Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: The Maze Runner (YA Dystopian - Exciting Read!)

In The Maze Runner James Dashner has created a world in which teenage boys become an experiment in will power, perseverance, and survival.  Thomas awakens in a world surrounded by a maze with no memory of his past.  The only residents of this strange and dangerous new world are other teenage boys.  They are given everything they need to survive through what they call “The Box,” which is an elevator shaft that opens up every two weeks with supplies.  Once a month, the Box delivers another amnesiac boy.

But this month is different.  They day after Thomas’s arrival, the Box delivers a teenage girl, breaking the two-year pattern of the Box.  After this, their entire world, as they know it, begins to unravel.

The maze encompassing their living space is vast.  For two years, they send out “runners” to find the patterns and secrets of the maze – hoping to break free of their prison, because every night, the maze closes off from them and reorganizes itself.  If any of the runners are not back my night, they will be locked within the maze and the horrible creatures roaming the maze at night will find and destroy them. 

The book is immediately exciting and intriguing.  There is no break in the action.  Dashner has created a unique world – unlike anything I’ve read so far – and even given the boys a language, or dialect, specific to their new life and completely believable for boys (“shuck-face", "shank", etc.). 

The characters are well-developed.  Each one has a distinct personality.  Although, I have to admit, it took some time for Thomas to grow on me.  He struck me as a bit too full of himself  and, at the same time, whiny at first.  Once the girl arrived, I was able to see and appreciate a softer, more likable side of Thomas and the mystery she provided kept me turning pages. 

This book will definitely appeal to boys – even reluctant readers.  I have proof of this because my husband is one of those “boys” and he devoured the book, and then the sequel (The Scorch Trials), and yesterday, I bought him the third book of the trilogy, The Death Cure.  I also think that this book will appeal to girls.  It is creepy, exciting, and action-packed.  Dashner even managed to add a hint of romance – although still mixed with mystery – which girls can appreciate.

The end of the book, much like The Hunger Games, will leave you hanging and begging for more.

I definitely recommend this book.  If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, then I think you will enjoy this. 

Checkout the trailer:

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