Tag Archives: The Maze Runner

Book Review: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (3/5)

22 Sep

The phrase morbid curiosity comes to mind. I was so upset at the ending of The Maze Runner that I told myself I wasn’t going to read the rest of the series. But my husband liked the second one best. And I always find the second book in a series is my favorite. And the movie’s coming out. And we owned it already. So I read The Scorch Trials and was happy to find it was better than I expected.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Cover image via Goodreads.com

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Summary from Goodreads:

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

As far as getting answers, we have a major improvement to this book: the phrase “Shut up, Greenie!” was never used. I was glad that Thomas was no longer being kept in the dark about everything. It made this book easier to read. I will say that there were a few things that were too strange to be unexplained, killer liquid metal being chief among these. I felt Dashner was taking too many liberties with his post-apocalyptic world. I felt the characters were better developed and more distinct in this installment. Minho and Newt stuck out well from the rest. I had a lot of mixed feelings which is what resulted in the 3 Star rating. It was much improved from the first book though I was upset with the ending again. Honestly, I’ll probably read the last book right before the movie comes out again.

Theresa was the only character that really bothered me. She flip-flopped between helping Thomas, telling him things we later find out she shouldn’t be telling him, and doing what she’s told to do by hurting him. I couldn’t understand it and I shared Thomas’s distrust of her at the end of the book. I couldn’t understand where her loyalties lay and what she was trying to accomplish. It really bothered me.

I liked Minho even more in this book. I liked how he was the leader against his wishes and to his credit, he was a good leader, but Thomas would have been better. He did a lot for the boys in their group and was able to keep leading them despite staggering losses in the end.

Brenda’s struggles were the most relatable to me. She was stuck in a bad situation and had made the best of it. She had a group of people to watch over her and a pseudo-family unit where she worked hard to stand out and be helpful. It worked well for her because she was chosen to help the Gladers and even though she wasn’t sure she would benefit in the end, she took a chance and tried anyway. I think there are a lot of things in life where we’re not sure of the ending but have to take a chance that things will turn out well in the end. We just have to take a risk.

James Dashner Image from TheMazeRunner.net Fansite

James Dashner
Image from TheMazeRunner.net Fansite

I liked the travels through the underground passages. It was exciting to follow Thomas and Brenda when they had no idea what was going to be in front of them. To me, it was the most unpredictable part and one of the most high-intensity.

I was not a fan of the ending at all. I felt it was too similar to the end of the first book and I hated that. I have some guesses at what the third book will bring and if I’m right, it will be very similar to this book and I’ll be upset at a repetitive plot. Oh boy.

 

The Gladers have no trust in WICKED. This overseeing body has put them through hell and won’t tell them why. This might be telling of Dashner’s feelings on our government. It’s not as powerful as WICKED (or at least I don’t think so) but can put citizens into situations where they find themselves in danger without permission (military drafts) and doesn’t have to provide answers to why it’s doing something (Patriot Act). This is a common theme in dystopians, especially The Hunger Games and Divergent. To be frank, I think this theme has run its course and we won’t see as much of it in the future.

Writer’s Takeaway: Dashner gets points for creativity if nothing else. One of my favorite obstacles in the book was the killer lightening and rain storm. I thought it was smart of Dashner to think that major changes in climate would mean major changes in the weather. His big ideas like this make the book exciting. It’s an element more common in thrillers, but I thought it worked well to give this book more depth.

A big improvement on the first book, but still not a favorite of mine. Three out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner | Readerature
Review | The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner | Art and Soul
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner | The Bookie Monsters

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‘The Maze Runner’ Movie- Did the screenwriters read the book?

23 Sep

The day has finally come that The Maze Runner, which I read along with a few friends for my first Read Along, became a film. So, in a sense, this is my last post for that Read Along. And fair warning, there are huge spoilers here if you haven’t read the book and seen the movie. Be warned.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Image via IMDb.com

Image via IMDb.com

Finally seeing the Grievers! Throughout the book, I had trouble picturing what these things would look like. I thought they would roll a little more than they did in the movie, but it really helped to have a visual of the creatures.

Gally. Will Poulter, wow. The only other thing I’ve seen him in is We Are The Millers and I didn’t have high expectations but he was incredible. He struck a really good balance of ‘I care about the Glade!’ and ‘I hate you all!’ Really well done.

