Welcome back to Bestie Banters. My BFF Rachel and I started a new series with The Maze Runner and shared our thoughts via e-mail conversation. WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS!
(Is that not the cutest picture ever?! I got myself an Erudite shirt and surprised Rach with a Dauntless shirt for her birthday, in honor of our first Bestie Banters with the Divergent trilogy.)
Julz: So another dystopian trilogy, soon to be a movie franchise underway! You’ve seen my review, what are your thoughts?
Rach: I really enjoyed this first installment of the trilogy. I found the premise of being thrown into an inescapable environment with no memories and a bunch of semi-hostile adolescent boys very intriguing. I was impressed at the community they had constructed and how they all assumed and agreed to order and productivity. I agree with your opinion that the reluctance to answer any of Thomas’ questions was a bit annoying at times, but it played out very well in terms of releasing information about the Maze and the Glade. I look forward to starting book 2 next week, and hope the series stays as strong as the first book.
Julz: When mentally visualizing The Grievers, I couldn’t help but picture the Garthim from The Dark Crystal. Did you have any cross-over associations while you were reading?
Rach: Good call! At the beginning, I couldn’t help but think about The Ruins by Scott Smith. Everything about the Glade and the Maze was such a mystery; it had the feeling of being a living, breathing entity. When Thomas entered the Maze for the first time I kept waiting for the vines to reach out and consume him.
Julz: Do you agree that Gally is still a threat? He’s not dead, Thomas just pummeled the crap out of him, right?
Rach: I absolutely believe that Gally is still a threat. It also made me question if everyone that subjected themselves to the Grief serum is somehow partially controlled by WICKED. This would also include Thomas – who else is left that was stung? Newt? Teresa had quite a few memories that were also likely planted by WICKED since she was the catalyst to the Ending…
What are your thoughts on the intent of WICKED and who can still be controlled?
Julz: I can’t even begin to speculate. If they’re orphans who were raised and trained by WICKED, there’s obviously something sinister within each of the boys. Something that makes them stronger, smarter, and wipes their memory. I’m not entirely sure the Greif serum is a controlling mechanism, but my hypothesis is in the answer to your next question…
Rach: I might have missed it – did they explain how one contracts the Flare? Oh – and I just had a thought: do you think the Grief serum is a strain of the Flare and they are testing to see who can handle it, who would be an ideal candidate for helping to beat this? Or did the Grievers carry Flare, and the Grief serum is the cure that everyone is looking for? While reading the part when Thomas runs into the Maze to save Alby and Minho, I made a note at how skeptical I was of the Grief serum, wondering if the Creators were injecting them with something to help, or something to maintain the environment they desired…
Julz: I was completely skeptical about the effectiveness of the serum when they were treating Ben, especially after he went cuckoo bananas. I did consider that maybe the boys are guinea pigs and WICKED is trying to develop an effective cure through them. The outbreak of the Flare was a result of the devastation caused by the solar flares. Whether it’s a radioactive/nuclear reaction or a product of pestilence, I think we’ll find out soon.
Rach: What did you think the significance of their names was? I missed the meaning behind how they figured that out and how it played into the story. It also made me a little sad that the one thing that they could all hold onto as a valid memory of their own was really just another planted idea.
Julz: I liked the idea that they were all named after historical geniuses. It was something that suddenly came back to Thomas after he got his dose of the Greif serum. He now understands how brilliant they all are and what a feat it was to survive as long as they did. I hope in the future books they get a chance to exercise their intellect.
Now that they’re out of The Maze and it’s been implied that the outside world is a pretty awful place, what are your expectations?
Rach: As we move towards the Scorch, I envision many more encounters with WICKED controlled machines & people. I am curious to find out the details behind how this all came to be, what the cure is that they are trying to reach, as well as what part Thomas and Teresa will play in the finding the cure and possibly taking down WICKED – if they are as evil as this group they are traveling with seems to think they are.
Julz: I get the feeling they’re going to face another faction similar to their own and they’re going to go head-to-head to see who’s truly dominant. I think WICKED is everywhere and knows all/sees all, so we will never know who to trust until the very end.