Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 14

This chapter fell pretty flat to me. It’s supposed to be horrible; we’re essentially watching a teenage boy being sentenced to death but it doesn’t really hit it’s mark. At least not in the same way that the graveyard scene did.

There isn’t really anything new to say about the writing in terms of Thomas’s emotions. I really think it’s a problem with showing rather than telling, y’know? I do understand Thomas’s conflicting emotions; not wanting to feel guilty but feeling guilty anyways, wanting Ben to get help and also simply wanting him to go away.

I understand it, but I don’t think Dashner sold it very well here.

The main thing that stood out to me in this chapter was the fact that Thomas thought Alby looked like a monster. It was a short section that happened at the beginning of the chapter and it wasn’t lingered on but…it made me pause.

This was something that has made me uncomfortable to have the only black character described as evil. I know Thomas has had problems with Alby and Alby isn’t dealing well with being in charge but I find it kind of racist.

No, I’m not calling Dashner a racist and I don’t think he hate black people or anything to that effect. But his actions led to this kind of racist conclusion.

Other than that I don’t have anything else to really say about this chapter. Hopefully things will pick up soon.

Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 13

So…this chapter is kind of boring. There were really only two things that stuck out to me. One, was that Thomas didn’t mention the fact that he felt like the Maze and the Girl were familiar to him. At least not to anyone important.

Sure, Thomas doesn’t feel like there’s much reason to, Alby and Gally at the very least haven’t been all that nice to him. But telling Newt is also an option. Thomas also has a line about only telling them something that he may remember if he feels like it, which just soured me on him a bit. They are trying to get out of here and Alby’s right, all of the things that happen can’t be a coincidence.
The other big thing that will carry over into the next chapter is that Ben is being Banished. It’s portrayed as a serious event, but also something the Gladers look forward to, if Chuck’s reaction is anything to go by. I assume it’s because not much else goes on around there.

It’s still very creepy.

I am interested in seeing how the next chapter showcases the event and how Thomas will process it.

Categories
Animation

A Look at Character Design: Ciel Kirahoshi

Hey! Mizz here with something a little different from my current stream of Maze Runner chapter reviews. Character design has been something I’ve always been interested in so I though I would look at some characters and try to explain why I like them or why I don’t.

The first character design I’m going to look at is Ciel Kirahoshi, aka Cure Parfait from Toei Animation’s Kira Kira Pretty Cure A la Mode.

The first look will be her civilian look.

 

 

The first thing I want to talk about are the colors used in her design. The main color seems to be turquoise, with two different shades. I think it looks really good, especially with the shade of yellow they used for her hair. The pink bow helps break up the turquoise and matched well with her shoes. The shape of her dress and hair are also in good contrast. It’s just very very cute.

One thing I think works better in her fairy form rather than her human form are the shines in her eyes. Like, the lack of irises is just kind of creepy to me.

Kirarin_Toei_Slide
The Shine in her eye simply looks better

Now I want to look at her Cure Parfait design.

Cureparfait_Toei

This design is based off of the food Parfait and a Pegasus.

 

 

As far as capturing those two things go…I think it’s pretty decent. I don’t think she needed three pairs of wings, and yeah, those things on top of her head are probably supposed to be ears, but…they just look like wings on top of her head. The ones on her back and on her Sweets Pact case are a nice touch. The rainbow…tassel that hangs off the left side of her dress adds a nice splash of color, the rainbow being a kind of sub element for her. The little orange slice brooch is cute as well.

Now I do think the hat deatail is bad. It’s too but and I think it looks really ugly. Another part is that fact that I hate her shoes. I know they’re supposed to be based off house hooves, but I just hate the way they look.

Her colors are based off the main colors in her civilian form; turquoise, white, and pink. I think they work decently with each other, even though I think a lighter shade of blonde hair would have work best.

Now on to Cure Parfait’s A La Mode Style.

Parfait_A_La_Mode

The first thing that stands out to me is that the colors seem…lighter. I don’t know why and it could just be this picture I’m looking at. Plus, they changed how they draw her eyes. Seems like there’s more space between them.

I strongly dislike the fruit details on her dress. At least that huge orange slice and those grapes. Bad decision. The blue beads…or whatever near the bottom of her gown don’t bother me as much as the fruit.

