When Julia pinged me with an email with her idea to review The Maze Runner Series on my blog, I thought, “Why not?”
Julia and I clicked in Germany over three years ago, and she has constantly been an encouragement to me despite the fact that our paths have not yet crossed in person again. But I suspect I’ll see Julia again. These things just have a way of happening. If you want to know more about Julia and her opinions on this series, keep scrolling!
Guest Review by Julia on The Maze Runner Series
About The Maze Runner Series
The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner is a series consisting of 5 books. The first three (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure) are the actual story. Book 4 (The Kill Order) and book 5 (The Fever Code) are the prequel to the trilogy.
Why is a prequel of two books necessary, you may ask? Easy: because the original trilogy doesn’t answer all of your questions.
In The Maze Runner (book 1), our protagonist Thomas finds himself in a giant maze along with roughly 40 other boys around his age. The central area of the maze is protected by huge stone doors that close each night. Once in the maze, the boys are threatened with death by monstrous machines. Just like every other boy, Thomas longs to find a way to get out of the terrible maze. He does not know that the world outside has become an apocalypse-like full-of-sick-Crank-world that is lost to a deadly virus.
Spoiler alert: they do get out. But which ones of Thomas’ friends make it, I won’t tell. During The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, Thomas gets a glimpse of why all these things happen to him. At the end of book 3, a lot of questions are still unsolved. That’s where the prequel kicks in: It zooms back 13 years earlier. It shows not only how the maze was built but also tells why the maze was necessary in the first place. As we Germans like to say, that’s where “the circle closes.”
The Maze Runner Series LOVEs
I was reading, well, rather racing through the books. I got addicted as soon as I started. The story is thrilling, full of action and as a reader, you never really know who to trust.
I especially enjoyed how James Dashner described the emotions the characters were feeling: Everything happens in the context of action and movement, yet in a few sentences, I understood completely how the characters must feel.
Also, I love the description of the new technologies that make this book a kind-of-science-fiction novel. Not only is the science mentioned but also the costs. In a world that is falling apart, no one dares to imagine travelling via Flat Trans (a kind of teleportation door on Earth) yet Thomas gets to go through. Fascinating and lovely!
The Maze Runner Series Struggles
I probably struggled the most with the incongruence of decision-making concerning the main character Thomas. At some of his decisions, I could only sigh and face-palm myself. Our opinions went different ways sometimes. And for someone like me, who likes to be in harmony, it’s frustrating. On the other hand, it made me think for myself about the story, what I like and dislike.
Another thing I struggled with was the multitude of unanswered questions while reading. There is so much action, yet so little answers. Like I said, as a harmony-type-of-person, I like to have a clear line AND action. But all these questions bothered me.
Despite the struggles, I still loved the overall story, the partially complicated relationships and disharmonies. It made the novel spicy and exciting.
So from Brussel Sprouts to Cotton Candy, as Barbara likes to rate books, I’d say The Maze Runner Series is like spicy Lasagna: layer after layer, it gets spicy and delicious, you gotta chew through and enjoy the taste more and more with every bite. When you’re done, you need something to cool down after such an intense run of action. 🙂
“It seemed impossible that such a world had ever existed. A world where you weren’t scared for your life every day.” – The Death Cure
After all this reading, you may wonder who I am? Let me tell you: My name’s Julia and I’m from Germany. Seven years ago, I spent 10 months in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as a foreign exchange student where I learned to love the English language. That’s why I prefer to read books and watch movies in its original language. When I’m not reading, I like to sing and spend time with my beloved friends. My main focus right now is studying at a university.
Thanks to Barbara!
I met Barbara more than 3 years ago at a conference in Germany. Ever since that, we stayed in touch and I enjoy following her blog posts. While reading The Maze Runner Series, the idea of writing my own review came to my mind so I decided to ask Barbara if I could publish it on her blog since I don’t have my own. So I gave it a shot and this is the result. Thank you, Barbara! This was fun. 🙂
Cordially Barbara: Oh, Julia, I so loved having YOU. Thanks for bouncing your idea off of me, and hey, if you want to stop in with a review again sometime, you know where to find me!