Friday, March 25, 2016

Book Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
by  James Dashner
Date Read:  3/21/16
Rating: ★ ★ 

I feel the need to preface my review with the fact that I watched the movie before I read the book. There were a lot of reviews on this book that were all over the place. You either loved it or hated it due to the lack of answers throughout the book.  Having watched the movie, I knew the general gist of the answers – sort of.

This is a really unique idea for a dystopian world. Even though I had seen the movie, many of the key points were still different enough that I was left wondering what was going on. I found several major differences between the book and the movie, and I was happy with how the movie had changed it up. I’m not frustrated with either. I almost wonder whether I should read books AFTER watching the movie going forward because I find I was less critical of the book because it obviously came first.  I might need to quickly watch the Scorch Trials before I get too far in to it!

My favorite characters in the book were Thomas, Newt and Minho.  I enjoyed Teresa, but you she doesn’t really become a part of the story until halfway through. I also loved Chuck, but I found I attached to him a little bit more in the movie. I felt the movie focused a little more on Chuck’s desire to get home and find his parents – so the event surrounding him at the end of the movie had a little more impact on me while watching the movie than while reading the book. But also, I knew it was coming, so perhaps I was just prepared.

The descriptions of the Glade and the Maze were very rich. I could clearly see everything – though of course I had been exposed to the movie images, but I never felt like anything was off.  The fact that these boys had to organize themselves and create order when they first arrived was very interesting.

There were several instances though where I felt the author purposely withheld information. While it was withheld from Thomas as well, it was still very frustrating. Many times Thomas asked for answers, and he was always told “not now”. As a reader, this is very frustrating, and I feel that watching the movie provided many of those answers for me, which is why this is getting 1 more star than it probably would have had I not watched the movie to know what was going on.

The one thing that really surprised me was the fact that Thomas and Teresa had telepathy. I kept thinking it was just a dystopian world, but then that was thrown in there. So I started wondering, WHAT THE HECK?  Did we just go from dystopian to paranormal dystopian?  I still have no answers on how this telepathy works. But I’m thinking that the Creators probably did something to their brains at some point.


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