The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I’ve had a copy of The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, Book One) for some time.  I believe I bought it along with a couple of other books that had to do with mazes or labyrinths.  I have a strong interest in labyrinths.  I used to do a unit at school about them using search engines online, doing art work in the classroom and tying it all to a line at the beginning of The Breadwinner that described the streets around the market in Kabul as a labyrinth, “Tea boys ran back and forth into the labyrinth of the marketplace”, when it should more accurately be described as a maze.  I’ve also started a list of labyrinths here in Ottawa and in other places around the world with the intention of visiting them at some point.  Anyway, I wanted to read The Maze Runner before deciding if I would go to see it as a movie.

On Wikipedia, the story is described as “the first book in a young-adult post-apocalyptic science fiction trilogy of the same name by James Dashner.”  I believe I’ve read somewhere that there may be a 4th book in the series.  This book is well-written with some strongly-drawn main characters.  The group of about 50 or 60 boys in the Glade have their own slang and have had their memories of life before their arrival erased.  Some of them have been in the Glade for 2 years.  The Glade is in the middle of this huge stone maze whose walls move every night to close the gladers in and keep them safe from mysterious half mechanical, half goo enemies called “grievers”.  The walls within the maze itself move each night as well.  Runners go out into the maze every day to try to find an exit and make maps when they return.  If they return.  There is a graveyard in the Glade where a number of boys who have died gruesome deaths are buried.

I guess science fiction just isn’t my thing.  It never really drew me in to the place where I could “suspend my disbelief” enough to even get a little scared although I suspect the movie may be scarier to watch.  I can see how it might appeal to young boys and I expect the movie will be popular with teens and possibly a slightly older age group.  The movie is rated PG-13 due to “intense sequences of violence . . . and disturbing images”.  It is not a book I would have read to my class when I taught grade 5 and 6.  It is a bit repetitive and I didn’t find it suspenseful.   It has a massive cliff-hanger at the end of the book; in preparation for the next book, The Scorch Trials, no doubt, which is also going to be a movie. * * *


About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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