Synopsis: Thomas has no memory of how he got here or where he came from. In fact, he can’t remember anything except his own name. Just like every other boy in the Glade. Every day they work together to maintain a functioning society whilst a chosen few venture into the Maze looking for escape, freedom or just answers. But not every maze runner returns. And what if life beyond the Maze is no better than life inside it?
I have a confession to make: I am one of those people who doesn’t like seeing a film unless I have read the book first. Call me biased, but the book is always better anyway. Still, if I like the book, I know the film is worth watching. So it was I found myself reading The Maze Runner.
“He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.”
I was intrigued by the initial premise and fascinated with the maze. Unfortunately, there was a lot of build up before the protagonist even ventured into the maze, which was disappointing. This book has a real Lord of the Flies vibe – a lot of boys marooned in some kind of strange social experiment. It was missing a pinch of brutality in my opinion; the boys were all so civilised and organised, it just wasn’t believable enough. As well as that, the monsters that trawl the maze, Grievers, were a little bit laughable. I imagined them as kind of giant snails with spikes – not exactly the stuff nightmares are made of. I will congratulate the author on the fact that as soon as you start to wonder just where the hell the story is going, he throws a plot development into the mix, but things could happen a whole lot quicker whilst keeping the reader happy.
“Shouldn’t someone give a pep talk or something?” Minho asked, pulling Thomas’s attention away from Alby.
“Go ahead,” Newt replied.
Minho nodded and faced the crowd. “Be careful,” he said dryly. “Don’t die.”
So, ignore what I said at the start. Even though this book is far from perfect, I can see it making a pretty good film. Underneath a lot of formulaic writing, there’s a really decent story trying to burst forth here. The maze is a really novel idea and there are some really interesting characters in this book. A lot of YA adapted films have been aimed at a female audience, but this book could easily appeal to both genders (though, as a girl, there were a few moments when I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as I read the book). I am definitely interested in reading the next book in this trilogy, because The Maze Runner did end on one of the most sinister cliffhangers I’d ever read. Hopefully the next book in the series is a little bit grittier.
Coincidentally, the trailer for The Maze Runner was released last month and I think it’s a hum dinger – so if you did have any interest in reading the book, be sure to check it out!