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.

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.

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.

Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 5

So, after a long hiatus I’m back with a review of chapter five. I will say that one reason it took me so long to gt this out was the fact that well, nothing much happens in this chapter.

The first five chapters of this book cover Thomas’s first say in the Glade and what have we learned? Well, quite a few things actually.

We learned about the layout of the Glade, a thing called the Changing happens to boys who get stung, that so long as these boys make it back to get their medicine that they won’t die, boys get sent up once a month, they’re in a giant maze, Thomas was seen during the Changing, Newt’s nice, Alby’s angry, Gally’s an asshole, Chuck is cute, and Thomas is inquisitive to the point of being annoying and some more stuff.

But it certainly feels like nothing.

This could be the way I’m reading these; chapter by chapter. The beginning chapters are very short and I believe that the reader is supposed to simply breeze right though them. But they didn’t have to be structured this way. They could have been two or three chapters instead of five with some reworking. I mean, really, how many times do we need to hear Gally tell Thomas that he saw him during the Changing?

But I’ve digressed.

In this chapter Thomas an Chuck get ready for bed! Yeah…that’s pretty much it. Chuck plays a prank on Gally which nearly gets Thomas in trouble but things end fine. No broken or bloody noses at the very least.

Thomas and Chuck lay down in a field or garden and suddenly Thomas is hit with a sense of calm. He is alarmed by this, after everything he’s been through how could he suddenly be so calm, but this sense of calm leads Thomas to two conclusions. One, that he wants to be a Runner and two, that he thinks he’s been in the Maze before.

That is what I consider to be the real start of things, and as far as starts go I think it’s pretty good for this kind of book. It sets Thomas on a clear path forward and the line about Thomas feeling like he had been there before coupled with Gally’s insistence that he’s seen Thomas before sparks the interest in the mystery far more than anything else did.

But…other than that nothing too interesting here.

Back to a more regular schedule.

Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 4

Back at it again with another chapter review!

This chapter this time around is pretty meh. If I wasn’t doing these chapter reviews then I’m sure I would just blow past this chapter without much thought.

The main purpose of this chapter is to give us more information about the Glade. We get an even more clear description of the layout of the Glade, again, not sure it was needed, but it’s here. We learn that the walls of the Glade move at night, something Thomas finds of freaking impossible that he’s totally rattled when they actually do move.

We also learn that they’re in a maze. While the chapter’s ‘meh’ this does deepen the mystery some more. We see a shadowy room the Runners, Thomas gets even more curious and scared. But for the tiny bit of information he does learn he’s got a million more questions.

One thing that sticks out to me in the bland chapter is that…Dashner’s writing is…well I don’t think it’s particularly strong. I’m having trouble pinning it down, but certain things don’t flow very well. Like this passage:

“It bothered Thomas that Chuck didn’t seem to care about what he’d just said. That he seemed indifferent to having his life taken anyway from him. What was wrong with thee people? Thomas got to his feet and started walking toward the eastern opening. ‘Well, no one said I couldn’t look around.’ He needed to learn something or he was going to lose his mind.

‘Whoa, wait!’ Chuck cried, running to catch up. ‘Be careful, those puppies are about to close.’ He already sounded out of breath.

‘Close?’ Thomas repeated. ‘What are you talking about?’

‘The Doors, you shank.’

‘Door? I don’t see any doors.’ Thomas knew Chuck wasn’t just making stuff up— he knew he was missing something obvious. He grew uneasy and realized he’d slowed his pace, not so eager to reach the walls anymore.”

This isn’t terrible but the switch to Thomas uneasiness feels abrupt. I guess I’d call it Telling rather than Showing. Thomas’s mix of emotions doesn’t flow well because of this.

But Chuck proves to be a bright spot by basically telling Thomas to go take a nap. It was basically time for them to sleep anyways, but still, it was good.

Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 3

The thing that mostly stands out is that, at this point, I’ getting frustrated with all of Thomas;s question asking. I feel that that’s the point, Thomas is getting frustrated and so are we. But I’m not really on Thomas’s side in this.

I completely understand where Thomas is coming from, but demanding answer from folks hadn’t gotten anything the first time he tried it. I don’t see why barging  into a place where he’s told not to go would change that. This may also be due to the fact that I can kin of see where the Gladers are coming from.

After seeing Ben go through the Changing (who’s naming these things?) Thomas is completely horrified. All the Gladers, with the exception as far as we know, being Chuck, have been there a while. They’re probably come up with this system to protect newbies from further trauma. This may not be the best way to handle things but its the best this group of boys could muster. If Thomas had just waited I’m sure he would have gained the info he wanted.

