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Beginning to End: The Maze Runner Trilogy (Beginning)

23 Sep

Yay! My first Beginning to End post. Here, I shall describe what I thought of the first book in a series, share my theories, list my favourite character, quote, etc. before writing a review. Then, after finishing the series, I will say what I thought of the series overall, say whether or not my theories were correct, pick a favourite book, etc. I’ll probably review the final book in the series then, but leave the others without a full review.

Anyway, the first series I will be posting about is James Dashner’s The Maze Runner trilogy.

One of my good friends put this book in my hands one day and said, “You have to read this.” Our taste in books is usually very similar, so I agreed. Also that day, she would speak of nothing else but this book. I’ve noticed a lot of hype around The Maze Runner too, especially since a film adaption was announced. So, excitedly, I began reading.

In short, I was pretty let down, but I’ll explain why in my review below. However, it was a very good book, and I did enjoy it enough to want to read the rest of the series, but I think maybe the prequel is asking a bit much of me.

My favourite character in The Maze Runner is hard to place, but I’d probably go with either Chuck or Newt. Although basically polar opposites, they attracted my attention the most. My favourite quote/scene is easily:

Shouldn’t someone give a pep talk or something?” Minho asked, pulling Thomas’s attention away from Alby.
“Go ahead,” Newt replied.
Minho nodded and faced the crowd. “Be careful,” he said dryly.
“Don’t die.”
“Great. We’re all bloody inspired.” Newt said.

I do not particularly have any theories whatsoever concerning the rest of this series, as it is simply too mind-boggling for anything to fall into place, other than, of course the insanely frustrating ending. I mean, who does that to a person? Someone hand me the sequel, now!

Oh, and I’m kind of concerned about the film adaption. Though the visual component so far looks incredible, every single one of the actors are in their twenties. Argh! Why do filmmakers keep having 20+ year olds playing teenagers?

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may contain spoilers

REVIEW:

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 surrounded 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 have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

As I mentioned above, I have heard nothing but fantastic things about this book, but I have been let down. Although the plot is incredibly thought out, intense and well-written, every single character lacked dimension, with the only development occurring to the few character who went through the Changing – and even then, Thomas remained disconnected from me. Also, a few of the minor plot twists were fully expected.

Another problem I had with this book is how Thomas treated Chuck. Although he obviously had good intentions, I couldn’t get over how he constantly thought of Chuck as a child who couldn’t fend for himself, even after he sacrificed himself to save Thomas. Another character issue was Teresa, who was a perfect example for Sophia McDougall’s article on “strong female characters”. All she seemed to be was clever, sassy and pretty.

On the topic of female characters, I found The Maze Runner just a little misogynist – considering the Creators only picked out very intelligent children to put into the Glade, why would they not think of a female Variable until Teresa? Women are perfectly intelligent without telepathy, thank you very much. (Update: I have been informed that there is a reason behind only one female character in the first book, and there are many more girls in The Scorch Trials. Phew!)

And although this is one of the most confusing and mind-boggling books I have ever read, I absolutely adored the storyline, which is easily the best part of the book. I loved the Maze and how the Gladers ran everything, showing that children are certainly not hopelessly dependent.

Although slow-going to begin with, The Maze Runner soon picks up into an intense, action-packed tale which easily draws the reader in, giving enough of a clever and exciting storyline to keep them hooked, even if they don’t feel any empathy for the characters.

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Oops, I seem to have made it sound like I hated it. No, I did really like it; it’s just that the flaws are a major problem for me, and if it weren’t for the ingenious plot, I’d be done with it now.

The End post will be up just as soon as I’ve read The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, which may be awhile from now, unless my obsessed friend lends me a copy…

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What am I reading next?

I’m getting my classics on with The Wind in the Willows and Jane Eyre.

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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Beginning to End, Reviews

 

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