THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner
Verdict: Better the second time around.
#2 - The Scorch Trials
#3 - The Death Cure
Thomas wakes up in a strange glade with no memory but a sense of familiarity. He's surrounded by 60 other boys and an unsolvable maze filled with deadly beasts called grievers. The rest of the boys have survived in the glade for over two years, but when Thomas arrives, everything changes. It's the beginning of the end, unless they can solve the maze.
I read this when I was still a teenager in 2011, and straight after I finished Hunger Games. It wasn't as good so I marked it as 3 stars, but after reading another 100 books, I think this is more than deserving of a higher rating.
The mystery is intense. I couldn't remember the book very well, which put me in the same situation as Thomas - a feeling that I've been here before, but can't remember who to trust or how to solve their situation.
Like last time, I felt sorry for the way Thomas is blamed for everything for the simple reason that things happened soon after he arrived, and felt the arguments went round in circles. At the same time, it kept the tension taut throughout, so it didn't bother me as much as before.
Sure, it's a bit repetitive when it talks about the memory loss and or has a go at Thomas for things he can't control. And while there's a lot going on, the pace only feels slow because we know what's coming and we just want them to get on with it. And there are some gross spit moments that are unnecessary. These are minor quibbles on an otherwise excellent story that really gets you wonder what on earth is going on.
My only real issue with the book is the ending and the 'answer' or 'reason' to all the mystery. I'll avoid spoilers and just say that it didn't make enough sense. It feels like the author thought of the mysterious situation first and worked out a reason for it last minute. A rush of things happened in the last few pages which baffled me, more so than just a cliff hanger. It almost forces you to read the next book right away so that the story can make a lick of sense. That's where the fifth star drops for me.
Source: Bought it.