Book Review : The Maze Runner by James Dashner

*We know I talk SPOILERS by now, right?*

The Summary :
Thomas has no idea where he came from, or anything about his past. One day he wakes up in an elevator, and travels to this place he vaguely remembers, but has never seen before, The Glade. He finds himself thrown into a sort of society with other boys, some younger, some older, that also have no idea how they got there, or why they were chosen. In the Glade, everything has a system. The elevator, called the box, brings a new boy every 30 days, and supplies every 7, the walls of the glade open every morning, and close every night, and everyone has a job. What lies beyond the opening and closing walls is a giant, ever changing maze, filled with terrifying monsters, called Grievers that come out every night. Every day they send Runners out to find a solution to the Maze. When Thomas enters The Glade, everything starts to change. First, the elevator opens the next day, off schedule, to bring the first girl to ever enter The Glade, and she comes with the message that the end is coming, and she will be the last Glader. While Teresa, the girl, stays in a coma for much of the book, she remains a major plot point. After being one of the first Gladers to survive the maze for a whole night, he becomes a Runner. Soon after, the sun dissappears, and  the walls stop closing, letting the Grievers in. Now, Thomas has to find the end of the maze, and get the rest of The Gladers out of the maze before they all run out of time.

The Characters:
Thomas – Annoying as hell. I understand that he was just taken from his home, his memory wiped, and he was thrown into this new life with no memorable warning, but he forgets that everyone in the Glade went through the same thing. He acts like he’s all alone in the beginning, and he doesn’t seem to realize that he’s still the “greenie,” or the lowest man on the totem pole. He feels that he should be a Runner, but he just got there, and in this society, like most, you have to start at the bottom. Throughout the rest of the book, he got a little bit more bearable. I started to respect him a little more when he made sure to get Chuck out of the Maze, and was willing to sacrifice himself out there for Chuck.

Teresa – She was in a coma for half of the book. Literally half of the book. I like when she comes her coma, and she’s not whiny, or trying to figure out where she is too much. She just kind of accepts where she is, without fully accepting it. She knows she has to get out, and that she has information to help them all get out.

Chuck – Chuck is my favorite Character. While he is just like that annoying little brother who talks your ear off about the most basic things right when you walk in the door, I grew to love him. His relationship with Thomas is one of the most genuine and precious relationships I have ever encountered. Chuck’s death was actually the only emotional  part of the book for me.

Of course there were other minor characters, but none really stood out to me.

The Plot:
I was bored for much of The Maze Runner. I can see why people get sucked into this plot, but it just wasn’t my speed, i guess. I’m going to start with my negatives. You’re in Thomas’ mind the whole time, so you’re seeing The Glade through his eyes. Thomas is whiny as hell. All he does is gripe about how he is “all alone” and “wants to be a runner,” and I found myself telling hin to shut up more times than I should have. Dashner created his own slang for the boys in the Glade to use, which was a great concept, but as with any other new dialect, It was difficult to get used to. The pacing is a little weird. It starts off by throwing a bunch of information at you, while simultaneously withholding a ton of information, then the plot picks up, and the whole story moves a little bit faster, but slows down again randomly. The pacing is just inconsistent. On the positive side, the plot gets more interesting as it goes on. I really liked the telepathy plot twist thrown in there. I liked that Thomas didn’t just know how to talk back to Teresa, and he had to figure that out. Chuck made me so happy the whole time. Most of the books I’ve been reading lately have been lacking in a character that was just plain annoying. Chuck was obnoxious, and you want to smack him half the time, but you grow to love him. I’m calling it now, I haven’t read the rest of the series yet, but I’m predicting that Chuck and Thomas are brothers.

The Overall :
I’m giving this book 3 hearts. I’m sure I’d score it higher if not for the pacing and the language. I am interested in seeing what comes next, but I’m not chomping at the bit to pick up The Scorch Trials or anything. I would recommend this to people who like The Hunger Games, and other young adult dystopian novels, if you aren’t bothered by inconsistent pacing.

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