Sebastian and Rain read more mega-popular books

Maze Runner

My writer half and my reader half ganged up and read Maze Runner recently. The verdict was… less than rosy.

Over the past few days Sebastian and Rain read Divergent and Maze Runner. There were good reasons, I promise.

If you haven’t met Sebastian and Rain before, you can read this post. It probably won’t clear anything up.

Sebastian: I have to talk about The Maze Runner first. You made me stay up late last night finishing it, so I should darn well get to explain why I hated it so much.

Rain: Like anyone could stop you.

Sebastian. Well, where to start. The first thing I noticed was how mundane the writing was. I don’t insist books use flowery language, subtle metaphors, or words above a tenth grade reading level. But the author of this book seemed to sit back and think, “Readers are quite stupid, so I should stick to words an eight year old would understand and simple sentences.”

Rain: There’s nothing wrong with simple, clear language.

Sebastian: The creature was big and horrible. It was very scary. Roger wanted to run away but he was too scared.**

Rain: Okay, a bit more poetic than that might be nice. What else?

Sebastian: The over-explaining nearly killed me.

Roger waited for the older boy to go inside, because he didn’t want to go into the house before the older boy did. When the older boy had gone in and closed the door Roger went inside after him.

“Boo!” a voice said.

Roger jumped because he was scared by the loudness of the voice that had been very close to him.

“You scared me,” he said angrily but also scaredly and with a hint of irritation.***

Rain: I bet naming all the emotions drove you mad too.

Sebastian: So mad! It’s not that writers should never name emotions, but if you have to list six of them in a row to explain what the character’s feeling something has gone wrong.

Rain: You’re so exaggerating.

Sebastian: I swear it was at least five in a row, and not just once.

Roger heard the little, frightened voice of Piggins, and it made him feel scared as well, and helpless, but at the same time he felt courageous and curious, and just a little bit constipated.****

Rain: Constipated?

Sebastian: Okay, maybe not constipated, but it was something like that.

Rain: Are you done complaining about The Maze Runner yet?

Sebastian: Only two more things.

Rain: Fine, hurry up, then.

Sebastian: The description was terrible and disorientating, and it didn’t make sense in terms of the order the characer would have noticed things. Like, the character finds himself in an unfamiliar environment. Then he notices the sky is blue, the birds are singing, a creek is babbling, the grass it wet… oh yes, and he’s surrounded by a hundred fur-wearing savages pointing boar spears at him.

You idiot! The first thing you see is the people about to kill you. I don’t care about the colour of the sky.

Maze Runner spaceman
I see a tree.

Rain: That never happened.

Sebastian: I made up the details, obviously.

Rain: And the last thing?

Sebastian: The whole book was built around the mystery of what was going on. That was the only reason a reader would keep going because, face it, the writing was terrible. But a lot of it could have been cleared up earlier if the others had answered the POV character’s questions.

Why didn’t they? For no good story reason. I swear it was purely to keep the reader in suspense.

Rain: Are you quite done?

Sebastian: Actually, I thought of another one. The world made no sense. Given the conditions described, the kids couldn’t have grown enough food to live on, and the purpose of the maze was entirely nonsensical. There are so many better ways to achieve what (ahem) were trying to achieve.

Rain: But you still read the book all the way to the end.

Sebastian: Only because you made me. I was thinking the whole time it was a rip-off of The Cube, but not as good.

Rain: Sorry, but I had to find out why the maze existed.

Sebastian: I didn’t care why it existed. I thought it would be a stupid reason and it was. Plus I didn’t care about any of the characters and the writing was more painful that lemon juice in a paper cut. Please tell me you’re not going to make me read the sequel.

Rain: Uh, no. That would be more than even I can take.

Sebastian: Are we going to talk about Divergent as well?

Rain: We were going to, but you went on about The Maze Runner for so long that now we don’t have time.

Sebastian: Okay, we’ll talk about Divergent next time.


** Not a quote from the book.

*** Also not a quote from the book.

**** Look, none of these are quotes, so quit it.

Have you read The Maze Runner? How far did you get? What did you think?

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Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

16 thoughts on “Sebastian and Rain read more mega-popular books”

  1. I didn’t read it. I suffered through most of the movie on TV though. It was alright, but I missed the beginning. I think I’ll take a pass on the book. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Yes! I’m noticing exactly the same thing. It’s telling – there is a large reading population that really doesn’t care about the quality of the writing. Which I guess means in this case that the concept snared them. I mean, it can’t have been the characters.

  2. But the author of this book seemed to sit back and think, โ€œReaders are quite stupid, so I should stick to words an eight year old would understand and simple sentences.โ€

    Me: That’s good writing! The best writing is simple and clear!

    Rain: Thereโ€™s nothing wrong with simple, clear language.

    Me: Yeah! What she said!

    Sebastian: The creature was big and horrible. It was very scary. Roger wanted to run away but he was too scared.**

    Me: …Okay, you were right. Carry on.

  3. I didn’t mind it…but the END! It made no sense. There was no purpose other than the author wanted there to be a maze. I really wanted there to be a good reason, but there wasn’t. (I also read the sequel because I was curious and hopeful, but it only got worse and that one made no sense either. Actually less sense, believe it or not.)

    I don’t remember hating the movie tho. I think they fixed it a bit. Not enough, but a bit.

    I cannot wait to see if you gave the same complaints I did about Divergent. *rubs hands together and cackles*

    1. Yes! I didn’t want to give away too many spoilers, but I mean what the??! The only reason I read to the end was to find out why there was a maze and why they were in it, and then the reason was like “because the treaty between the aliens and the Great Cat said there had to be a maze.” Or, it made about that much sense.

      Now I’m even more (morbidly) curious to watch the movie.

  4. I haven’t read “The Maze Runner” so I very much appreciate Sebastian’s and Rain’s thoughts on it. Because when I come across a book that makes me feel the way Sebastian feels, I tend to hurl it, and that’s not good for the breakable objects in its path.

  5. I agree with all of this! lol. It was pretty terrible. OMG the looking at the scenery before noticing the boys surrounding him DROVE ME CRAZY! And it was so annoyingly SLOW. He says “And then everything changed” a million times and each time, pretty much nothing changes. He’s like let’s up the tension with this one line and then bore the reader with three long, wordy paragraphs of set up before anything happens!

    You should watch the movie though, it’s SO MUCH BETTER. It helps me understand WHY the book was popular and why they made it into a movie at all. There is actual action, not just unconvincing fear of slow ugly things. The maze and how they solve it makes more sense. I think they leave out the telepathy, but I can’t remember. I just know when I read the telepathy in the book, I was in constant eye roll mode.

    1. Yay! I confess I might have thought a little less of you if you hadn’t agreed. I forgot to complain about the incessant “And then everything changeds”–glad you brought them up. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I actually did watch the movie (with trepidation), mostly because I wanted to see what they made of the maze. I agree, it was so much better than the book. They changed a lot of the stuff from the book that didn’t really make sense (thankfully).

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