Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Maze Runner

Welcome to Glade. I just got through with the  Maze Runner...Actually it's been a few weeks but life you know... I just started video editing for my husbands woodworking channel on YouTube and putting together his website and blog. Then I got sick and spent some time throwing up. So I have just been very, very busy. Excuses, Excuses I know.
Anyways, I liked this book but I can't say that I loved it. I have started reading this book about a 4 times so far and this is the first time that tI have made it this far.  I will say in the beginning that I couldn't stop turning the page. I really just wanted to find out what the hell was going on with the creepy glade.

The book starts out with a boy coming up through the lift into what has been dubbed as the maze. (I say lift because it's not really an elevator.... Elevators are those shiny things in nice hotel buildings, this is more of a box with chains holding it together, more of a lift.) He arrives surrounded by a bunch of teenage boys (who wouldn't find that off-putting and creepy?). Of course he's freaked out because he can't remember anything except his name, Thomas.
It's pretty obvious from the start that something is off about this whole situation, we find out that the boys have been stuck in the Glade for around 2 years. Why have they continued going and searching the maze? It seems to me that by this time they would have just given up, someone would have set up as the boss and lived like a king making the others work for them. That's kind of what you expect in this situation. But we get nice, orderly situation...why? I'm suspicious already, which we are supposed to be.
All in all I'm pretty impressed with how well Thomas is handling his situation. He's not freaking out too badly considering. We do find out pretty quickly that something strange is going on with Thomas. He continues to have feelings that the whole situation is familiar. I also found it strange that everyone remembers their name. There is a fun hint about their names later on in the book.
Thomas starts adjusting and getting a tour and a guide and I couldn't help but be reminded  of Divergent with the initiates and Thomas reminds me a lot of Four, who's name is Tobias... fishy? Maybe.
A line in the book particularly stood out to me. The author, James Dashner, gives Newt a line:
      "You get lazy, you get sad, start giving up. Plain and simple."
That resonates with life. Something bad happens, you have to keep going and keep moving forward, do one little thing everyday, even if that is all that you can do is that one thing, stay busy or you dwell on the bad. My little piece of life advice for today.
From there we learn about the glade and the happenings and we get a surprise with Teresa, showing up. The rule is one person arrives at a scheduled tim, once a month. And Teresa shows up, first girl ever, he day after Thomas, and she arrives with a special note and basically the shit hits the fan from there.
One thing I thought, and I don't want to say too much because no spoilers, but from the beginning they have been making maps of the Maze but for some reason, the runners have only compared the maps they make, not the maps they have to maps from other runners, other sections. Why? What in the world would make them not compare them too each other, at least to get an arial view. We also get a sense that they started arriving in the glade about 2-3 years ago but we never get any history. In this situation (unlike the last book I read which you can find here). I get the feeling that it was deliberate and that eventually we will have some resolution.
I will say that the characters all seemed a little flat to me, I think that there was some missed opportunity there further develop many of the characters and the plot further. I feel like that this may have been a deliberate move on the part of Dashner to add more back story in the latter novels. To keep us buying his books maybe? I might be eating those words, there has been a lot of negativity surrounding the book, especially if you get to reading the comments on Amazon, but not every book is going to be mapped out just like some of the other great YA Dystopian fantasies. And that is what makes it interesting, if all of them were written like the Hunger Games or the Selection we would get bored.
I think the biggest "character" in the book, what the Dashner wanted us to see, was not Thomas or Teresa or Alby or Newt or Chuck, it was WICKED and the Maze. I don't believe he wants us to concentrate on he said, she said, backstories, he writing to keep us thinking about the Maze.
Again I might be eating those words when I read these prequels and sequels, but that's just a current opinion.
Right now there are currently 2 sequels to the Maze Runner and currently one prequel with another due out in 2016.
I just finished (quite literally) watching the Maze Runner Movie, so look forward to my next blog post about that one.
Now for the ratings, overall I liked the book, it was a page turner and kept me interested through out. I just wasn't sucked into loving the characters the way that I like to be. I didn't feel a real sense of connection or of commonality with any of the characters, but I hope that will change as I continue through the series. All in all I would give the first book in the Maze Runner series 3 out of 5 Shanks.