Saturday, July 23, 2011

James Dashner on Trial!

And it is an easy trial—he’s been found awesome. The author of The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, along with several other books, writes true adventure with a fun, edgy, YA spin.

Thomas is the hero of both books, and what a reluctant hero he is. At the opening of The Maze Runner, Thomas awakens in an a box with no memory other than his name. After some time in darkness, the box opens and reveals an idyllic glade, occupied by 40 or 50 other boys that arrived in much the same circumstance. In fact, a new boy has arrived once a month for as long as they could remember, so Thomas is nothing new.

Until the box opens to reveal a girl who brings an ominous message.

Dashner has created a world full of mystery and vivid, rich characters. From page 1 of the first book through the last page of the second, I was hooked. I found myself staying up way to late at night just to see what was going to happen next, which is always a test for me (I like sleep entirely too much to give it up for anything less than awesome).

I have only two mild complaints. One is that the boys of the Glade and beyond are faceless, other than Thomas’ friends, who are dynamic and thorough. Whenever someone dies or gets injured, Thomas notes that it is no one he knows, somehow diminishing the gravity of the situation. It also frustrates me because the characters that are developed are developed so well, that the facelessness of supporting boys seems rushed and haphazard, which is totally out of line with the rest of the tenor of the novels. I understand it when there are 50 of them, but when you are down to 11 or so in some situations, I would at least like to see 11 names.

And secondly, which may turn out to be a minor or major complaint depending on book 3 is disaster fatigue. Dashner has pulled me in so completely, and I have toiled with Thomas and the gladers so intently, that even I feel like I need a nap. I seriously hope these boys get a break sometime soon.

All in all, and excellent series, and a thoroughly fun read.

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