When the doors of the lift crank open,
the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name.
But he's not alone...
Publisher: Chicken House
Book Links: Goodreads
Series I've been long awaiting to sink my teeth into? Check
Much hype surrounding said series that caused worry? Check
Spend hours devouring every word of said story? Check
Lived up to the hype? CHECK!
I saw the hype. I saw it and I screamed as I tried to claw it back from my mind, terrified that James Dashner's The Maze Runner wouldn't live up to it. Serves me bloody right for perusing some spoiler free reviews... But it's even better than I expected. Upon completion, I went back and checked out some lower star reviews, just in case I missed something. And although a few of them had great points, I can't seem to feel the same negativity. I love The Maze Runner. Completely. It's everything I look for in a YA novel. Something quick and exciting, filled with intrigue and packed with interesting characters. It ticks every box and more for me.
We are plunged straight in with our protagonist Thomas. It's cold, dark and he's in some sort of lift. His memories are gone, and he has no idea what the hell is happening to him. Before long he's thrown into a world he just cannot comprehend. Surrounded by people who seem to know more than he does, while still managing not to know anything at all. And perhaps the most terrifying is he's trapped, the same as everyone else. Locked in a very literal maze filled with monsters, of both nightmarish and human varieties. Everyone's goal is simple, find a way out of the maze, but the others have been at it for two years, and with Thomas's arrival, things no one could have predicted have been churned into motion.
Thomas and the people around him will have to learn fast, to push themselves to pull on the threads in their minds that contain the answers, the memories that have been stolen from them. Because one thing is for sure, if they don't, they'll die.
Hooked. Quite simply hooked, from page one till the end. Starting off with Thomas the way we do is genius. We have no previous information or starting point, just the same sense of panic and disorientation as our main character, and it's instantly effective. At once we're attached to not only the mystery story we have no idea of, but also Thomas as our vantage point. The Maze Runner's story is fantastic, managing to find itself brimming with happenings and also kind of empty at the same time. But it's unputdownable. Its foundations and world are questions that you beg the story for answers to. The Maze actually reminds me pleasantly of the arenas from The Hunger Games, not because they're alike in that sense, but the general feeling of it. A great feeling. It's not an annoyance, more a satisfaction that two series can have such fantastic places to explore that invoke the same pulse-pounding adrenaline.
As was expected, The Maze Runner has its fair share of characters, and I braced myself for the 50/50 type situation I usually find myself in: For there to be great characters, and few, well, not so great ones. It makes it even better that 90% of the characters are absolutely fascinating. Each with very distinctive personalities and actions. Thomas has the most character development throughout the novel, but you get the sense that the people around him have faced their share of horrors, and it's Thomas's turn to go down that rabbit hole to catch up. But even with our other characters' lack of any glaring development, you still come to form a strong emotional bond with them, proven the further you get through the story, especially at the end.
The Maze Runner is a must read for lovers of the YA genre, but part of me already suspects you don't need me to tell you that. It's a fun and encapsulating piece of work that's actually pretty much a joy to read through. James Dashner's writing wasn't hard on my brain, especially once I reached the early hours and everything up with my grey matter started to become fuzzy.
But I have lots of questions. Question that can only be answered with one thing.
Yep, you guessed it.
The next book!
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