Thursday, 13 April 2017

Run, Rabbit, Run! (The Maze Runner by James Dashner)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20957276-the-maze-runner
 3/5 Stars

'"If you ain't scared," said Alby, "You ain't human."' - James Dashner, The Maze Runner

Thomas wakes up in a lift. The lift takes him up into a maze where a group of teenagers are having a pretty good go at running a successful society. There is no way out of the maze, and it's filled with horrible monsters which are somehow both robotic and organic.

Yes, it's a dystopia, and, as you can see by the rating, I didn't hate it!

(I'm just going to sit here and wait for the sky to fall.)

Thomas is a typical shonen manga hero in a YA book - he'll never give up, but my god does he make some stupid decisions. I hated Minho. I'm honestly still trying to work out why and how he grew on Thomas. I would have thrown him to the grievers. Newt, on the other hand, deserves the world. 

(Your love of British characters is directly tied to how often they use the word 'bloody'.)

I do not deny it. It might be a stereotype, but that doesn't mean that it's not accurate. Painfully, painfully accurate.

Newt's second in command to Alby, who deserved better both because of his contributions to the glade and because poor Newt did not need to see that. Teresa didn't get enough any character development. She's the only girl in the glade, and she exists mainly to have an inexplicable telepathic link with Thomas. There's a vague attempt to explain it near the end, and it just didn't work for me. Chuck was annoying until he grew on me (and Thomas). 

I loved the glade as a setting, mainly because it had it's own language. The slang makes the community feel real. It helps that we have characters who use made-up swears like 'shuck' interacting with Newt, who uses 'bloody' in every other sentence. The mix of real and imagined swears makes it feel like a place that has sprung up in the real world.

Plot-wise...there was one goal. A goal that I gave up on guessing the solution to because nothing had been explained and nothing really made sense, so I figured I'd just go with it and see what happened. What you're really reading for is the climax. Honestly, Thomas, Newt, and the rest must be blessed by some dystopian diety just to have made it this far.

Overall, The Maze Runner's not a bad way to spend a few hours. Just be careful of the grievers.

  Have you read The Maze Runner? And should I watch the film?