Minho’s hair. No more words needed.

The last five minutes. I thought it was really well done and I was glad to see the screenplay kept pretty well to the book. I thought for a minute that the people who died weren’t going to die and they wanted to change that as well, but I was glad to see that the movie stuck to the original story.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me
Seeing the maze move. I actually liked this because it made the maze seem more dynamic and threatening. In the book, it seemed almost static and the Grievers were what was really scary ‘out there.’ By seeing the maze move, and more than just the doors of it, made the whole atmosphere more foreboding.

The serum. Why didn’t they always have the serum instead of Theresa bringing it up with her? It made Theresa a lot more suspect (in my mind) than she needed to be. She was already the only girl and had come at an odd time; why make her seem even more out-of-place? It would have explained why Ben seemed to recover from a sting a lot better as well.

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

The whole code system. The code was Thomas’s contribution to solving the maze and it was taken out. The key was a weird way to have them solve the maze, especially because the Griever hole was completely different as well and they were led to a part of the Maze Minho had conveniently ‘never seen before.’ I thought it was weak.

No telepathy. I was actually glad this came out. It was too much in the book and it probably would have been weird in a movie. No issues with that change.

Taking the boys to a ‘safe house’ at the end. It was just a bit at the end, but it gave the characters a sense of security after their time in the Maze, which we quickly learn will be disrupted soon. I think ending with that sense of security was important and I’m sad it was taken out.

Things That Changed Too Much

Theresa. She went from being a strong female character to a miss-placed female who looks oddly like Kristen Stewart, including the mouth breathing. Instead of liking her, I felt like she was in the way more often than she was helpful. Definite downgrade.

‘The Ending Sequence.’ I was not a fan of this, at all. In the book, Theresa was somehow able to trigger the ending where the door didn’t close and the Grievers came inside. In the movie, now we assume Minho and Thomas are responsible for it and the doors re-open? Add on top of that the sky doesn’t change and the Grivers kill more than one per night. That was just too different to even consider it was related.

Alby’s death. I was furious. Instead of sacrificing himself, he’s taken by the Grivers during the miss-guided ending sequence. The way he died in the book added to his character but this? This did nothing.

Overall Reactions

I was hugely disappointed. I thought the book wasn’t that great but could make a good movie but once I saw it on-screen, it was nothing special. My dad (who hasn’t read the book) didn’t think much of it as a film. “It’s just another action movie.” Which I think is well put. If I hadn’t read the book, I don’t think I would have liked the movie at all. Having read the book, I wonder if the screenwriters read it. Or maybe they disliked it as much as I did and were trying to re-write parts of it. Either way, fail. It’s not as different from the book as Silver Linings Playbook ended up being, but these still have some major differences.

Reader, I’m dying to know what you think. What did you think of the Maze Runner movie? Did it change the book too much for you to enjoy? Do you think the sequels will be made into films? Was there anything else you would add to my lists?

If you’re feeling like we need more of a conversation, click on over to my Facebook fan page where I started this conversation yesterday and see what others are saying.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Read Along With Me #1: The Maze Runner by James Dashner Chapters 52- THE END

24 Jul

ReadAlong1Maze

It’s over! My first read-along is over and I’m so glad that those who participated had a good time doing it. I’m thinking of starting another one of these in a month or two, so stay tuned if you’re interested in this again. I’ll put up a few choices for books in a poll in the near future so keep a look out for that! And now, time to finish the book! If you haven’t read it, HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD!

Question from Katherine: Do you think this will be an instance where the movie will be better than the book?
Oh my gosh, YES! Dashner wrote a great plot, there’s no denying that, but his characters are seriously lacking. I think any mid-grade or better actor could portray the emotions Thomas and the others go through better than they were conveyed in the book. The plot is sure to be impressive, as we already know, but I see only room for improvement in character development. Plus, we get to see Grievers!

Question from Nicole: Do you think at the end of the book the boys have any idea what’s in store going forward? Do we know if any of their families survived?
I doubt they have a clue. Thomas says he feels safe and I think their sense of safety is going to be very different from a normal humans. They just survived a massive Griever attack; safe is not being in battle! I think the beginning of the second book will have them second guessing their rescuers, but I think they’ll still feel safer with someone telling them what’s going on rather than trying to figure out a maze every day. As far as their families, I’m not sure we’ll ever know if they survived because I’m not sure that the kids would be able to figure out who their birth parents are. If they were taken from their parents at a young age and I’m assuming their names were changed, there’s no easy way to reconnect them with their parents. In my mind, they’re orphans.

