[Book Opinion] [English] The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1) – James Dashner

This wasn’t in a reading challenge by the time I was reading it.

For this book, I happened to read both version; Indonesian and English.

ISBN : 9780385737951
Publisher : Delacorte Press
Number of pages : 375
Language : English

ISBN : 9789794336557
Publisher : Mizan Fantasi
Translator : Yunita Candra
Number of pages : 532
Language : Indonesian

“If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.”

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

First of all, I would like to state my disappointment over the Indonesian translated one. Even to be honest I didn’t really remember and couldn’t check it out anymore- as  I’ve sold the Indonesian edition right after getting the English one; it seems that there were some scenes altered at the Indonesian version. Altered? Yes. AL-TE-RED. As in, something was changed. I did know that the Indonesian edition didn’t include the Glader’s vocabulary (what is Gladers? I’ll explain later when we moved to the plotline) such as “kluck” “shuck” “shut your hole” and others. And I did know that the Indonesian edition also didn’t include the British accent of Newt (who is Newt you would know later too) such as his trademark to include “bloody” in his sentence. Those two were actually the reasons on why I was disappointed enough and selling the Indonesion edition. However, I didn’t expect they would change the scenes there! (Well pardon me, if you did know for sure or able to give me the extract of the Indonesian- so that I can check it out; feel free to contact me and I’ll revise this opinion right after I knew that I was wrong) And due to this matter; that it changed some scenes; deleting some parts which should be there and adding another part which wasn’t there, I clearly became hating the Indonesian edition.

Okay. Now, let’s move to the story itself.

I’ve watched the movie before reading the book and by far I’ve been really satisfied with the movie. It was odd for me, in fact. Because I didn’t like Hunger Games as much, and I did hate Divergent quite a lot (note : its movie). But this, even though there were some plot holes, I still love the movie. So anyway, I’ve bought the book a long time ago in a sale. But I just started reading it like- one or two days after the movie.

The Maze Runner was basically telling a story about a guy named Thomas, which memory has been vanished, who entered a place called Glade (which was surrounded by The Maze). The Glade was basically a place where some of kids living by their own; who called themselves as Gladers. The kids, just like Thomas, didn’t remember anything at all. All they knew was that they were trapped there and had no way out. The only chance to find the way out was through the maze, which would be closed by night- and where The Griever- something like a machine that could sting you, lives. The kids had their leader, named Alby, and another kid as the second-hand in command named Newt. The kids were assigned at some jobs- which each of jobs had its own leader (or in this book was called as The Keeper). One of the job is The Runner, with its Keeper named Minho, which job was to explore the maze and trying to find the exit path- everyday; from dawn to noon. Thomas didn’t know why, but he felt like he should be one of the runners instead of doing something else. He knew he should be out there- and who knows, maybe he could decipher the maze which hasn’t been solved like for two years already.

Everything is going to change.

Days after Thomas arrived, oddly, the alarm was ringing again; the sign that The Box (something that brought Thomas to the Glade) would be opened again. It was very odd because for the whole two years, The Box was only opened at the designated time and it was certainly not at that day. Another surprise. The Box came along with a woman named Teresa; a creature which never been sent to the Glade as well- in coma. And ever since that day, everything was changed. The time was up. The kids were forced to try their best to escape from the maze, or what would left for them is death.

Overall, I love the book- as I’ve mentioned who-knows-for-how-many-times above. Though it sure still had some loopholes, it seems that those weren’t meant to be revealed at the first book- probably at the second or the third, who knows; right? (I wouldn’t go on as I’ve read the three books. I’d review as I just read the first book- since that’s how it should be.) All is answered well enough and I could feel the very much different characterization between the characters. One star for the differ characterizations, since it was making the story became colorful as there were so many of characterizations. Is it? Yes, it is.

Thomas – Our main character here – isn’t actually one of my favorite character. He was quite annoying, even (note :  even if the characters are annoying, it never meant that the book isn’t good). He was kind of selfish and self-centered in my opinion. He always thought that he HAD TO do something for The Gladers; to make them safe. He always thought to break the rules which have been made before he came. Like… “I want to do this. Screw with rules.” is the thing I got from Thomas. And that made him annoying for me. I mean, he should take a look on the surroundings first; what he should do, how he should act… since the others were, after all, came there earlier than him. Don’t act like “I-know-what-I-should-do” when you’re just a greenie (note : Greenie is how the Gladers call the newcomers).

