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Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 23

So more cool-down time, Thomas has a lot on his mind. He’s worried about Alby, worried about hat the Changing will do to him, still thinking about the girl, and the real weight of being trapped inside the Maze.

Night falls and the doors close, Thomas and Chuck talk. Thomas doesn’t seem too comfortable with all the praise her’s getting. A part of him feels proud of what he had accomplished but another part of him feels like shit.

Newt, who seems to be the new guy in charge, is having a rough time. We learn a bit more about the Changing and the fact that boys who go through it come out very unlikable.

Makes me wonder about Gally though. What was he like before and why was he in the Maze in the first place? I don’t think he was a Runner, in the beginning, he’s a Builder. Why did he go into the Maze?

But we know Thomas is going to be the subject of an upcoming Gathering which should be interesting at the very least.

Just an okay chapter.

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Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 22

This chapter is the aftermath of chapter 21.

It starts right where the last one left off. Thomas and Minho are standing at the cliff with Thomas crying his eyes out. It wasn’t emotionally effective to me, but for someone who found the previous chapter frightening I think this would work well as an opener.

Thomas managed to pull himself together and looked over the edge, trying to figure out where the Grievers vanished to. He doesn’t see anything and finds it impossible (as do I). I know where this is all leading up to, but I still find it ridiculous.

There’s some more talk about what they differently (Minho doesn’t know), and how none of the boys seemed to have any idea what the cliff is. Things like rocks don’t vanish from sight, but the Grievers appeared to.

It seems like all of the boys are hyper focused on solving the Maze, and while I understand that, with the way Thomas came in and asked all these questions and tried to put things together it seems like he’s the only one who is trying to find other solutions.

It’s possible that they all came up empty but it pushes Thomas into “The Special” category and not in an interesting way.

Minho and Thomas made it back to where Alby was put and found a search party looking for them, or, more likely, looking for their bodies. Everyone is surprised that they made it through the night and even more so that Alby can potentially still be saved.

Thomas and Minho are taken to get medical treatment and rest. Thomas has some fleeting thoughts about the girl (still don’t buy their connection) and then he falls asleep.

We end the chapter with confirmation that Alby is in fact alive and is going through the Changing.

It’s a fine chapter, slow, but that makes sense compared to the previous chapter. All in all it’s pretty okay.

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Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 21

In this chapter Thomas and Minho (yeah, he’s back) run from the Grievers and throw them off a Cliff.

These chapters really don’t need to be this short. Really.

I don’t have too much to say about this chapter, the writing is fine, the main issue still being that I don’t find the Grievers scary. Minho finding Thomas and pulling him along through the Maze.

I wonder where Minho had been in order for him to say.

“I just saw…the dive move you did…back there…gave me an idea…”

Was he just…around the corner? How?

Thomas does bring up a good question about how this Cliff can be there in the first place. Who put this Maze out there? It brings up the question without calling too much attention to it.

One thing that makes me pause is this line:

Dawn was beginning to make it’s Mark, the sky seeming to have lightened considerably…”

How long has Thomas and Minho been out there? It doesn’t seem to be that long. I don’t know how it takes for the sun to come up in this universe, but still. It doesn’t seem like they’ve been out there for hours.

Time is weird to keep track of.

Minho comes up with a good plan and Thomas pick it up quickly. It shows both of them as smart and quick thinkers. Minho is my fave so far.

Anyways, decent chapter over all. This book is mostly becoming “meh” as I read on.

Untill next time.

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Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 20

This chapter is all about Thomas running away from the Griever and…it’s pretty underwhelming. That’s pretty sad since I do like the way Dashner writes action. 

I blame the Griever since I don’t find them interesting. 

But this chapter wasn’t terrible, so it’s okay. Thomas quickly came up with a plan and started swinging away from the Griever and Alby. Luckily, or unluckily, the Griever followed after Thomas and started chasing him. I do really like the fact that Thomas is working so hard to try and save Alby’s life, even if he’s not 100% sure if his life can actually be saved.

Makes me like him.

Thomas spends some “tense” minutes, or seconds (I don’t really know), swinging away from the monster. I’m not too sure how exactly the Griever is climbing the walls, but…I don’t dwell on it too much.

There’s a line that gives me pause when Thomas kicks and struggles with the monster:

“…he kicked out with both feet to push off, squirming to avoid the swarm of needles and claws coming at him from all directions.”

I don’t know how many needles the Griever has, the book never tells us, but I assume it’s a lot. So the fact that Thomas kdoeent get stung here seemed really… convenient. Too convenient perhaps.

Thomas makes it to the ground and starts running. The fact that Thomas can track his own movements so easily considering the situation too easily connected to him being a runner, but whatever. 