Question from Ashlee: It broke my heart when Chuck died. Who were you most surprised to see die?
I was surprised with how quickly and without ceremony Alby died. He was a rather major character in the plot up until the end and he seemed to go quickly. I suspect that it wasn’t a sacrifice like it seems, but that the Creators were controlling his mind and made him run to the Grivers to get the Gladers to attack. It still shocked me.

Question from Lynn: Any guesses about the purpose of this whole experiment?
One of the people on the bus said something about ‘believing the rumors’ from South America. That leads me to believe that there’s not a lot of communication between the two continents and they’re looking for a way to reach those in South America. I wonder if the Maze was designed to test the boys and see if they have what it takes to cross the Scorch and reach those on the other side. Thomas and Minho can obviously run all day, they know how to fight large monsters, and they’ve shown their cunning and bravery. I think they’re going to be sent across the ‘no man’s land’ and try to establish contact with another group of civilization.

I want to thank all the wonderful ladies who participated in this read along with me! I had so much fun in my first digital book club and I hope they all did as well! I’m thinking of starting this up again in a month or so, when the hectic part of summer is over and I’ll have to time to pick some titles. Look for a poll in another few weeks if you want to participate.

For a link to all the posts about this book, visit the hub page.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Read Along With Me #1: The Maze Runner by James Dashner Chapters 39-51

10 Jul

ReadAlong1Maze

This is the second to last installment. Can you believe it?! I’m still trying to get over the fact some crazies joined me in reading this book. Thank you to all of you who are reading along, you’ve made this so much fun!

Question from Nicole: I wondered towards the end of this section if the Creators were aware of the boys and what they were on too. And if they did know what was happening, why didn’t they try to stop it or was this part of the “plan”?
There weren’t any mentions of Beetle Blades in these last chapters, so I’m not sure. I feel like the blades are spies for the creators so if they’re not around like they were when Thomas first arrived, maybe the Creators aren’t as aware. If they did know about the plan, their next step would probably depend on what the purpose of the experiment is.

Question from Ashlee: Do you think Theresa was the only girl who went through the special training? Or why weren’t more females thrown into the Maze?
They talk so much about variables, I wonder if all men was a way of removing the romantic variable. No women, no distractions. Kind of like Catholic high-schools. As far as Teresa showing up, I think that the part of the ending sequence she triggered threw a lot of variables to the wind. The doors weren’t supposed to stay open either.

Question from Sultana: Just one last chunk of reading left! General predictions, anyone?
As of writing this, I’ve finished it, but my prediction going into the last section was that Minho would die. He’s my favorite character and my disappointment in this book so far dictated that he would have to die.

Question from Barb: Why is Newt so negative to Thomas’s code breaking? There is no better option so why does Newt resist so much?
I think Newt was so new to being in control that he didn’t know how to act. He wanted to stay in control and be leading the boys, but Thomas had a monopoly on that for the time being. I think he resented Thomas more than he resented the idea of breaking the code.

Question from Lynn: Also, the people who have been through the changing – some of them don’t want to leave the maze as a result as they think the world out there will be much worse – how come Thomas isn’t feeling that?
I think Thomas somehow was raised apart from the rest of the boys. His memories are different, he has a different connection with Teresa, and he feels familiar in the maze. To me, all of these point to having been there before and having been involved somehow in design, which it seems obvious the remaining boys were not.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 9-July-2014

9 Jul

Progress, progress, progress! At least, it feels like it. Consider joining in MizB’s WWW meme if you haven’t before!

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  I’m about halfway through The Coward by Kyle R Bullock. This is the last ARC off my shelf and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s strange to be reading this at the same time as The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I’ve got to keep World War II and Vietnam separate in my mind! On audio, I just started is reading The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, my next book club selection. It’s too early to tell how I’ll feel about this one.

Recently finished: I finally finished The Maze Runner by James Dashner Monday night. I wanted to throw the book at the wall. I get frustrated when a series doesn’t have good stopping points between books and this one sure didn’t! I can’t decide if I want to read the sequels or not. I also finished Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser on Monday (a big day for me). It was informative, well written, but not as captivating as I’d hoped for.

