Book Review: THE MAZE RUNNER TRILOGY BY JAMES DASHNER

By T. Mack

book4The Maze Runner Trilogy includes The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure in that order. The story revolves around Thomas, a young man who wakes up in an elevator with no memories and is delivered to the modern and civilized version of Lord of the Flies. A group of fifty or so young men ranging in age from 10 to 17 have created a community, government and way of life at the center of a vast maze of stone walls. The journey the reader takes with Thomas is one of discovery, adventure and loss.

The series is well-written. Dashner creates a world full of mysteries that is simultaneously engaging and terrifying. Even when answers are obtained, they lead to more questions. However, by the end of the third book, readers have been granted satisfactory answers and all is revealed. I especially enjoyed the very final revelation which sheds new light on everything that came before. My mind was blown when I learned that last tidbit. Really. It was a doozy! Somehow, though, it helped make the entire series more incredible and enjoyable. It made me more glad I’d pushed through to the end. I wanted to take a copy of all three books back in time about 11 years to show the creators of Lost how you properly execute an ending. That being said, however, I must also say that the books are not perfect.

The Maze Runner Trilogy is good, like a summer blockbuster action movie. The kind that of film that stars Bruce Willis or Will Smith and has the audience on the edge of their seats, mindlessly eating popcorn as they watch unbelievable explosions and impossible heroics. Like those movies, these books are incredibly intense and at a point, totally ridiculous. And like those films, these books will likely frustrate their reader at some point or another. Some frustration will come from the characters, who never seem to learn to move their asses quickly when trouble heads their way and can’t seem to shut up when they should. I actually began skipping ahead by the third book every time Thomas got his butt kicked… again. And at a certain point, the ridiculous-to-the-point-of-tedious obstacles that are thrown at the characters are more irritating than entertaining. Like a car chase in an action movie that should have been 7 minutes but was 12 instead. Or one of those 30-second countdowns that actually stretches out approximately 2 minutes even though the counter only shows 30 seconds. These things aren’t necessarily bad. It’s just that they can get distracting and annoying with overuse. Some elements are overused in these books.

These are good books, though. And I do recommend them. Especially if you want to watch the movies. I waited to watch the first film until I’d finished the books. Boy was I glad. I can only imagine that I would have experienced some significant level of confusion if I hadn’t. Yes, worse than Harry Potter.

The Maze Runner Trilogy isn’t a series that’s necessary for private collection. I recommend readers check it out from their local library. Push through some of the more painful portions. The end is worth it. Don’t skip ahead, though. The final revelation only really means something to the reader who has journeyed through the entire story with the characters. I think those people will be glad they did.

Rating: 3.5 SHIELDS

3.5 SG Shields

Have you read The Maze Runner series? What did you think? Which title was your favorite? Why? Let us know in the comments.

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