointed. 
The concept of the story is pretty unique and one of the main reasons I wanted to read this book.  The main character named Thomas, wakes up in a box with no memories of his life prior to that day.  All he remembers is his name.  He wakes up in a place known as The Glade, a large meadow surrounded by a gigantic maze.  There are about 50 other kids living there, all boys around his age who came there the same way he did.  All the kids there are assigned varrious jobs, but the maze runners have one of the most important.  Their job is to solve the maze and try to find a way out, but it's definitely not easy.  The maze doors close every night and the maze walls change everyday.  On top of that, the next day after he arrives, a girl is sent there with a message, and everything is about the change.
Other than the interesting story line, this story was an easy read.  Each chapter has a cliffhanger ending so the story moves pretty quick.  The story is also a lot more violent than I thought it would be.  For a YA fiction piece, some parts I thought were a little graphic, but the action in this book will suck you in.  There were some parts where I was completely hooked, and others that were a little slower.
The character development was the one this I was really disspointed with.  It is severely lacking throughout the entire story, which sucks because I think the characters have so much potential.  Unlike The Hunger Games, it's hard to develop a personal connection with the characters, and you don't get emotionaly involved at all (at least I didn't).  Another thing I didn't like was all of the "unknown" factors.  I mean, it's ok to a certain extent (keeps you guessing), but when it's dragged out it gets old.  You don't really start getting answers until the last fourth of the book, and when you do, it's not as surprising as I expected it to be.  It took me about a hundred pages to really get into the story. In the begining, the kids in The Glade use different words (mainly substituting swear words), which I thought was an interesting choice on the authors part.  It turned me off a little at first, but it gets better as you read. 
I didn't exactly hate this book, but I didn't love it either.  It was an entertaining read, but I feel like it is definitely written for a YA crowd.  The concept I liked a lot and I thought it was different.  I actually liked the ending, and it almost makes me want to go out and buy the next book, but I'm not sure if I want to get it yet.  Has anyone read this trilogy before?  I've also heard a lot of good things about Divergent, which I'm planning to read next.  Let me know if you have any other good reading suggestions!

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