The overall silhouette— minus the fruit— is really nice and the fluffy style of her hair is really lovely. The shoulder of her dress are nice as well, even though the collar is…unnecessary. Her parfait headdress is even worse here especially because she had this…fuzzy thing on her head. I do like the arm bands, I’m generally an arm band kind of person anyways.

Overall I’d call her designs: Good, Decent, and then Okay. I honestly haven’t watched the anime up to the point where she shows up so I can’t how this looks in motion (which may be the real test of if this design is good or not) but I hope you all enjoyed this little experiment of mine.

(All pictures taken from the Pretty Cure Wiki)

Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 12

This chapter is pretty meh, but at least things are happening at a steady pace. We meet Minho this chapter and as far as character introductions go…I gotta agree with Thomas, Minho is a tough character to get a handle on. I, like Thomas, don’t know how I feel about him.

The small hint of his relationship with Alby seemed interesting. I do wonder more about them and how they play off of each other.

They make reference to the girl again and talk about whether or not she’s hot and it’s creepy and I hate it. But it’s quick so I’m not going to dwell on too much. At least not right now.

At the end of the chapter we find out that Minho found a dead Griever. That would be a pretty interesting ending, if I thought that the Grievers had more of a presence as monsters. As of right now…they aren’t really…anything to me. I do understand their danger, especially with Ben, but…still. Pretty underwhelming.

Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 11

So…this chapter doesn’t have the same sense of tension as the previous chapter, even though Dashner sure did try. With Alby holding as arrow, ready to kill Ben, Ben trying to kill Thomas, and Thomas being confused as to why he’s Ben target. But the stand off just doesn’t hold the same weight.

After Alby killed Ben, Thomas is pretty traumatized. I think it’s portrayed well, Thomas feeling as if he was simply going through the motions. There is this line about the nameless girl:

“It it hadn’t been for the whole Ben-in-the-graveyard incident, Thomas was some she would’ve been all he’d thought about last night.”

Thomas didn’t show any sign of thinking of her in the previous chapters o this line didn’t ring true to me.

We end the chapter with Thomas running over to a Runner who collapsed on the ground. Apparently he’s back early so we know something is up. But we’ll have to read the next chapter to find out what it is.

It is odd though that its taken so long for the story to really get started. Oh well.

Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 10

We’ve done it ladies, gentlemen, and thereupon! We have kept up the momentum from the last chapter and it was great!

Seriously.

The writing is great, keeping the pace quick, and tension high. I really felt Thomas’s fear as he heard the twigs snapping around him and through the attack. It was great!

This chapter also did well with the more somber tone once Thomas made it to the graveyard. It gave a tangible weight to the situation of the Gladers more so than anything else so far and I really like how most of the deaths remain unexplained, except for the kid that got cut in half.

This was the first real action beat and Dashner handled it wonderfully. I’m finally starting to render why I liked this book so much.

Let’s hope the next chapter is just as good.

Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 9

The boys are still being creepy to nameless girl and I am so glad that the movie omitted this. Ew. I’m also glad that Alby told everybody not to touch her. Good job. The girl is passed out for now and isn’t much of a character. So, we’ll come back to her when she’s more relevant.

After she is carried away Thomas begins to feel as if he does know who she is; he feels a connection though he’s not sure what it is exactly. Thomas getting all these feelings about the girl did get on my nerves during my first read through of the series. For now it’s fine and logical (they came a day apart, Thomas already feels like he’s been in the maze, etc) so I’ll have to see how it progresses.

Thomas didn’t get any new answers this chapter, but he did come up with a theory on his own. That the Gladers are prisoners. For what he has no idea, but at least he’s trying to make connections.

Thomas continues his tour on his own and while he’s admiring the fact that the boys are so well put together he spots a beetle blade. One with what he thinks is WICKED written on its back.

What does this mean? I don’t know but I really hope we can the momentum.

Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 8

The chapter where the girl shows up!

And I really, really don’t like this.

This is totally due to how the nameless (at this point) girl is introduced and treated.

First, as soon as the other Gladers were made aware of her gender, one of them tried to call dibs on her which is awful all by itself.

