By Peter Cao: ’14
“Maze Runner” by James Dashner is the first book in the Maze Runner trilogy, the book was released in 2009 while the movie came out in the fall of 2014. The similarities between The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner are striking. Here are three obvious reasons why they almost seem to be written by the same author. First, the settings are both set in a post Apocalyptic world where the Government is corrupt and secretive. Second, the main character is a young teenager that attracts attention to himself from the Government, and finally the main character and his friends are put into a test to fight for their life.
In the Hunger Games and Divergent the stories start off with backstories of the main characters and goes into depth explaining the post-apocalyptic worlds and the settings that they live in, whereas in the Maze Runner the story jumps into action right away, we don’t get a understanding of Thomas the main character’s backstory and are left to assume his past. Thomas is seen riding a ascending cage, he is violently banged around as the cart ascends at unbelievable speed up into the air. The readers are immediately hooked in as they try to figure out what happened. Thomas the main character is confused and has no recalling of his memory. As the cart ascends higher, we see an opening appear and the cart is blasted into bright sunlight. Thomas a 16 year old boy is surrounded by boys very much similar to him, they jump down and pull him into the open, Thomas immediately sprints away and continues running (Foreshadowing) until he realizes he cant escape when he comes upon the enormous looming walls of the maze.
He is led around the “Glade” by a another boy called Chuck and they immediately become friends. His memory has been wiped, as have all the other members of the Glade, but Thomas knows one thing, he must find the exit to the maze. The maze is enormous in size and surrounds the Glade, there are four huge doors located in the North,West,East,South sections of the maze. Every night the doors of the maze close and every morning the doors of the maze open. “Runners” are teenagers that are extremely physically fit. At the crack of sunrise as soon as the maze doors open, they rush into the maze, each one of them has memorized the mage thoroughly, they run around in the maze mapping things out and come back before the doors close. This is the most dangerous job in the maze, due to the fact that the teenagers aren’t the only people that live in the maze, located in the maze are also a creature known as the Grievers, these creatures are “Spider-like” robots that roam the maze at night and devours anything it finds. So ultimately getting stuck in the maze when the doors close is death. Thomas on the other hand finds the runners very interesting and seeks to join them.
If you want to know what happens further, you’re just going to have to read the book. The story is filled with action, and reading the book almost feels like you’re watching the movie, have you ever read those books that makes you feel like you’re in the characters shoes and just makes you want to read more? Thats exactly what the Maze Runner does. In the Hunger Games where its mostly killing and the slaughtering of others, the Maze Runner although it does have its fair share of blood and gore, doesn’t contain as much action. The Maze Runner almost feels like an Mystery Book similar to Divergent. The Book is written in the Third person whereas the Hunger Games is written in first and allows you a much deeper insight to Katniss thoughts.
The Maze Runner was diffidently a great book sizing up to its opponents the Hunger Games and Divergent, but just doesn’t have that “oomph” that Hunger Games did. The story coasts along at a very slow speed, almost as if the real climax would be revealed in the second book. In the Hunger Games readers feel an emotional connection to Katniss as they root her on during the games, whereas the Maze Runner, the reader reads to satisfy their curiosity. All in all the Maze Runner is a great book recommended for younger readers filled with plot twists and action at every turn.