Mia is in 11th grade, and this is her second year in Journalism. She enjoys reading. She is a big Marvel fan.
Maze Cutter is an Absolute Train Wreck
February 24, 2023
After nearly ten years, Maze Runner has finally made a return. For most kids in middle school and high school, this series of five books (plus some spin-offs) made for some engrossing reading. From the plot, the characters, and the suspense of what would happen next in a dystopian world full of plagues, death, and destruction, we clung to these books and a few years later, we clung to the movies.
Author James Dashner recently released a new book called The Maze Cutter. Now like most fans, you’d probably think this book would be as great as the original books, right? Well, you’re wrong. This book is an absolute train wreck. The book starts about 73 years later after the events of Death Cure, so all the original characters that we know and love have disappeared without explanation and the only one left is Frypan, who helped Thomas and his other friends defeat WCKD. I’m not saying it’s impossible that they all could have possibly passed, but it’s weird that the only one left is Frypan, especially when there is no explanation why he’s the only one left.
The book starts off with this group of kids who get to hear stories from “old man” Frypan as they are all living in The Safe Haven, a refugee island built for immunes (people who are immune from a deadly disease which was the main source of conflict in the previous books). Then all of a sudden, a large boat shows up and a woman comes off the boat bearing terrible news which I won’t spoil here. The bottom line is that the kids, of course, have to embark on a great journey to solve the problem. Not only does this strange woman bring bad news, but some zombie-like creatures–called cranks in the previous books–have suddenly evolved into more violent and intelligent creatures than they had been before.
Not only is all of this happening, but these poor kids are also getting hunted by a dude called the Godhead, as well as scientists with secret agendas. Considering all these strange and scary events, the kids don’t know who they can trust, which is quite reasonable considering they’re being hunted and their whole world just got flipped upside down. In the long run, they have to figure out how to survive on their own and learn who is hunting them and why.
While this description sounds like it has potential, the rest of the plot is just awful. The writing is tacky and almost childlike, which is strange considering Dashner wrote the previous books and they were a hit. I don’t understand where he went wrong, or why he seems to have been just dialing it in on this book. Not only is the poor writing an issue, but the storyline is just lacking, doesn’t make any sense, and Dashner never explains the Godhead character.
Most of the characters are one-dimensional or lifeless. One character especially, Alexandra, has no character development or seems to lack even a basic personality. Her point of view is completely useless. Minho (not the same Minho from the original books, apparently), is the most fleshed-out character, but has the excuse of being in a cult. And Isaac doesn’t really do much other than just go along with what everyone else is doing like a lost puppy.
Overall, I give this book a very disappointing 3/10 stars. It was hard to push through and finish it, and while I ultimately did, it’s one book I will never pick up again. Don’t waste your time: This is one maze that needs to come to an end.