A big week for reviews as well! I covered O, Africa! by Andrew Lewis Conn as well as The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.

Reading Next:  Still a good number. Looking for Alaska by John Green has yet to come in at the library so I hope to get that soon. And I want to start The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen soon. This will fulfill the 1500s time period of my When Are You Reading? Challenge. We’ll see after that.

The hubby and I are doing a massive bike tour this weekend so I hope to get something read before then! What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 2-July-2014

2 Jul

A bit of progress for MizB’s WWW. Enough that it’s respectable.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  I’m at the final stopping point of The Maze Runner by James Dashner and I plan on plowing through it come July 5th. I’m so excited to finish this one. On audiobook I’m half way through Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and I’m hoping to make more progress soon. I’ve been driving a lot this week (vacation!) and getting through it well. I picked the final ARC off my shelf, The Coward by Kyle R Bullock. I just finished Part I but I’ve slowed down a bit to finish ‘Orphan Master.’

Recently finished: I soared through A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. I can’t put my finger on what was so awesome about it, but I really really loved this book. I’m excited to discuss it with my book club in August. Last night I finished off The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. This had a solid ending, I really enjoyed it.

Reading Next:  There are a few. My book club is reading The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe which I have on hold for audio. Hopefully I can start that soon. I put Looking for Alaska by John Green on hold for my carpool buddy and I to listen to so that should be started soon. And I want to start The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen soon. This will fulfill the 1500s time period of my When Are You Reading? Challenge. I’ve also put the eBook for The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien on hold to fulfill the 1950-1969 time period.

I hope to finish at least one for next week but I’ll be out-of-town for the 4th. My cousin is getting married! What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Read Along With Me #1: The Maze Runner by James Dashner Chapters 30-38

26 Jun

ReadAlong1Maze

Hello again, all! We’re getting close to the end of The Maze Runner and we’re finally getting some answers. Thank God! If you haven’t read the book before, know that this will likely ruin it for you. Sorry.

Question from Barb: On page 200 the Gladers ponder that the sun has “disappeared”.  Thomas understands that there never was a sun and “Everything about this place was fake.”  All I could think of was the movie The Truman Show when Jim Carey sails to the edge of his world.  The Truman Show was reality TV taken to extremes.  Do you think this situation in the Glade is just for some demented group’s pleasure?
I sure hope not! I had flashbacks to The Truman Show as well when I read that part of the book. It doesn’t seem like a Hunger Games twister pleasure game to me, especially in light of the words Thomas found on the wall of the maze. It could still be the case, but I think we’re chasing a more Divergent-like plot than anything right now. We’ll see how this goes.

Also from Barb: The signs in the maze that declare it part of the Killzone Experiment Department seem so ominous yet Minho dismisses them.  What obvious signs of disaster do we dismiss in our lives?  Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” and Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” are some classic examples.
I think there are a lot of things we walk past and dismiss which should actually scare the pants off of us. The rising cost of gasoline; consistently bad weather patterns; rising water levels, high pollution levels; I could go on for a while. I wrote a post (which you will see tomorrow) about how we ignore a lot of little things in our lives like piles of laundry, loud neighbors, or a co-worker’s inappropriate clothes. It’s almost too easy to look past these things.

Question from Nicole: When they come to the writing in the maze that says, “World in Catastrophe,” I think of it as a message from the others to the boys about the previous world they lived in. What else could this mean? Why do you think it’s written on the walls in the maze? Do you think that it’s a message about the Maze rather than about their previous world?
Hm, I hadn’t considered that. Maybe ‘World in Catastrophe’ is the name of the Maze experiment (I still think it’s an experiment). I hope their future world isn’t falling apart!