It ends with Thomas running into 3 other Grievers. Let’s see how Thomas gets out of this one.

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Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 19

Short review for a short chapter. This chapter is mainly focused on the Griever and Thomas’s response to the monster which is…well I guess it’s good if you are a person who finds the Grievers scary and terrifying, but I don’t.

At all.

So this chapter really fell flat for me.

First of all, the monster is…dumb. Really, really dumb. Here’s the description:

It looked like an experiment gone terribly wrong—something from a nightmare. Part animal, part machine, the Griever rolled and clicked along the stone pathway. Its body resembled a gigantic slug, sparsely covered in hair and glistening with slime, grotesquely pulsating in and out as it breathed. It had no distinguishable head or tail, but front to end it was at least six feet long, four feet thick.

Every ten to fifteen seconds, sharp metal spikes popped through its bulbous flesh and the whole creature abruotly curled into a ball and spun forward. Then it would settle, seeming to gather its bearing, the spikes receding back through the moist skin with a sick slurping sound. It did this over and over, traveling just a few feet at a time.

But hair and spikes were not the only things protruding from the Griever’s body. Several randomly placed mechanical arms stuck out here and there, each one with a different purpose. A few had bright lights attached to them. Other has long, menacing needles. One had a three-fingered claw that clasped and unclasped for no apparent reason. When the creature rolled, these arms folded and maneuvered to avoid being crushed. Thomas wondered what—or who—could create such frightening, disgusting creatures.

That was a long description, but this…it’s not very compelling. It’s very hard to wrap my head around what this thing looks like and, yeah, that’s a big part of why I don’t find them terrifying. Plus…the Grievers move in a dumb way.  Up there it says that they spin, but I think a more accurate word is ‘roll’ and that’s just plain silly!

Maybe I expect too much from my book monsters.

Oh well, the most unnerving thing about this creature is when it started to climb the wall where Thomas and Alby are hanging out at (though how exactly it’s climbing I’ll find out next, I guess), other than that, it’s nothing special.

I know where the story is going but I hope it picks up again soon.

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Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 18

This chapter we focus on Thomas trying to save Alby while they are trapped in the Maze overnight. Thomas is a bit upset in the beginning over the fact that Minho left both of them there.

While I understand Thomas’s feelings on the matter I really don’t think he has a right to judge Minho. Minho has been there for who knows how long and I think he has every right to try and save himself. Maybe not the noblest of moves, but I get it.

We also learn that Thomas officially considers Alby a friend. That was nice to know since with Alby’s attitude and Thomas’s responses to him didn’t really suggest much. Although Thomas makes a mental comment about how “Thomas before” couldn’t leave a friend behind, and I just wonder what made him think that he was like that before? Maybe he assumes if he wasn’t like that before that he would have pulled a Minho?

But the main event of this chapter is Thomas tieing up Alby in the vines to try and avoid the Grievers. It’s a pretty decent plan, though I wonder how he ended up tieing Alby up there. The book describes Thomas pushing Alby up and then tieing off his arms and legs, but…unless he wraps all of the vines multiple times around his limbs?

However, he did it Thomas was successful in getting Alby and himself off of the ground. It’s a solid plan, even if Thomas isn’t sure what a Griever is really capable of yet.

The end of the chapter isn’t too great; Thomas get’s spotted by a Bettle Blade, we see it has WICKED written on it’s body, and then a Griever comes around the corner. I don’t find either of these things scary so it fell flat.

Till next time!

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Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 17

Hey, last post of 2017! Hope things are well for all of you.

We last left Thomas right after he ran out into the Maze on an impulse and now he’s…stuck.

He went up to an injured Alby and a terrified Minho. Both boys looked terrible; covered in scratches and bruises, Alby being the worse off of the pair. There are no descriptions of blood (surprisingly) but he’s been stung by the supposed dead Griever so…yeah, things look pretty bleak.

Thomas gets a bit frustrated with how negative Minho is being about the whole situation, but I can’t really blame him. We’re not told how long he’s been in the Maze, but we know he’s seen quite a lot of his friends die one way or another. Heck, we learn in this chapter that the boys don’t even find all the bodies of their friends who get stuck in the Maze overnight. It makes perfect sense for Minho to be very, very pessimistic.

We also learn various other things about the Grievers. We learn that while they always come out at night that sometimes they go out during the day. Grievers prick their victims and that a victim can be pricked multiple times.

We don’t learn too much more than that but it’s kind of interesting.

I am under suspicions that the reason we don’t learn exactly what happened when the Griever attacked Minho and Alby is that Dashner doesn’t really have a clue. I find the description of the Grievers dubious at best and the lack of explanation only pushes it closer toward it being unconvincing.

