Reading Rabble Review: The Maze Runner

4 Rabbles for a solid teen action-adventure!

No Teen Gets Out Alive ... or Do They?

The Maze Runner (Book 1)
By James Dashner

Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "The Glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through the Maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys.

This book started out like a 100 yard dash race at the olympics. Fast paced, mysterious, and likeable. It grips you right from the beginning and won't let you go. Right from the start the theme was familiar. (Here's a hat tip to Lord of the Flies)  But that's where the similarity ends. Up to date, modern, with creative language, this book has less in common with William Golding's 1954 classic novel than most reviewers have been claiming.

Although the theme may have started the same, the story itself takes on a new and fresh perspective on the dystopian genre. The writing is excellent with non - stop cliff hanging chapters that ensure that you won't stop at 'just one more chapter'. Seriously folks, I lost sleep on this one because I didn't want to stop reading. 

Lord of the Flies
By William Golding

The Characters could definitely have used a little more development, because they are very engaging. But, with the Young Adult (YA) target audience, this is less of a hinderence than would be in a more adult novel. YA's WANT you to get the point! They have not the time or the patience for long winded dialog and descriptions.

I was also pleased to see the creative language found in this book. Now we all know that teenagers (most of them) curse in their conversations with each other, however it was refreshing to see a YA novel that wasn't full of cursing. To be sure, replacement words are used, but at least this is literature without all the gratuitous filth found in a lot of books. They know the words but don't need to see a lot of them in their books.

With that in mind, I highly recommend this book to those who are fans of the genre. It was a very good book with a lot of action and lite on the drama. This will please those who are most likely to read this book, probably young teen boys.

This book was a thrill to read. I am definitely looking forward to the movie made from this one. Hoping they don't slaughter it too bad. With the author involved in the making of the film though it should be good. As we all know though, BOOKS are always better!

The Rouser gives this book four Rabbles with an R for the reluctant readers. Reluctant readers will enjoy this one because the chapters are short and heavy on action. Plus the speed of the story moves fast so they won't bog down on details.

Your turn to Rabble in the comments section below. What's your favorite dystopian novel - past or present? 

That kinda week

Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks. 

This face ... and it ain't even Halloween yet.

This face ... and it ain't even Halloween yet.

I've visited a dozen schools, put 800 miles on Little Blue (aka: the Hyundai), been out of bed early every morning and back to bed late every night, skipped the gym, have too much blood in my caffeine supply, lived on candy bars and carrot sticks, ate a sandwich-shape block of grease for lunch today - now I just want a blankie and a nap. [insert thumb-sucking SFX]

In other words, a GREAT week! 

Several librarians got copies of either “The League of Delphi” or “Seti’s Charm” for their readers. One sent me a message today saying that 4 of her kids have already read “The League of Delphi” (she got the book Tuesday), loved it and are dying to read books II & III ASAP. That's more troops joining the Reading Rabble! If this mob every gets organized, we'll be a force to recon with. [insert demands here]

LIttle Blue - what a trooper!

LIttle Blue - what a trooper!

Also, librarians are generally cool and nice and smart and I love spending time with them. So even when my day job gets in the way of my writing (did I mention no creative writing this week? thumbs down! :b [insert raspberry SFX]) I’m still a pretty happy guy. 

Gotta get back to work now, because I have loads of ideas that need to be turned into books. 

If you want to see this dazed, crazed, and exhausted face smile, get some of my books, share this post, or just talk about how weird writers are (using above photo as Fig. 1A). 

It's Teen Read Week - Oct 12 -18!

Thank God for librarians! They've saved me again.

I'm so dumb that I didn't even realize it's Teen Read Week - until a librarian reminded me. Even now, as a writer for teens, I'm still relying on librarians to help me get things straight. 

Here are 3 books your teen readers might like. Each of them is the first in a series. For the Unwind 'dystology' and Maximum Ride, several books are available in the series. The 5th Wave has a second book available already. 

I'd be crazy not to add my own Delphi Trilogy here. Teens are telling me they're burning through these books All three books are available now. 

I give each of these books 5 Rousers! If your teen - or you - haven't read these, check them out. You'll keep the pages turning and want more when you get to the end. 

Join the Reading Rabble!

or: The blog formerly known as ...

What happens when you feed too many brain burgers to a restless crowd of word-heads? You get a rabble.

This is a rabble.

This is a rabble.

 

This is the official first blog post of "The Reading Rabble" - but not my official first ever blog post. I've waxed ancient and modern, archaeology and writerly for a couple of years now at my former blog "Brain Burgers". If you were a faithful reader - thanks. If not, worry not. We'll get those old posts moved over here soon enough.

But until the archives arrive (under high security and armed escort), let this introduction serve as "content." 

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What you can expect to find here among the "Reading Rabble": 

  • A lot of activity and info for young readers
  • Lots of book talk (reviews and special guests)
  • Focus on young people's reading issues
  • Library talk (not necessarily at a library tone)
  • Updates on my writing projects
  • Writing clinics (for young and older writers)
  • Tidbits of interesting stuff that pops up from my research
This is a Rabble Rouser - our book rater.

This is a Rabble Rouser - our book rater.

 

When we do book reviews, we'll post a rating system out of 5. Probably use a rabble rouser like this guy. 

Your interaction will be important. I'm dying to hear what you think of my books and of the stuff we post. We want your suggestions and input. So, keep coming back and JOIN THE RABBLE!

 

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Chris Everheart is author of 19 books for young readers, including the recently completed Delphi Trilogy, a teen thriller series described as "unputdownable," a page-turner that will keep even the most reluctant of readers engaged until the very end.