Alby – is the leader of Gladers, which I don’t really like too. On how I saw it, he seemed to act as if he was an expert; someone who knows it the best about everything around him and thus, nobody should act smart in front of him. Well to be honest, aside from how he was capable to unite the whole Gladers (which has been done by the previous leader- Nick; actually), I don’t see his capabilities. He wasn’t a runner, as the starter (because it was said that The Runners are best of the best in everything); while Newt was. He acted way too much towards Thomas. I mean, okay Thomas was annoying as hell too. But couldn’t blame his curiosity over everything as he knew nothing, don’t you think? Why acted so arrogant? He was like “I-am-an-expert-and-you-know-nothing-so-shut-your-hole-now” (note : shut your hole = shut up).

Newt – is one of my favorite character. He was the only British character here, as he was the only one using British accent; also with his trademark : Bloody. He was more of the calm guy that held everything in the place. He tried his best to follow the rules no matter what happened- even if that means he had to let go some of his friends (which seems to be his very close friends). Because for him, the rules were what has successfully made them as far. Though, he was still able to compromise Thomas’s doing since he did it in order to save Alby and Minho- and besides, he also did something that the others haven’t done as well.

Minho – is another favorite character of mine. He was the careless guy who used his fist without even thinking too much (This was kind of weird, I know. I mean, The Runner supposed to be smart and if he was smart enough, he should know to think first before flying a fist; don’t you think? And he’s not just a merely runner, he’s The Keeper; the leader of runners). He talked loudly as he wanted to. He didn’t care a lot even if it was sounded like mocking the other party (and who knows, he might really intended to do it)- like calling Alby as Admiral. He was also said to be the cold one; as in as long as they reached their intention, he didn’t care much about what they might have lost.

Teresa – is the only female character here. I think in personality, she was somehow like Thomas. So self-centered and kind of selfish. It wasn’t weird at all if The Gladers were getting suspicious on her, don’t you think? She came not at the designated time and she was the only woman between men. And she wished the others would react on her normally? Oh come on. That’s going to be weird if they did. And for the whole book she was just “Thomas” here and “Thomas” there. I didn’t even see her to be cooperative with the other Gladers. She didn’t even try to ensure the others that she wasn’t as dangerous by her doing. She was all “Shuck-it-off-if-you-don’t-believe-me-like-I-care”.

Gally – is one of the bad character here. We could even see it ever since the start; as he always tried to make a problem with Thomas. However, I didn’t see him as an annoying guy here somehow. Yes he was annoying and making most of The Gladers annoyed as well. But it wasn’t because of no reason. He got his memories back and he saw thing. Thus, he just tried to react as what he has seen; what he believed  about the outside world. And even though he was THAT annoying, at least he didn’t really try to kill Thomas just like the other character did. He just threatened Thomas with “I-know-what-you-did”. So at least, he still respected the rules in The Glade.

Chuck – is probably the youngest character here. He was The Greenie before Thomas came. He was pictured as had nothing to be proud of- maybe he would be pictured as “the loser”. His job was to clean up things here and there- well you can picture what he was in reality, right? Aside from that characteristic of him, Chuck was also pictured as someone who was playful; like playing prank over the other Gladers and always, with all his best, trying to cheer Thomas up. He was probably the first person who didn’t get suspicious over Thomas at all and decided to be friendly with him, despite the fact that everything around Thomas was suspicious.

Okay. Okay. OKAY! I know I’ve talked too much about the characterization but… well, I don’t know what to say aside from that. I really enjoyed the plot and everything was kind of answered good enough- for book one; and I can’t even stop reading it to the end. I wanted to know what was going to happen at the next pages. It was so tense, and that was a good sign.

And despite there were some that said this and Hunger Games and Divergent was some-kind of look-like, which usually be compared one with another, I didn’t see how it was like… erm… related. The basic was different (all three of them). Aside the fact that those were all dystopians, nothing similar in my opinion. And if I was asked to compare, so far I would put #1 The Maze Runner, #2 Divergent, #3 The Hunger Games. I don’t know, that’s just my taste.

My rating : 4.8 / 5 – cause I bloody love the first book.

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One thought on “[Book Opinion] [English] The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1) – James Dashner

  1. Pingback: [MASTERPOST] 2015 Reading Challenge – KPB (Book Hoarders Community) | The Seventh Heaven

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