The chapter ends with Minho abandoning Thomas and Alby once the sound of Grievers started to sound. I found that kind of funny.

Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for this chapter, there wasn’t much, but I’m kind of getting used to that with this book. Thanks for reading and happy new years!

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Something Quick

Something Quick

Hey, with Christmas just around the corner for me I wanted to write this up really quickly since it’s a small part of the book that bothers me.

The character descriptions in The Maze Runner run into a problem that I’m used to seeing across many different books from many different authors. It’s not an issue that can ruin a work for me, I even did this a lot when I was younger, but something I want to point out here.

There are twelve named characters in the story so far: Thomas, Chuck, Newt, Alby, Minho, Ben, Gally, Zart, Frypan, Clint, Jeff, and Winston. First of all, that’s a lot of characters. Sure, not all of these characters are important, but still. Second of all, only Alby and Minho are described in terms of skin color and/or race.

In the writing circles I hang around in it’s a much talked about mechanic that highlighting a CoC (character of color) race or skin color while not doing that for white characters not only marks the CoCs as ‘other‘ but makes white the default.

Going off of the first 16 chapters there’s only one black guy and one Asian guy (there may be two Asians since an Asian guy was mentioned when Thomas first got out of the box, but he’s never brought up again so it could just be Minho). For all the named characters it’s not great on the racial diversity front, especially with how many boys are supposed to be in the Glade.

Sure, some of the unnamed Gladers could very well be nonwhite, that’s probably the case, but with Thomas’s descriptions it…it’s just a bit disappointing.

The solutions to this vary, though the one I’ve seen the most is that if an author is going to describe race and skin color it should be done for every character, not just the nonwhite ones.

Again, this doesn’t ruin the book, or any book, for me it’s just something I noticed and wanted to point it out. We’ll have to see if this continues with the rest of the series.

Happy Holidays!

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Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 16

So, another day and another chapter.

It stars off rather dull, Thomas is made to garden and he doesn’t like it, all he wants to do is be a runner.

He talks to Zart, gets some more info about the different jobs but doesn’t get much more out of Zart than that. Not because he’s unwilling to talk, bit because he’s reminded of the Girl, and Ben, and the Grievers. It puts him in a sour mood.

During lunch we see Newt visibly distressed. Thomas and Chuck are worried about him and so am I. Newt’s a character that I like, I would go so fat as to say that he’s my favorite character in the book so far. I like Alby and Chuck as well but Newt still beats them out.

The blond boy is nervous because Alby and Minho haven’t come back from the Maze yet.

Newt is terrified.

Last chapter we got a hint about how much Newt hates the Maze but this chapter really drove it homw.

Night rolls around and Newt is panicked but he won’t go in the Maze. It’s too dangerous and the doors are about to shut. Newt and Chuck think they’re dead and I feel really bad for Newt. It’s obvious that him, Alby, and Minho are close.

But then, just as the doors are closing, Thomas spots Minho dragging along an unconscious Alby. This is where Dashner’s writing shines once again and it’s very tense. Even though I knew what was going to happen I was still on the edge of my seat.

Reading the back and forth between Thomas watching Minho dragging Alby, to Newt runing (the best he can) and yelling at Thomas not to run into the maze.

The book is best in moments like these.

It all ends with Thomas, Minho, and Alby trapped in the Maze over night.

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Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 15

It’s been a bit, but I’m back with more chapter reviews.

This chapter is okay. Another low-key chapter after the excitement of chapter 14.

Thomas is still called to be a Runner and gets a chance to ask Newt some questions. This time around he actually gets some answers. New essentially tells Thomas that the Runners are the best of the best, the real cream of the crap.

Thomas ask Newt why he isn’t a Runner and…I don’t know why. Having just heard that they Runners are the best of the best that question would suggest that Thomas thinks Newt is one of those. But he hasn’t anything to suggest he’s one of the best. Newt hadn’t really had much presence until this point— sure he showed him a Griever but that’s about it— and it doesn’t seem like Thomas is asking the question in jest, so…it seems odd.

But this leads us to learning a bit about Newt. We learn that Newt used to be a Runner he stopped because he suffered a leg injury, and that Newt is glad he’s not a Runner anymore.

Thomas gets a bit snippy after Newt tells him he had to wait to even be considered to be a Runner. Newt shuts him down in an okay little lecture.

The chapter ends with Chuck questioning who killed the Griever and Newt not having an answer.

I don’t know why this is the end. The question of who-or-what killed the Griever had been hanging over them since we found out about the dead Griever. And Newt hasn’t been out in the maze so…why would he know anything about that? Why would he even have a guess?

Not a strong ending but it does get the reader asking questions, which is a good way to keep them reading if nothing else.