25 November 2014

The Maze Runner (Trilogy) by James Dashner

I've spent the last couple of months reading The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. I got in to this because I wanted to read the book before I saw the film and it was also Book of the Month at work so reading it helped me actually talk about it. Before I go into spoilers, so you know where I stand: it was good and I enjoyed it - the first alone is amazing however my enthusiasm lessened over the series.

SPOILERS



The Maze Runner
This book was actually brilliant, I was sucked in to this world so quickly - the pace is brilliant and it's all short paragraphs with cliff hanger after cliff hanger. You are just thrown right in to the middle of it with our main character, Thomas, and learn more about the world as he does. So simple and easy to follow I devoured it in no time. They do have a few words you'll not be familiar with as the community has created their own insults and swears but the way they are used you know that they are. I loved The Maze Runner, I really did. It is my favourite of the trilogy and I think it's because the enemy is faceless and a mystery for the majority, and there is not a lot of Thomas trying to sort out his feelings over girls (you just wait for Books 2 and 3). It's just brilliant, definitely recommend reading it. As you can see, I can't give it enough credit.

Compared to the film, the book is so much better. the most overused phrase in the history of the world, I know, but it is true. The film is great, sure, can't knock it and can't complain too much because if they could fit the whole book in to the film then no one would complain ever again. However, key things were missing for me: Teresa and Thomas' telepathic connection which feels like a huge thing for Thomas throughout the series. Also, the work and effort put in by the Gladers before Thomas arrived, the film made it out like the Gladers had sat for two years not achieving much and then Thomas came along and saved them. True, in the book he comes and shakes things up but the film ignored all the mapping work done by previous runners and their general knowledge of that situation. I also didn't like the device from the super quick grievers that opened the exit door (where was the Flat Trans?) because then when Gally appeared (after not being taken on that terrifying night when the doors didn't shut) it just didn't seem as dramatic and intense as the book. I also didn't like the aesthetic of the maze. So yeah, I have some issues with the film.


The Scorch Trials
I feel like book sets always come in trilogies because that is the "done thing" - and it is necessary for three books, sort of, in this case because the world is sorted and saved in the end (to some degree). Good that. But because this book picks up where it left off it could have got away with being one big meaty book (like George R.R. Martin or Terry Brooks size style, lots of pages and lots of story). It means you have to go out and buy all the books to follow one story that comes more elaborate over time, as you'd expect.

I had a lot of issues with this book. It was good for us to be introduced to Cranks and the extremity of the world but a lot of it felt unnecessary - like those pods at the ends with the robot lighty-up bad guys they fight, they only ever appeared that one time? Surely if they are a weapon of WICKEDs they would use them all the time? We're also introduced to another romantic counterpart for Thomas - so basically, another story of a love triangle and betrayal. For a long time I was frustrated because I wanted them all to be just friends - as in no romance or leading on or anything - and as I read on, it was just like that for Thomas and Teresa, but I still wasn't happy. Maybe I'm just not doing friendship right but Thomas seems to obsess over his friends that are girls, and I want to describe him as needy too but I can't really figure Thomas out. He acts so differently around different people.

The Death Cure
For me, the ending is a little anti-climatic but I suppose humans survive and that is all we want in life. There were some things I did not see coming, like going back in to the maze and some of the character deaths (I can't even write it down, I don't want to believe them). I did read a review where someone said Thomas spends a lot of this book passed out or blacked out and it's true, over the series I noticed a lot of blacking out on Thomas' end. But it wasn't the worst. For me, the biggest nuisance through all of it was Jorge. He seemed like such a lunatic and so intense in The Scorch Trials but then he is just normal and boring, the guy with the Berg and money who sometimes says muchacho as a form of identity. There are more Spanish words to say friend or comrade.

My main issue throughout was Thomas blurring relationships, calling everyone his friend when he cared so intensely for them. I don't even care if he wasn't romantic with Teresa or Brenda, the way he talks about them makes them seem like romantic interests and I just didn't like that. it was too blurred, as if Dashner couldn't decide what to do with the romantic relationships, kind of teasing at them but never fleshing them out. But, maybe that's just me because I'm a robot and don't have feelings.

All in all, I finished the trilogy and that is a good sign. If I'd disliked it so much I would have just stopped reading but Dashner kept me ever curious, even in the parts I claim to not enjoy or cause annoyance I still read on. I cannot give his pace and short chapters more credit, the books are so easy to pick up and read. I've heard good things about the prequel (The Kill Order) so I wanted to review the trilogy separately first before I officially began reading it. But then, that went out the window because I've started it anyway. I'm hungry for more books.

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)The Maze Runner by James Dashner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, #2)The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)The Death Cure by James Dashner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



View all my reviews



2 comments:

  1. I quite enjoyed The Kill Order. It was great to hear about everything prior to the Glade. The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure both irked me because the same thing kept happening to them (i.e. "WE'RE SAAAVED! wait...wait nevermind" I definitely think the three books could have been one big one just done in parts...but idk.

    The movie was phenomenal and was everything I had hoped for haha

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    1. I am laughing because that is actually what it's like with them! Oh well, I'm enjoying The Kill Order a lot so far, it's awesome. I think with the movie, because I read the book just before, I picked out things that I think are important but it's still a great film :)

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