Question from Sultana: How do you feel about the book overall so far? What do you enjoy, and what do you think could’ve been improved? Feel free to elaborate on anything, possibly including plot, character development, writing style, setting, etcetera.
I like how fast paced the book is. I’m never bored reading it because something is always happening. I think Dashner does that well. However, I’m not a huge fan of his writing in general. I think his sentences structure is repetitive and dry and the characters don’t have a lot of feeling to them. He makes up for that with a unique setting and story, but I think the books could have used a bit more umph

Question from Ashlee: It’s evident now that this is an experiment of some kind, so why do you think the Creators choose teenagers as their subjects instead of adults? Are there benefits to this?
Especially in male adolescence, their brain is still developing and will continue to into their twenties. If this is some sort of Divergent-esque experiment, this fact might be why young boys were chosen

Question from Katherine: Alby runs off in the middle of the night to look at the maps. When he was going through the Changing, he said “Protect the maps”… but he also tried to strangle himself. Clearly there were warring forces at work in his mind. I can’t help but think his weird dash into the night means that he’s going to destroy the maps, not study them…but would that be Alby-Alby at work? Or Creator-controlled/changed- Alby? In other words, whose agenda is whose?
If we’re going off the assumption that he’s going out to destroy them, I would think that’s Creator-Alby. I can’t see a reason Alby would think the Griever would want their map information. The Grievers don’t seem like intelligent beings who could steal information. I think at worse they would destroy the maps themselves. I guess Creator-Alby could destroy the maps and blame it on the Grievers, but I don’t think Alby-Alby would have a reason to do this.

Question from Lynn: Do you have any more insight into what role Thomas and Theresa have in this experiment?
I have a feeling they have some kind of decision making roll but I can’t put my finger on what I think it is. Maybe they chose the people to go into the maze or have some sort of say in what the Grievers do. Whatever it is, it seems that it’s something Gally’s not a fan of so I feel like they’ve contributed to something Gally considers to be suffering. Maybe the death of a friend or the pain of the Changing.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 25-June-2014

25 Jun

As expected, not much to report for MizB’s WWW though I’ve been progressing nicely!

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading: I’ve slowed down just a bit onThe Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. It’s good, but not so gripping that I can’t put it down.. I’m at the final stopping point of The Maze Runner by James Dashner and I’ll remain there until after the 4th of July holiday so don’t expect any movement there. And please be a dear (unlike Nicole) and don’t tell me who dies at the end. On audiobook I started Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser but I’m still on the first disk. I guess I haven’t driven anywhere alone in a while. My carpool buddy and I are almost done with Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Final disk! I’m getting close to finishing A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. It’s very unlike his other book that I’ve read but I’m really enjoying it so far!

Recently finished: Nothing finished. This gives me a sad face because I’ve made so much progress with all of my books! I did review Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan which you can enjoy.

Reading Next:  I have  The Coward by Kyle R Bullock next on my shelf. After that I’m going to seriously attack my When Are You Reading? Challenge and try to knock out the remaining time periods as fast as I can! I’m starting to get nervous on this one.

I should have some progress to report next week! Possibly two books. What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 18-June-2014

18 Jun

Thanks to MizB’s WWW, I’ve been motivated to power through some books!

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading: I’m slowly continuing The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. Still not sure if I’ll finish it before it’s due, but I’m at 70% now and making decent progress forward. I finished the next section of The Maze Runner by James Dashner so no new progress there. On audiobook I started Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. I’ve been told it will make me never eat fast food again. Yay? My carpool buddy is back so we’re still working on  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I started a new book last night; A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. I enjoyed the other Eggers book I read and this one sounds really interesting. It’s for my book club that doesn’t meet again until August so I’ll have some time to take it leisurely.

Recently finished: Two! I finished two! The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian was an audiobook and I really enjoyed it. I met Bohjalian a few weeks ago and found him inspiring. I’m glad I got to read this gem so soon. I also just finished O, Africa! by Andrew Lewis Conn which was an ARC I won on First Reads. I wasn’t a huge fan, to be honest, but enjoyed the setting. I’ll work on a review in the next week or so. Also, I posted a review for The Language of Flowers which I’m sure will have a Book Club Reflection coming soon!

Reading Next:  I have one more ARC on my shelf to clear off which is The Coward by Kyle R Bullock. Kyle contacted me on my Facebook Fan Page and I’m so honored that he was the first to do so! I’ll be glad to get his book read this summer.

I’m hoping there will be some progress next week, too! What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Read Along With Me #1: The Maze Runner by James Dashner Chapters 20-29

12 Jun

ReadAlong1MazeI’m having so much fun with this Read-Along! The participating bloggers have been so great and those of you casually reading our blogs (I know you’re out there!) have been very encouraging. If you’re interested in joining, it’s not too late yet. You can still hop aboard. Check out the Read-Along page for some more information and send me an email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com if you’re interested in joining. On with the questions!

