Monday, August 17, 2015

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Reviewed by Ambrea

Thomas has no memory of who he is or where he was before he reached the Glade.  He knows only his name, and he knows he was meant to be a Runner in the maze that surrounds them, protects them, and, ultimately, traps them.  However, shortly after Thomas arrives, someone else is delivered to the Glade:  a girl, the first girl ever to arrive in the maze.  She has a message to deliver—and the world as they know it will change forever.

The Maze Runner is a quick, suspenseful read with an intriguing concept.  James Dashner’s novel falls into the vein of The Hunger Games, pitting young individuals against seemingly insurmountable odds; however, it also calls upon William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, creating an interesting blend of survival-horror and science-fiction and dystopian-apocalyptic genres.  Moreover, Dashner manages to give it his own twist by adding a maze, a group of intelligent and strikingly self-sufficient adolescents, and a number of sinister creatures known as Grievers.

The Maze Runner is a novel worth perusing, at least once, but I can’t say I would read it a second time or readily pursue the rest of Dashner’s series.  Although I enjoyed parts of the novel, it couldn’t my attention for very long.  I was dissatisfied by the conclusion of The Maze Runner, which left too many questions unanswered and too many mysteries lingering, and I thought the end of the novel felt eerily familiar.

Honestly, I was surprised by how much The Maze Runner resembled The Lord of the Flies.  I found it strange how Chuck, Thomas’s closest friend and confidante, mirrored Piggy from Golding’s novel.  They possess similar attributes, often developing identical attitudes and sharing similar fates, and they form relationships with the main character that run parallel to one another.  Their similarities were peculiar and, confidentially, disappointing.  After a while, The Maze Runner started to feel like a remake of The Lord of the Flies set in a post-apocalyptic future.

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