Saturday, 25 April 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, #1)
Author: James Dashner
Publication: Chicken House, August 4th 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Survival
Pages: 371

Goodreads & Amazon

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


Everything is going to change. 
When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas can remember is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible maze. 
Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there, or what's happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out.

Admittedly, I actually picked up James Dashner's The Maze Runner after discovering the wonderful movie adaption a couple of weeks ago. I was honestly expecting to already know the storyline, the plot and the characters, that this book was only necessary to read to ensure I understood everything before continuing on to read the second book: The Scorch Trials. However, I was completely surprised with what I ended up reading: Dashner's The Maze Runner is completely different than the recent movie adaption. I could provide some examples of these differences, but I do not want to give any spoilers away to those who have not read the book.

The overall storyline is practically same as the movie. Thomas wakes up in 'the box' remember nothing but his own name. Whist focusing on Thomas as he attempts to navigate his way through his new life in the Glade, The Maze Runner introduces readers to the Maze: a mysterious and dangerous and terrifying entity that begins to take on a life of its own, becoming a main character of Dashner's book itself. Thomas begins aiding the other Gladers (a group of boys brought together to the Maze over a three year period) in their attempt to escape the clutches of the Maze and discover the secrets it hides.

I have really enjoyed the characters that Dashner has created -- they are vastly different than the movie adaption characters. Whilst Thomas, Minho and Chuck are somewhat similar to their movie adaptions (with some characteristics varying), Newt, Teresa, Gally and Alby are not. Instead, they are much more multifaceted and three-dimensional, with aspects of these characters seemingly forgotten in The Maze Runner movie. For example, Newt's limp is removed from the movie, which disappoints me as I feel as though this was an important element for his character.

The only reason that I did not rate this book five stars was because the beginning of The Maze Runner was a little slow. It took a while before any real action occurred, with the first few chapters dedicated to exposition. I wasn't looking for action from the beginning, but it could have been a little more exciting.

The Maze Runner has quickly become one of my new favourite series. I have not read many books from a male protagonist's perspective -- the only other one would have to be Harry Potter. I love reading about Thomas and his interactions with other Gladers.

Have you read The Maze Runner? What other books with male protagonists have you enjoyed?

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