Question from Sultana: What level of control do you think the Creators have over the minds of those in the Maze? I ask not only because of the memory wipe on them, but also because of Alby’s incident where he choked himself but felt like somebody else was choking him so as not to reveal information about the Changing.
I had similar thoughts on that section. It seemed like creator-control that Alby was unable to speak about what he remembered. I don’t know how I would describe the control, but there seems to be a high level of it in this world. I’m not sure if I think it’s mind control or some high technology level, but I think there’s something. We could even take this a step further and say that the creators controlled Alby when he shot Ben. Who knows?

Question from Ashlee: Chuck made a comment to Thomas that he needs to quit acting weird so the others will stop taking notice of him. Do you think Thomas has a big target on his back in a good way or a bad way? The Keepers seemed to be split about if he’s there to help them or to destroy them, but what do you think the other boys in the Glade are wanting to do with this new kid who’s breaking the rules and showing everyone up?
I think initially, the target on his back was a bad thing, but I believe that’s starting to change. When weird things started happening after Thomas arrived, I think the others were weary of him and thought he brought bad luck. Now, after he’s proven himself int he maze, I think the target has turned to a good thing. I think the leadership is a bit more accepting of him than the average Glader, but I hope that will soon change

Question from Barb: It bothers me that the author states the characters’ emotions rather than describe how they feel.  Is this typical of Young Adult Fiction?  I haven’t read much Young Adult Fiction in a very long time (besides Harry Potter of course).  I feel like Thomas’s emotions are very sudden because there is no build up to the author’s statements. At the end of Chapter 30, “Thomas stood up to pace around the little room, fuming with an intense desire to keep his promise.”  The page before that he “hated with a passion he didn’t know a human could feel.”  Maybe adolescents just change emotions that quickly so the author has no time to build up to the shift. Does this bother you too?
I’ve noticed this in some Young Adult fiction but I hadn’t seen it yet in this one. I think sudden emotional change is normally characteristic of poor writers more than of YA novelists and I’m not sure how I feel about Dashner’s writing just yet. With my writing friends, we refer to the journey from one emotion to another as ’emotional blocking.’ I don’t think Dashner does emotional blocking particularly well but I’d hesitate to say that that’s characteristic of YA novels and more an author’s trait. It’s important to make your character’s reactions seem believable and it reflects negatively on Dashner that his readers don’t see this.

Question from Nicole: On page 175, Alby tells them to “protect the maps.” Maps of the maze? But I thought that the maze changed every single day?
I wonder if the Runners are looking for a pattern, whether one exists or not, and plot the maze each day. If there are things that change about it consistently, maybe they can plan on certain changes. Maybe the outer bounds of the maze don’t change so they believe the exit doesn’t move, only the path to the exit. I think there’s a lot of reasons they would want to map the maze each day and I hope we get to see those maps soon.

Question from Katherine: It seems pretty clear that weird stuff is going on in the outside world if somebody bothered to create the Glade/Maze, engineer Grievers, ship people and supplies… etc. I mean, people generally don’t do that stuff if everything’s hunky dory. But Thomas’s memories all seem pretty normal (movie theaters, farms, marathons). Are they fake? Implanted? Thomas himself mentions that maybe the memories revealed by the Changing are actually too horrible to think about…
I think I said in an earlier post that I feel like Thomas’s memories are almost too cookie-cutter. They’re very typical and free of emotion, which makes me think they’re implanted. I think there’s something really terrible going on in the outside world that these boys are hoping to find a cure for. I only hope they succeed

Question from Claudia (a new member of our little party): Let’s say, you were given the opportunity to question one character from this story with guaranteed honest answers, what character would you choose and what questions would you ask?
Gally. I feel like his Changing was particularly eventful and he remembers a lot that he’s not saying. Another caveat of the situation would have to be that the Creators can’t stop him from telling me anything!

Question from Lynn: Why can the girl speak to Thomas and nobody else can hear?
I don’t think she’s really unconscious. I think her inability to speak and talk is a result of the Creators putting her in such a state. I feel like mind-to-mind communication must be a thin in the world these boys come from and part of their forgetting is how to use this skill. I think Teresa is in a semi-unconscious state that makes it so she cannot communicate verbally but she’s still in enough control of her body to talk to Thomas in this way.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the book so far. Check out the other blogs here and on the hub page to see what others are saying.

Until next time, write on.

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