Guest Reviewer: Ami (@mama_roach)
Thomas wakes up and has no recollection of who he is, where he has come from or what will happen next. The reader is in the same position as Thomas at the start of the novel- dazed, confused and slightly apprehensive. As Thomas enters ‘The Glade’, an area of land inside a vast maze, the secrets and mysteries unravel further. He has a feeling he has been there before…
Dashner sets a dark tone from the outset – we automatically dislike whoever has put Thomas and the Gladers inside the maze and want to know why. Dashner’s style at the beginning is fast-paced, tense and full of unanswered questions. The plot is what keeps the pages turning, once you get used to the characters’ names and their unusual colloquialisms.
However, as another character, Teresa, enters the maze, things get a little wacky. I can cope with the bizarre ‘Grievers’ (half-machine, half-creatures) and I can cope with unexplained memory loss, but telepathy takes the story into other dimensions, and perhaps genres. There is a supernatural element to this novel, which doesn’t quite match its dystopian sci-fi feel. Despite this, as you read further, the story does develop well, with an excellent twist. Chuck is, by far, my favourite character, providing a sense of realism to the novel. It was also because of Thomas’ friendship with Chuck and the sense of mystery and tension, as to why I couldn’t put this down.
I certainly enjoyed The Maze Runner and highly recommend it for fans of dystopian fiction, such as Collins’ The Hunger Games and Roth’s Divergent. It was quite refreshing to read a novel of this genre with a male lead. I am also glad to report that the movie was also exciting to see, even if there are significant adaptations (fortunately, no telepathy). Despite my ‘book before film’ policy, I am not sure, this time, which I prefer. Both were equally exciting and I eagerly await the rest of the series to absorb more of Thomas’ world.
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Out now from Chicken House Ltd