But I’m much more upset with Thomas. First, with Thomas’s ‘glimpse’ of her. He can tell that she’s thin, but not too thin, 5’6″, 15-16, and pale skin like pearls. That’s simply too much detail for a glimpse. Then when he gets a closer to her he just goes over how hot she is; flawless skin, perfect lips, long legs, etc…

This is a girl her thinks is dead. This is super creepy and doesn’t paint Thomas in a good light. Even if he feels bad for thinking it. Dashner really didn’t need to write it this way at all.. Jeez.

Thomas finding her attractive isn’t a problem by itself but the time in when it happens is ill planned. He could have done that, the whole description of how hot she is, at a later, less creepy, date.

Plus the fact that Thomas doesn’t ask any questions about her well kept appearance, like where she’s been kept or whose been keeping her in such good condition, when he had questions about everything else. It feels like a break of character.

Oh well. Onward I guess.

Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 7

This could have been bundled with chapter six and nothing would have had to change. Seriously, this kind of boggles me, in so much that I just really don’t understand the drive to divide these chapters like this. Just seems silly.

But this chapter is mainly the tour, and the Box comes back up which is a new person.

During the tour we get a little bit more info on the workings of the Glade. We learn about the Gardens, Blood House, Homestead, Deadheads. I do want to know why exactly they came up with another name for “Graveyard” when they also call it a graveyard. It doesn’t make a lot of sense why a new word would be made up for that. Blood House makes a bit more sense, only in the sense that I can believe it’s something a bunch of teenage boys would come up with.

We get a couple of more names for things, most I think could be figured out, but I do like that detail. It really does set in that these kids have been isolated for a period of time (Alby says two years). We also learn that the maze moves every night and that it’s part of the reason why they haven’t figured it out yet.

One thing that stuck out to me, in realtion to Alby, was the fact that he was one of the first boys there and has essentially watched all the others who came with him died. I think that gives some extra layers to Alby’s character and any anger/frustration he might feel.

But then the Box comes back up and everyone is confused at this change in routine. But what exactly that means for Thomas remains to be seen.

Till next time.

Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 6

Stuff’s happening! Kind of…sort of?

Okay, so this chapter is basically when Thomas finds out what Grievers, what their purpose is in the Maze, and a tour from Alby!

Yeah…that’s pretty much it.

I mean, these chapters are short so I guess I can’t expect too, too much, but it doesn’t really…do much? Last chapter felt like it was getting things started; Thomas had a revelations of sorts last chapter and this doesn’t feel like a continuation.

Let’s get into this a little bit.

Newt wakes Thomas up before the…um official wake up time and leads him over to a dirty little window in the wall. Newt tells Thomas about the Maze and how they’re trying to solve it and also warns him about the monsters that lurk in the Maze.

“…A large, bulbous creature the size of a cow but with no distinct shape twisted and seethed along the ground in the corridor outside. It climbed the opposite wall, then leaped at the thick-glassed window with a loud thump. Thomas shrieked before he could stop himself, jerked away from the window— but the thing bounced backward, leaving the glass undamaged.

Thomas sucked in two huge breaths and leaned in once again. It was too dark to make out clearly, but odd lights flashed from an unknown source, revealing blurs of silver spikes and glistening flesh. Wicked instrument- tipped appendages protruded from its body like arms: a saw blade, a set of sheers, long rods whose purpose could only be guessed.

The creature was a horrific mix of animal and machine, and seemed to realize it was being observed, seemed to know what lay inside the walls of the Glade, seemed to want to get inside and feast on human flesh…”

Now when I first read this all those years ago I couldn’t pin down what these things look like and I still kind of don’t. I’m getting slug vibes from this, along with like…spikes? I don’t know but these things aren’t the least bit terrifying. The movie did much better with this. (And yeah I’m going be looking at that as well).

Thomas is feeling pretty down after that. Since I don’t find the Grievers scary Thomas comes off as pretty wishy-washy. But his pull to the Maze is still strong, as is his curiosity. So when Alby shows up to take Thomas on his tour and Thomas demands to know everything. Alby is being difficult about it though (I do love my angry son)

Though this chapter was pretty light I’m sure, hopefully, that we’ll get more meat in the up coming chapters.