I got bored with reviewing my goodreads list in order, so I thought I'd jump ahead to 'The Maze Runner' by James Dashner, as this was a very different reading experience for me, as I don't usually gravitate towards slightly frightening thrillers, despite the fact I always enjoy them. I really should learn to pick them up more often!
What's it about?
'When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse enclosed by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them, open. Every night they are closed tight. And that every 30 days a new boy is delivered in the lift.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets that are buried within his mind.' Goodreads summary.
What did I think of it?
I was really surprised by this book. It was not what I was expecting at all. The booktube community kept recommending this book for fans of 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins, and saying that is was a brilliant book. I was looking for something similar to 'The Hunger Games' so I thought I'd give it a go. Personally I wouldn't compare the two. Okay, the concept of being trapped in an arena/maze idea can be considered similar, but the feel and ideas of the books were very different.
I started reading 'The Maze Runner' about 10:30pm and I only planned to read until midnight, then I would get some sleep. This did not happen! I had to keep reading as I found it a little scary and I couldn't sleep until I knew what happened. Plus, once I got past the fear, I was hooked on the plot. I just had to find out what was going on, and how the Gladers were going to resolve the situation. I found this an incredibly addicting read, and I was left feeling rather worn out after this book. It is a great thriller!
Dashner creates a creepy yet enthralling world that the Gladers live in. The book has a real sense of urgency, and continually builds the suspense, revealing small plot points whilst at the same time creating even more mysteries as the book goes on. I think Dasher does an excellent job in describing the forbidding maze, and letting you picture the dark and foreboding place in your head.
I thought the characters were a little under developed and that the remembering memories at convenient moments was a slightly contrived plot device but none of these things ruined the book for me. I am very much a plot driven reader, I empathise and get attached to characters fairly easily so it doesn't usually matter too much to me if characters aren't as developed as they could be, as long as the plot interests me. I was so intrigued by the plot of 'The Maze Runner'- what was outside the maze? Why were they in the maze in the first place? Where did the monster Grievers come from? Why does the Changing occur? Why is the maze stepping up a notch? Who are the 'Creators'?
It is a fairly cheerless, unrelenting and dark book in many respects but it drags you in, and compels you to read more. From reading other people's reviews, I have found that it splits the jury- a lot of people seem to have gripes with the made up slang, and 2D characters, though everyone seems to love the idea of the maze runner. I personally thoroughly enjoyed 'The Maze Runner' and I would recommend it to my friends.
Goodreads Reading Challenge
This book is number 6 out of 50