THE MAZE RUNNER is thrilling dystopian YA book series written by James Dashner.
I have first heard of it couple of years ago when I stumbled upon some pictures from shooting the film adaptation. I have researched it. And found out that it is been praised by many book lovers and bibliophiles. There was just so much love for Dashner's writing that I couldn't resist and decided to purchase the whole book series. And what a great decision I have made!
There are 3 main books and a prequel in this series.
THE MAZE RUNNER
When the lift cranks open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone - an army of boys welcome him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a terrible maze. The Gladers have no idea why they're there, or what's happened to the world outside. And following the arrival of a girl with a message, they must find a way out - or die.
THE SCORCH TRIALS
Surviving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escaping meant he would get his life back. But no one knew what sort of life they were going back to... Burned and baked, the earth is a wasteland, its people driven mad by an infection known as the Flare. Instead of freedom, Thomas must face another trial. He must cross the Scorch to once again save himself and his friends.
THE DEATH CURE
The trials are over. WICKED is planning to restore the survivors' memories and complete the final cure for the Flare. But Thomas has already remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can't be trusted. The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?
THE KILL ORDER (Prequel)
Sun flares have unleashed devastation on the Earth. Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and against the odds they survived. But now a violent and highly contagious disease is spreading like wildfire. Worse still, it's mutating, and people are going crazy. Mark and Trina will do anything to save their friends - if only they can avoid madness and stay alive...
Firstly, let's talk about the edition of the series first. These books has been re-published couple of times with various designs. I own the editions published in 2013. They have very simple design. Black background with coloured illustrations and title. Green. Orange. Blue. Yellow. They compliment each other rather nicely. Each book is about 350 pages long.
For the purpose of this review I have decided to talk about the main story - the first 3 books.
I have been captivated by this story ever since I have read the first book. This book series is an epic story of a fight to survive the unexpected. Your actions and reactions are recorded, monitored and mapped in order to find a cure for a deadly disease which threatens to kill the majority of human population.
The writing ?!? Wow!!! That's how I would summarise the story and the writing. It starts a little bit slow but then it picks up and won't stop. Every single chapter manages to leave you breathless. It's brilliance is in the constant fast pace of this story. It's thrilling. Exciting. Brutal at times. It continues on surprising every single time you pick up the book. You think there cannot be possibly more! Sure this craziness must stop. This is as far as it can go.. NO, YOU ARE WRONG!! It gets even more crazier and scarier. You will huff and puff at the end of every single passing chapter. It's like a christmas morning where the presents just keep on coming.
The story?!? OMG!!! The possibility of sun flares which burnt down half of the world... Then an illness which killed off 75 percent of survivors.. We can say, that life is hard at the moment... There is a desperate search for cure. And the government will go to extreme lengths to find it. Welcome to WICKED and their secret project.
Thomas and the Gladers have their memory erased. They are put through the ultimate hardcore test. And not many survive these tests. It's all about the survival of the fittest. This story managed to left me with my mouth wide opened all the way through reading it. I couldn't put it down. It was impossible! I had to keep on reading. I needed to find out all about The Maze, The Scorch Trials and what would happen to my favourite group of Gladers if they survive the trials. And will The WICKED find the cure?
It was an emotional journey. I witnessed the death of some great characters. I have grown to love them all. So when they hurt, I hurt. I was surprised with certain developments and how much I was disappointed with some characters, but also how much I loved the little group of surviving boys from the Glade.
- Thomas. The lead character and the favourite of the WICKED. He used to work with them, he actually helped to develop the plans of trials, but he is a man of his own mind. He is a little bit annoying at the start but he always tries to help and save his friends. He is compassionate and fights for the good in the world.
- Minho. The leader of the runners. He has a very strange sense of humour. He loses his temper easily, but he is the best friend you can wish for.
- Newt. He is my favourite character. He is a wonderful friend. Most of the time he is the voice of the reason. He is a great friend who always has your back.
- Teresa. She used to part of WICKED and co-captain in mastering the plans for the Trials with Thomas. They used to be best friends. Before the Swipe. Now, they are friends but they trust is broken thanks to the Trials and their consequences.
- Brenda. She is smart. Brave. And cares about her friends. She is prepared to go to extreme lengths to fight for the good.
- Jorge. An older man in the group. Him and Brenda think of each other as family. They have been through a lot. He is a survivor. He believes in free mind.
There are couple of things which I thought about a lot after finishing reading this story:
- Global Warming. This issue has been a top of talk around the world. Enviro-mentalists all around the world keep warning us about it. But I don't think we paying enough attention to this issue. But these books are servicing a type of a warning. It describes the effects of what can happen if we don't start treating our beloved Earth more carefully.
- My level of fitness and possibility of surviving The Trials. They are slim to none at the moment. It's time to hit the gym again. I need to get my survival instinct back and start shaping up and be more fitter. When it comes to end of the world, it's all about the Survival of The fittest. Meal plan adjusted. I am putting down the chocolate bar. I am swapping it for carrots and hours in the gym. Where can I sign for kick-boxing classes?
But let's put humour aside. All in all, this book was a wonderful, thrilling, at times very terrifying ride. Every single book ending up with a cliffhanger. The author managed to keep you interested and invested all the way through without lacking in the plot twists department. I have loved every minute of reading it.
So thank you Mr Dashner for letting me in to the world of sun-destroyed Earth. It was a wonderful adventure. I cannot wait to see all three books on the big screen. BRAVO!!!
PS: You can find the film adaptation of MAZE RUNNER in your local DVD store. THE SCORCH TRIALS film is set to be released SEPTEMBER 18th 2015. Put me down for 2 tickets.