Dashner hits the mark in his attempt at creating a unique world where every seemingly apparent truth is anything but. Readers will find themselves second-guessing every “revelation” not because the explanations seem unbelievable, but rather because Dashner has masterfully weaved that sense of mistrust into the plotline. Reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, moral questions that come into play between contrasting perspectives of basic survival versus the quest for truth is handled expertly throughout the series. Dashner’s characters also come to life through the pages with unique personalities and motivations. From Thomas to his best friends, Minho and Newt, to Theresa and Brenda and the ensuing love triangle between them, Dashner fills his world with characters readers will be rooting for and against—and even torn between others.
From The Maze Runner (Book One) to The Death Cure (Book Three), Thomas’ adventure ramps up with every subsequent installment. The Scorch Trials (Book Two) really kicks the pace into overdrive. Readers will flip through pages at a rapid pace in an urgent need to discover the answers as to why Thomas and his friends have endured such horrific obstacles that include needle-stabbing-robots, crazed humans called Cranks, and the ominous WICKED organization that appears to be behind everything. The stakes are ratcheted up as the series progresses with unforgettable moments of heartache and pain (let’s just say there was a betrayal in book two and three that left me feeling a little red in the face) leading to an epic conclusion with a satisfying payoff in the final book.
As much as I enjoyed the Maze Runner Trilogy, of which I do recommend, there were a few areas of which I could’ve done without. First off was the unique slang. Although I truly applaud Dashner (and any author really) for trying to push the envelope and create something new and original, I found the slang to be slightly disruptive to my reading experience. After trying to figure out if these slang terms were substitutes for curse words, I eventually found myself making the switch naturally to make the reading experience go more smoothly. Secondly, I found that The Maze Runner starts off rather slow. I understand the need to setup the world and plot, but only at about three quarters of the way through the book did the urgency begin to pick up. Once it does, it’s a nonstop journey to the end, but there were still some moments where I found it to drag.
Overall, the Maze Runner Trilogy was an enjoyable and great read that I highly recommend to lovers of young adult mystery and adventure. Fans of dystopian themed worlds combined with a hint of love, comedy, sci-fi, and sort-of zombies will be pleased.