Happy Friday, Fignation! Did you love last week’s recommendation? We’ve got more dystopian awesomeness where that came from! To celebrate the release of The Death Cure by James Dashner, I’m recommending the first book of the trilogy, The Maze Runner.
The Maze Runner begins with a boy waking up in an ascending elevator with no recollection of anything but his name, Thomas. He arrives in a walled-in sanctuary known as the Glade, surrounded by a constantly changing maze. The Glade is populated entirely by teen boys, devoid of both adults and girls. Each Glader has certain responsibilities within their fledging society; Thomas quickly realizes that he wants to become a Runner. His job is to navigate his way through the varying maze to determine its pattern—a task made more difficult by the disgusting monsters, Grievers, that show up every night.
Let’s see where The Maze Runner falls on our Figment Scale of Awesome:
+210 for an awesome acronym! The organization that has placed Thomas and the other boys inside the Glade is known as WICKED (World In Catastrophe—Killzone Experiment Department). Nice. And I’m going to throw in an extra 20 points for the popularly posed paradox made possible by this acronym: is WICKED good?
-63 for letting a girl into the No Girls Allowed Club! A girl named Teresa shows up one day after Thomas arrives. Not only does she completely steal his thunder, but she also manages to throw him under the bus the second she gets there by acting like she knows him when there’s no way she could. Come on, Dashner, that is no way to treat your main character!
+48 for cursing without cursing. It would’ve been insanely unbelievable to have a bunch of boys without adult supervision to subscribe to goody-two-shoes nonsense like “manners” and “basic human courtesy.” Usage of words like shuck and klunkhead keep the novel both realistic and something my mom won’t take away.
-10 for making me lose sleep! Dear James Dashner, I unfortunately am not a stay-at-home-bestselling writer and, until I am, I have a day job that expects me to sell books without yawning in the customers’ faces. Staying up all night to read your suspenseful cliffhanging chapters is no way to live. If you must risk my job, I must deduct points. Apologies, Adam.
+190 for the OMG-I-NEED-THE-NEXT-BOOK-NOW cliffhanger! I know, I know, I just took away points for the cliffhanger, but what Adam taketh, Adam giveth back. When I read the last page of The Maze Runner a couple of years ago, I cursed aloud (with non-Glader curses, I should add) at the release date for the sequel, The Scorch Trials, being months away.
This brings The Maze Runner to a total 395 points! So don’t skip. Don’t jog. Don’t crab walk. RUN to your nearest store now to pick up James Dashner’s The Maze Runner. And when you’re done, read the rest of the a-MAZE-ing trilogy so you can experience the thrilling chase skid to a halt in the final book The Death Cure.