Another dystopian trilogy (you would think I’d be sick of them by now, but they are very much in vogue) that I read this year was The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. Again, prompted by a film (and also Sinéad), I hunted them out and got down to reading them.
The Maze Runner/The Scorch Trials/The Death Cure – James Dashner
Somewhat unusually for a dystopian or YA series, The Maze Runner features a male protagonist – waking up one day in a giant maze, together with a collection of other teenage boys, he has to figure out what’s going on in life, and basically save all of humanity. Much like the Divergent trilogy, the first book is based in a small area, then the second and third widen out to larger society, leaving much weight on the shoulders of our poor protagonist.
The first book leaves Thomas, our hero, stuck in a glade in the middle of an unsolveable maze, patrolled by Grievers, giant metal/animal hybrid monsters and watched by flying camera bugs – all with the word WICKED stamped on them. Who built the maze? Who is watching them? Are the bugs really so wicked? What’s going on? And why, the day after Thomas appears, does everything start changing?
I enjoyed the Maze Runner trilogy, although I did think at times that the books ran overlong. Sinéad never managed to make it past the middle of The Scorch Trials, which is the second book. Generally, though, a solid example of dystopia, with strong characters and alright, though not exceptional worldbuilding. I liked, but didn’t love this trilogy – while I have the prequel book – The Kill Order – I haven’t actually gotten around to reading it yet, and I feel no great sense of loss because of it.