Monday, November 24, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1)
Author: James Dashner
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 374
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Review for 2

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run. 

The entire time I was reading The Maze Runner one thought kept cycling through my mind: how is the movie even called "The Maze Runner"? Because, you see, I saw the movie first. I kept meaning to pick up the book, but something always got in the way. When the movie came out, I wanted to read the book first, but, you know, life happened. I went into the film and absolutely loved every second of it! So I of course made time for the book as soon as possible. My conclusion is that I probably would have hated the movie had I read the book first. Probably.

The Maze Runner, while slow at times, was actually pretty amazing. It begins with Thomas, the main character, in a pitch black box with no idea of where he is (or where he came from) and immediately I just had to know what happened next! I had kind of a hard time accepting the differences from the movie, but once I got over it I was hooked.

The most difficult thing to get over was the changes in the characters. The most obvious difference (and this is probably because I listened to the audiobook) was Alby. Hearing his southern accent was totally off-putting, as was his jerk attitude. I did enjoy getting to know Minho and Newt immensely, however. I also really appreciated the relationship between Thomas and Teresa a lot - especially their special ability that obviously wasn't mentioned in the film.

The world of The Maze Runner seemed a lot more interesting than the one I saw on the big screen. I loved the way the Glade and the Maze were described. It makes me wonder why they changed SO MUCH in the film when the book had already done such a great job! The Glade in the book was so jarringly different from the real world that it made me a little uncomfortable just reading about it. The Maze itself was also much more creepy - especially the way out. WHY would they change that?! Overall, things in the book just made a heck of a lot more sense. The movie left me with a million questions (which is probably why I was so quick to get the book).

At the end of the day, I really enjoyed both, but for different reasons. The movie was an amazing action film and the suspense was tangible. In the book I felt like I got to know the characters a lot better and learned a lot more. The way the puzzle of the Maze was handled in the book made me feel a lot more involved too. I would definitely recommend The Maze Runner, book and film, to everyone!

Notes on the Audiobook
I don't listen to a lot of books narrated by men, so it always takes a little while to get used to for some reason. Mark Deakins was actually pretty great! He had distinct voices for each character, which is always a bonus, and none of them sounded super cheesy or weird (except Alby, for reasons I've already stated). I'd definitely listen to more books narrated by Mark Deakins.