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The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Random House Children’s Publishing, 2010, 400 pages

In James Dashner’s The Maze Runner, Thomas, the main character, wakes up in a lift only able to remember his name and nothing else. His memory is completely blank. But when the doors of the lift open, he finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade – a large, open area enclosed by massive stone walls.

The “Gladers” as the kids call themselves don’t know how they got to the Glade either. They only know that every morning the stone doors to a massive maze open and close every night. The only way out of the Glade is through finding an exit in the Maze, which they haven’t been able to do in two years.

Every thirty days, a new boy is delivered by the lift. Thomas was expected, but the next day, a girl is sent up – the first girl to arrive. She also delivers a message that the end has begun.

Thomas and the Gladers find a way out (in a really weird, complicated way). Once they walk through the exit, they’re enter a room that turns out to be where scientists control the Glade and the Maze, as part of a world government initiative called WICKED.

I was recommend this trilogy by my friend, who said the first book was pretty good, except the fact it is so frustrating: Thomas knows nothing and doesn’t know anything until right at the end of the book, so as the reader, you don’t get many answers. I was a bit frustrated at this, but I tried to be patient, hoping the pay-off would be worth it. Unfortunately, I wish I never read this book because I just committed myself to reading the rest of the trilogy, which turned out to be some of the worst literature I have ever read in my life…

Rating:

{  } Pretty bad
{  } Tolerable
{x} All right
{  } Exciting
{  } Enthralling

Book 45 out of 60

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Random House Children’s Publishing, 2011, 384 pages

The second book in the trilogy, The Scorch Trials, is where it starts to feel like the author starts to make up it all up as he goes along.

It picks up right where The Maze Runner left off. The Gladers have escaped, but now are forced into another experiment but walking a hundred miles to a safe house. Their incentive to complete this challenge is that they are all infected with the Flare, a man-made biological disease that was released when sun flares hit earth and devastated most of the world.

In front of him, a flat pan of dry and lifeless earth stretched as far as he could see. Not a single tree. Not a bush. No hills or valleys. Just an orange-yellow sea of dust and rocks; wavering current of heated air boiled on the horizon like steam, floating upward, as if life out there were melting toward the cloudless and pale blue sky.

So now they all have to walk through destroyed cities and towns, while facing people who have been lost to the Flare. They’re like zombies, but still with some cognitive function.

Blah blah blah they make it to the safe house where it turns out they haven’t been infected with the Flare. Instead, they’re immune to it and that’s why they were chosen to be part of this weird experiment.

I also must mention how awful the writing becomes. In the first book, it’s pretty good, but the second book, it completely dissolves. It’s like a twelve-year-old wrote it. What also made me infuriated reading it was that the author decided to re-use this one phrase: “Good that.” It makes no sense grammatically and in the context, it was a lazy way of a character to respond to another talking.

Rating:

{x} Pretty bad
{  } Tolerable
{  } All right
{  } Exciting
{  } Enthralling

Book 46 out of 60

The Death Cure by James Dashner
Random House Children’s Publishing, 2011, 336 pages

And finally, as I thought my suffering would end swiftly, The Death Cure only made it worse. Sense is thrown to the wind and the author obviously doesn’t care about any of the characters or the story or good writing. Another example of the terrible writing is this: “Fewer than four more.” The context is that four of the characters meet up with others and Thomas tells them how many are in their group. What the hell is fewer than four more?!

Thomas is actually one of the worst characters ever written. He has absolutely no loyalty to anyone, he won’t trust anyone, but when he does he trusts the very wrong person and when that person betrays him, he is ever really mad or doesn’t care. He has no clear goal in mind, other than maybe take down WICKED, the government organization running the experiments. But even then, he seems not to really care about anything, but himself. Thomas is also a huge idiot and isn’t very clever or smart or talented.

Anyway, back to The Death Cure. The characters are given back their memories, except Thomas doesn’t want them back for whatever reason, we’re never told why.

Basically what happens is the Gladers blow up WICKED, because it turns out they couldn’t really find a cure for the Flare, again for whatever reason. So much for closure.

Rating:

{x} THE WORST
{  } Pretty bad
{  } Tolerable
{  } All right
{  } Exciting
{  } Enthralling

Book 47 out of 60

My Concluding Thoughts on The Maze Runner Trilogy

If you like young adult dystopian literature, do not even touch this trilogy. There are so many better books out there that are worth your time. I am so angry that I wasted my time on this. The writing was not edited properly; there was so many grammatical errors; I didn’t remotely care for any of the characters; there was no sense to the progression of the story; and the answers to the questions asked in The Maze Runner trilogy only made the story more confusing.

James Dashner actually wrote another book, called The Kill Order, as a prequel for The Maze Runner trilogy. But instead of reading The Kill Order or another of the Maze Runner books, read Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi or The Children of Men by P.D. James or Matched by Ally Condie. You’ll get fulfillment and enjoyment out of those novels. All you’ll get with The Maze Runner trilogy is confusion, anger, and resentment.

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