Book/Movie Review – The Maze Runner

A lot of films these days come from book adaptations – meaning that the book probably had a wide fan base before they decided to make it for the silver screen. Although I love books, I’m not ‘hip’ when it comes to choosing titles: which means that I probably read the ‘hot’ ones wayyyy after they have been published and the hype has died down.

In fact, I actually watched the movies before I read the books (like Lord of The Rings and Hunger Games). So The Maze Runner, the latest sci-fi/dystopian young adult movie, was no exception.

THE MAZE RUNNER TM and © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

I liked the movie because it had cute guys (felt like such a pedo until I found out later that the actors in them, who portray teenagers, are all around my age in real life. whew) AND a good story plot. The pace of the storytelling is just right and many of the characters are likable (even Gally, whose douchey-ness is understandable in the context that he just wanted to protect his own people and is suspicious of changes – quite different from the Gally in the novel who is just pure douche).

So while out browsing for my weekly book hoarding, I saw The Maze Runner series (there are four books) and decided to get it.9781910002117_2_Z

THE MAZE RUNNER

Author: James Dashner

Synopsis:

Thomas wakes up in a steel box filled with supplies, with no memories of who he is, where he’s at or how he got there. Being rudely jolted awake by a bunch of teenage boys hovering over him doesn’t exactly help – and no one seems to want to tell him anything. All he finds out is that he’s in a field called The Glade, and that everyone is stuck within it’s walls by a gigantic maze that shifts and changes. To make matters worse, the Maze is filled with Monsters called Grievers – huge sickening machine-beast hybrids that would either kill you or sting you with stuff that drives you nuts.

Not long after, the box which he came in from sends another ‘Greenie’ (slang for newbie at The Glade) – but this time, it’s a girl – the only girl ever sent all the years they have been there. She clutches a foreboding note, tells them that she’s the ‘Trigger’ and seems to have telepathic powers with Thomas – meaning they can talk to each other inside their heads. Before the bunch can really figure out what everything means, the maze mechanics changes – new sections open up, and they are attacked by Grievers. Now they must find a way to solve the mystery before all of them die inside, never knowing what is out there.

Verdict:

I admit that I had high hopes for the book, since the movie was quite enjoyable.Fans have compared the series to Divergent and The Hunger Games (which I love), so I was expecting some major kazam and nights staying up late reading.

I’m sad to say that Book 1 of The Maze Runner series was a disappointment for me.

Dashner loves using adjectives and verbs to the point of overkill. The formula of his writing style seems to be ‘dialogue’ followed by ‘description of feelings’. This means that after every single dialogue, the characters are feeling something or doing something. After a bit, it gets really, REALLY annoying. In the first few chapters of the book, nothing is explained, with Dashner preferring to confuse the readers as much as Thomas himself. Some critics have said that it was intentional, but for myself, I didn’t quite like it. Thomas in the book also seemed like one moody mofo, swinging from relief to panic to anger within a few sentences.

I also felt that Dashner wasn’t consistent with his characters ‘attributes’. For example, Minho, one of the Runners (people who explore the Maze), was extremely depressing and gave up as soon as he could when they were stuck in there overnight – Thomas, ever the hero, was the one giving encouragement. Fast forward a few chapters and the same Minho was suddenly giving prep talks on persevering, while Thomas was the one being sullen.

Although I understand that people can react differently in different situations, the change that Dashner uses is not smooth enough, making the characters seem like a bunch of bipolar teenagers.

Storywise, the movie did some tweaks – which were actually pretty  good. The same can’t be said of the novel – some parts seem clunky and dragged out, and were unnecessary to the plot.

That’s not to say that it doesn’t have redeeming points. After about 200 pages in, the book starts picking up the pace, and it does have it’s fair share of suspenseful moments.

All in all, I wished The Maze Runner Book 1 could have been a better reading experience. However, I think to compare it to The Hunger Games is a little… uhm, inaccurate. Oh well, to each their own.

Rating – 5/10

Read it for the: Interesting premise. I mean, how many books with people stuck in mazes do you get out there?

Movie rating – 7/10

Watch it for the: Hot gaiz. There is so much eye candy. Especially Dylan O Brien as Thomas, Thomas Sangster as Newt and Ki-Hong Lee as Minho.

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….Omg so hot.

Welp.. if you’re a guy… there’s always Teresa.

Nah, also watch it for the: action, character development (much better in the movie than the book, which is saying something coz the book is like 300+ pages long and the movie is only less than 2 hours), good acting chops and Gally (Eustace from Narnia all grown up!)

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Author: Luna

Bibliophile/foodie. Drop me a line at erisgoesto@gmail.com

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