Monday, January 25, 2010

The Maze Runner

This is a time when my impression of a novel really does not jibe with the common opinion. I have heard a lot of hype that The Maze Runner is action packed and fast-paced. There was action, but it felt like it wasn't leading anywhere.

In Chapter 28, Thomas, the main character who is plunged into this strange new world, finally breaks down and shouts at people to start giving him answers. I wanted to pat him on the back, after twenty-seven chapters of wanting to strangle him for not insisting on some background as to why he was in the Glade and what was going on. My students are not going to have the patience to wait until the resolution, which comes after about 430 pages. I usually love dystopian teenage novels, but I really could care less about the sequels that will follow.

While I was reading The Maze Runner, I couldn't help but think of The Lord of the Flies, with its warring boys and struggles for survival and dominance. But that book is far superior in character development and depth. Thomas, Newt, Chuck, Alby, and the rest of the characters are unlikable and flat as they should be, knowing nothing but their first names. If this was James Dashner's intention, he succeeded on that front. This novel was placed on the new books shelf of our library with no fanfare from me.

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