One of the dystopian novels that blew up in the 2010’s was The Maze Runner by James Dashner. It was unlike anything else out and many people gravitated towards it including me. Find out what made it stand out and why people were hooked.
The Maze Runner Summary
Thomas wakes up and he is finds out that he is in a metal elevator that is going up. He cannot remember who he is or where he is now and how he got here. As the elevator finally reaches the top, Thomas finds out that he is in a fenced area with only boys occupying it.
The Glade, as the place the boys inhabit is known, is run by two boys. Alby is the leader and Newt is the second in charge. The maintain and enforce the rules and makes sure everything runs smoothly. And lastly, the elevator that brought Thomas to the Glade comes up once a month to bring food, supplies, medicine and weapons sometimes. And every month, a new boy comes up the elevator with no prior memories but his first name.
To escape the Glade, the boys have to solve the labyrinth, also known as the Maze. It is located outside the walls that surround the Glade. The Maze has high concrete walls that are covered in ivy that changes every night. And the Maze is home to creatures known as the Grievers that kill anyone they come across.
I will be talking about the whole series and not just the first novel. But I will not spoil anything for those that want to read it. The first book in the series was epic and really set up a terrifying dystopian world. You as a reader were invested and really wanted to know what the hell is going on in the Glade.
And eventually you get those answers. And they keep you hooked and reading the rest of the series. But the novels take a turn. After the Glade, you get a whole new story and that feels more like a standalone book then a trilogy. That is what irked me the most about the series. The books don’t connect well and leave you unsatisfied with its progression.
Lastly, I will say the violence and deaths in the novel don’t feel justified. The best example I can think of is Game of Thrones where everyone dies left and right. Its not the same to that extent but that is the first thing to come to mind. This was perhaps the worst conclusion to a series and has left me angry with even after reading it almost a decade ago.
If you haven’t read the series, then you aren’t really missing out. The first novel is great and I do recommend that one but stop while the sun is shining and just call it quits. So to summarize, I recommend the first novel in the series but not the whole series. And I have done this before but I stopped reading the other series after book one because I was not liking the direction of the novel. You can read that review here if you are interested. The movies did ok and you can check the movie and cast out.