Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Maze Runner

If you haven't yet been surprised by the preview for The Maze Runner movie, out this September, look it up! That might make you want to read this series, as it did for me. I'd heard of The Maze Runner book, by James Dashner, but for some reason, I'd never read it and didn't even really know what it was about. Actually, when I first started hearing hype about it, I thought I'd already read it. I mistook it for another book. Anyway, I missed it, but now I'm jumping on the bandwagon with everyone else, it seems.

So, is it worth the hype? I've been asked this question by others intrigued by the trailer, as I was. The short of it is, I sped through the book and am still interested in seeing the movie. It wasn't everything I was expecting, maybe, and I'm not yet sure how I feel about the revelations at the end of the book. But the journey is mysterious and suspenseful, the danger is life-or-death, and the characters are, for the most part, likeable and complex. I've already got my hands on the sequel in the four-book series (actually, a trilogy and a prequel, and I'm uncertain if that's it or if there are more books coming).

The Maze Runner is about a boy who remembers nothing from his life but his first name, Thomas, as he is slowly lifted in an elevator toward an unknown destination. He arrives, the ceiling of the elevator opens, and he is met by a bunch of boys who've been expecting him, the monthly newbie to their small, organized, self-led civilization. None of the boys know where they've come from, but they quickly find out what they are supposed to do. When Thomas steps into the light, he discovers that he is in a large field, of sorts, surrounded by high walls. The community of boys is mostly self-sustaining with supplies delivered weekly from the "Creators." But all is not harmonious. Even though the boys have strict rules and seem to live a relatively stable, productive life, they are prisoners in a maze, where maze runners daily search for a way out, dodging evil machine-like creatures who rule the night. Little do they all know, Thomas included, that his arrival will change everything.

Intrigued yet? I was. The set-up of the all-boys community and the hierarchy of leadership is well thought through. The creatures are revolting and terrifying. The mystery of what the maze is and what the boys are there for, especially since they don't remember anything, just begs you to read on. With such drama and mystery, there's bound to be some disappointment upon getting the answers. Remember the TV show Lost? I loved it, beginning to end, but a lot of fans hated where it ended up. Part of what made that, and makes this, so entertaining is not knowing what to expect. But don't get me wrong, I'm pretty excited about reading the next book, The Scorch Trials. This series hasn't let go of me yet, not by a long shot.

Go check out that movie trailer now. If you aren't interested yet, you aren't going to be, but if this review already piques your curiosity, I'm betting that will clinch the deal.

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