Jami's Reviews > The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
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Feb 19, 10

bookshelves: young-adult, gets-hype-but-actually-pretty-sucky
Read from February 15 to 19, 2010

Not really loving it so far.  The whole concept is pretty interesting, but the main character, Thomas, is really bugging me.  Here's my general impression of him and his emotional rollercoaster so far: "I'm scared.  Now I'm inexplicably calmed.  I'm angry. I'm not angry anymore.  Chuck really bugs me. He doesn't bug me; he's my only friend.  Angry again.  I hate Chuck.  Chuck is great.  Now I'm just confused. I'm strangely calm again. No wait, I'm agitated.  This guy Minho scares me.  No, I actually trust him.  Waaiiit, I was right--he does scare me.  No, I was right the second time--I trust him."  And this is all in the first two days . . .  Can't wait to see what happens next(?)

UPDATE: (Just a warning for those who may want to read this, spoilers ahead)  Okay, so I just cannot express enough how much of a disappointment this book was.  Honestly, probably the WORST writing I've ever read in an young adult novel!  The concept behind the book was interesting, but the poorly executed writing absolutely ruined the whole thing.The main character was just as annoying throughout the book as I had originally thought.  Mostly because the author felt the necessity to tell you each and every reaction to every thought or feeling the main character, Thomas, was having.  Someone really should have advised James Dashner on the old adage, "SHOW, don't tell."    The reader is told repeatedly that Thomas is very smart.  However, I did not see one glimpse of proof of that in the character's actions or thoughts. In fact, I kept thinking the very opposite: this kid is an idiot! He doesn't really do anything special or even really figure anything out by himself.  The only way he figures out how to get out of the maze is because after taking the serum, he is given back a bunch of old memories that basically tell him what to do.  And I kept wondering why he felt like he had to get stung by a "Griever" in order to take the serum. Couldn't he have just taken the serum by itself?

Speaking of the "Grievers," I could not believe how ridiculous and overly-complicated these creatures were.  Their name was bad enough.  The author tells you repeatedly how "terrifying" they are, and how everyone has such "terror in their eyes" whenever they see one, but honestly, I just didn't get it.  Blobby-skinned (yet somehow hairy), slimey things with mechanical arms or spikes that would randomly poke out with needles or claws on them?  Seriously?  But hey, the author says again and again how horrifying and terrible they are, so I guess they must be.  And how is that these things can climb walls, yet never climb the walls that surround the Homestead every night after the doors are closed?

And if I had to hear one more kid utter one of the ridiculous slang words the author made up for them, I thought I was going to scream.  Shuck, slint, shank, klunk.  It felt so forced in the dialogue, especially when Thomas starts using all these words (that are so strange and unfamiliar to him) the day after he arrives in the maze.

The idea behind the book could have been good, but the writing had me groaning or rolling my eyes through the entire thing.  The end was very contrived with the "murder" of Chuck who Thomas has decided at the last minute that he feels as close to "as if they had the same mom."  Uh, do you mean he feels like a brother?  Either way, his death was a poor attempt to elicit emotion from the reader (after all, if Thomas spends five minutes sobbing and wailing only to "suck it all back in" and wonder if he should feel embarrassed, then we should really feel for the poor tortured soul).

This is one book where I have absolutely no interest in reading any more from the series.  Maybe if another author wrote the next book, I'd consider reading it.  Otherwise, I see no reason to torture myself with another book like this.
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Reading Progress

02/15/2010 page 87
23.26%

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, I think I agree with every word you wrote. Great review!!


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