Running, Running, Running.....

Title: The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner

Series: The Maze Runner #1

Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction

No. of pages: 384

Rating: 3/5

Buy it here!

The maze runner is a very famous movie franchise. With the final film being released at the end of the month, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and find out what the hype is really about.

This book is about a boy called Thomas who arrives in a place called the 'Glade'. Thomas arrives by underground goods lift, just like all the boys before him. The Glade is a place where these 50 or so boys have made a home. They receive supplies every day, they plant vegetables and look after animals and they live together in harmony. Proper country, no technology, living off the fat of the land sort of life.

Another very important task that they do is run the maze that surrounds the glade. They have apparently been doing this for about 3 years and they haven't found a way out. Thomas being the superhero of the story is restless and the majority of the book is about him trying to figure out whats wrong and escape the maze they've been put in.

Also, the only thing they remember is their names.

Very weird but also a very unique premise. I was very intrigued to find out how this story was going to play out. 

Unfortunately, this book despite the very interesting story-line did not live up to my expectations.

I had a couple of issues with this book which I will break down for you:

  • The Protagonist: It is very difficult to enjoy a story if you do not like the main character. At the beginning of the book, I quite liked Thomas, he was inquisitive and curious and wanted to get shit done, which is what you want from a strong protagonist. But, this quickly changed when his inner douchebag-ness started to show. His behaviour was rude, condescending and honestly, he needed a good punch to the face. 
  • The Pace: Now I could've put up with an annoying character if the story was going somewhere. But it didn't. Once the beginning of the book had given us context about what was going on, there was a very large chunk in the middle (about 200 pages) where NOTHING HAPPENED. Seriously, it was all very "I woke up and nothing has changed". Same story, different day. So you can imagine how much it dragged. I lost the will to live at that point and would not have finished the book if it wasn't for my own stubborn rule to never leave a book I have started reading, unfinished. To give credit to the author, the book really picked up again in the last 50 pages and I was on the edge of my seat. This is the ONLY reason why I will be reading the next one. The ending was epic. Nailed it!
  • The Language: The boys in the Glade speak in slang and have replaced words with other words that sound similar. Words like:
                                Klunk = Poo
                                Shuck it = F**k (I think?)
                                Shank = Friend
           As you can see, the words are quite odd and frankly become very annoying as you read.

Overall this book and this premise has so much potential. The idea is unique, the imagery is very realistic and it is a genuinely well-written piece of young adult fiction. However, that being said, there was so much that went wrong. I think you could overlook the pace and the annoying language if you had a brilliant protagonist (which definitely wasn't the case). I have watched the first film and Thomas is not a douche in the film which makes him likeable and makes you root for him rather than wish that he gets stabbed by one of the other boys. Also, the film has cut out the middle 200 pages of padding which makes it action-packed and thrilling.

So I will be reading the next book (here's hoping Thomas is not as bad and the story is not as slow) but I would definitely recommend the film because it is such a brilliant idea and I don't think you should be put off by the book.


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