Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Maze Runner by James Dashner | Book Review

The Maze Runner #1
First Published: 2009
Young Adult, Fantasy
"If you ain't scared, you ain't human."
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
This is one of those books that stood unread on my shelves for ages. I first resolved to read it when Dylan O'Brian was announced to play Thomas, because I'm a proud Dylan O'Brian fangirl, but deciding to do it and actually doing it turned out to be two separate things.

Part of my reluctance had to do with the fact this is such a hyped novel, and I don't have the best track record with those. And... it's a dystopian novel. I... don't like these too much, if I were honest. So, in all honesty, I wasn't that hopeful about this book.

Now, this book is interesting. It leaves you with a ton of questions you want answered, which in turn makes you want to continue with the series to find them out. And it all kind of messes with your head in a good sort of way. 

But is it especially good as a story? Um... not... really. 

I found it to be extremely dull for about the first 150 pages or so. If I didn't really want to know if there was some point to all this, I wouldn't have been able to force myself to continue with it. I had to give myself a schedule of short, centered reading periods to get through it. Things kind of picked up when Theresa finally woke up.

Aside for this, I found the writing... lacking. It felt as dull as the story was. And that without mentioning the dang repetitions. I mean, I get it. The memory loss thing is funky cause you remember the things but not where/whom/when/etc you learned them. I got that the first time and the second time and the third time. By the fifteenth time I just wanted to hit Thomas over the head with a club.

Your memory may be funky, but mine sure isn't so back off me you schuck!

Speaking of Thomas... I still have no grasp over the guy, or any other character in the book. There were too many random shifts of emotions (and displays of violence), that every time I thought I understood who someone was the carpet was pulled from underneath my feet and I had to try to figure them out all over again.

I still can't differentiate between them, too. If you took out their names, I will have no idea who's speaking.

And the entire time, I had this nagging thought that they weren't smart enoughSure, they are not dumb at all. But geniuses? Err, I didn't feel that at all. They were just... normally intelligent kids. This wouldn't be an issue if a big part of the story wasn't hanging on their intellect. If you don't believe that about them, then you really don't believe any of the shit going on. And I didn't, so...

BUT, I really have no effing clue what's going on and for what possible reason this was all done! It seems utterly ridiculous! I mean, I feel like I kind of grasped the general situation outside the maze, but the maze itself still makes no sense to me. This makes me excited (and hopeful) that the next books would reveal the truth about everything.

Reading over my review, I realize I don't give too many plus points about this novel so it might be confusing as to why it's a three and a half stars read. The thing you've got to understand - the mystery and intrigue and the confusion is this books plus point. It's what made it readable and enjoyable. So despite all the minuses, I still had fun with it.

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