Chuck’s intro was done pretty well. He’s a believable 12-13 year old and even though Thomas described his face as “pitiful” I think he’s cute. My favorite line of his so far is this:

Klunk’s another word for poo. Poo makes a klunk sound when it falls in out pee pots.”

That’s such a…kid thing to say. Haha.

Gally physical description is even worse but we’re not supposed to like him so he’s the ugliest thing in the Glade at this point.

The most interesting thing in this is Gally tell Thomas, and us, that he’s seen Thomas while he went through the changing. It opens up so many more questions and is good to keep out attention and push us forward.

Fun Note and Spoiler:

Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 2

One thing I wanna point out is how my copy of The Maze Runner lays out the first couple of chapters.

book stuff

I think this is a pretty smart layout since it makes it way easier to continue reading. The first chapter, though competent at it’s job, isn’t an immediate page turner. So this is an east way to get the reader to continue.

Okay, on to today’s chapter. It’s fine.

We get a bit more info about stuff. Thomas realizes that he doesn’t know how old he is, which, for my money, brings up a lot of questions about what Thomas remembers and what he doesn’t, but that’s not a super important detail. As Alby says in the chapter “Old life’s over.” We hear some of the Glade slang which is still silly to me, but is does help sell the isolation these characters faced.

We meet Alby and his temper, which makes sense, he’s the new leader in this. There’s not much information at the moment but I think the book is hinting at this Nick person mentioned was the previous leader There aren’t really any concrete hints but the framing of the whole setup gives off that vibe.

The actual description of the Glade is fine, nothing too memorable really, besides the walls of the maze. But it’s perfectly serviceable, I mean, we don’t need a blueprint of how the Glade’s laid out.

We get a small hint of some guy giving Thomas a nasty look which doesn’t do much to calm our protag’s shot nerves.

One amusing thing I noticed this time around was the fact that all the boys, well all the ones mentioned anyways, were muscular. Every single one. I know the boys do a lot of physical labor but still, kinda funny.

All in all a decent way to continue the story.

On to the next one!

Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 1

In my last post I talked about how I wanted to re-read some series I had completed to see how my taste changed, if at all. Well, I’m back and I decided that I want to do a chapter by chapter of my re-reading of The Maze Runner. I think it’ll help me get used to post more often here.

A quick background of my thoughts on the first book: I like it the first time I read it. I had planned to read it back in 2012 before the movie came out and I had positive feelings for the book. I didn’t think it was amazing but it was fast paced, I was invested in the mystery, and cared about the characters. It was a solid 6 in my book and I went on to enjoy the movie as well. Now let’s get into my current feelings on chapter one.

The first chapter is fine. It’s short but it does what it needs to do. We are thrown into a confusing and stressful situation just like our main character, the prose isn’t too puffy which I think fits the setting and our character as well. Though I will say, knowing my feelings for the other books in the series, this first chapter does hint at some things I find very annoying about the story and Thomas’s character. I’m going to highlight it here for a reminder to come back to later.

“Minutes stretched into hours, although it was impossible to know for sure because every second seemed an eternity. No. He was smarter than that. Trusting his instincts, he knew he’d been moving for roughly half an hour.

Strangely enough, he felt his fear whisked away like a swarm of gnats caught in the wind, replaced by an intense curiosity. He wanted to know where he was and what was happening.”

Yup, that right there. Ugh.

But all in all, this chapter did what it was supposed to do. Get us curious about where the story is heading. We wanna know what’s the Glade, why can’t Thomas remember anything, and just what’s going on?

Let’s see how this goes, shall we?



[Warning: I use “Queer” as an umbrella term for LGBT+ and will continue to do so]

Hey, I’m Mizz.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this blog to be about and I think that I’ve finally figured it out.

Things that I care a lot about lately are the stories and struggles of PoC and Queer people, as well as writing my own stories and analyzing certain tv/streaming shows.

So that’s why this blog is going to be focusing on. I will mostly be reviewing and sharing my thoughts on fiction, with smatterings of nonfiction here and there.

They say that you have to read in order to write and that’s what I plan to do. I’ll start by re-reading some stuff I’ve already read since I’m older now and my thoughts on it may change.

I’ll work to adequately explain my feelings on things and see how it goes.

First up on the docket will be The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner. Let’s see how it goes.