04 March 2014
The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
Thomas, said boy trapped in elevator, is freed from his moving cage by The Gladers, a group of boys who, like Thomas, have no memory of their life prior to the elevator. Over the years, a culture has developed, a system of governance, specific jobs and tasks, and a definite purpose. The Glade is smack dab in the middle of a maze, and the boys have been trying to find a way out. Books 2 and 3 are what happen after they get out. If you want to know more about that, read the series.
The series is much more about the action than it is the characters, a quality which works for me about 40% of the time; I am a character-loving reader. In this case, it worked. The story never stopped with craziness happening right and left, and I definitely was swept along for the ride.
Despite the lack of character development, the book does create relationships between the characters. I may not fully understand their motivations or psyche but I definitely understand their feelings for each other, no matter how convoluted those feelings are.
My only frustration while reading is not really a frustration overall - or rather it is an intentional frustration. Thomas and the other characters are consistently in the dark about what's happening, and as such, so is the reader. We are not omniscient readers, ineffectually yelling at the characters to realize the truth. We don't know the truth either, and at times, being so in the dark about the 'reality' of the situation had me wrinkling my nose in frustration. Most of the time though I sort of enjoyed discovering the truth along with Thomas, and I was definitely guessing and second guessing the details while reading.
After reading the series - which I did very very quickly - I passed them along to my mother who also enjoyed the story, a compliment for sure as my mom is a bit pickier in her YAL reading than I am, especially when the story is more middle grade than high school.