Film vs Novel – The Maze Runner

Action and strategy never looked so good.

The Maze Runner Film vs Novel Review by Casey Carlisle

To be honest, I’d heard of the book, knew many loved it, but not been particularly interested in reading it until I saw the movie trailer. Not long after I ran out and purchased it, intent on completing the novel before viewing the movie. Both were better than I had anticipated.

I liked the story of the movie better though. In the novel there were a few convenient aspects to how the boys lived in The Glade that didn’t sit well with me. And each of these had been addressed in the movie, so I guess it ended up making much more sense to me. In contrast, the interpersonal relationships and politics between the characters were much more intense in the book: distrust, accusations of being a spy – this element of the plot was heavily watered down in the film.

The setting of the novel, although epic in itself, was kicked to the curb with the special effects and dynamic layers of the big screen version. The Maze itself came to life with added features not present in the book.

I had a problem with the Grievers: they did not feel as threatening as they could have been, the description kept me dreaming up some bizarre robot wars reject with a gelatinous carapace around the ‘body’ section. These creepy crawlies re-invented on the screen where much more menacing, but still lacked a touch of realism for me. The whole reason of what they were doing there – the purpose for how they looked was lost on me. Animals have evolved and are a certain way because it’s how they live; and that aspect fell short with the Grievers.

One more note about these beasties, is that I prefer the reveal in the movie some much better than the book. The movie built up to use as much impact as possible for their unveiling, whereas in the book you got a glimpse of them far too early.

The storyline is easily predictable, I mean you’re in a maze and you want out… hello! But I was left with so many questions on the world building and what the hell was going on with the story. As the book is first part of a trilogy you don’t get everything tied up in a pretty bow. And this is mirrored in the film.

I can’t say that James Dashner’s style was anything that wowed me, it didn’t blow me out of the water, but then again I wasn’t pulled from the narrative, or re-reading sentences to make sense of the words; so I guess it sat in the middle for me. I did read the entire book in one sitting, so the pace and tension are compelling enough to drive the story forward.

One of my favourite young actors at the moment is Dylan O’Brien, who plays Thomas to perfection. Where in the book I was a little frustrated at times about Thomas’ behaviour, Dylan gave every action the correct motivation and I never once questioned by he behaved the way he did.

The Maze Runner Film vs Novel Review Pic 1 by Casey Carlisle

In comparing the film to the novel, and as to which I prefer – it urks me to say it’s a tie. Both have equal amounts of redeeming qualities, and ones that didn’t quite hit the mark. Out of my reading and viewing experience so fare this year – both of these rank in my top 10 and I highly recommend you indulge.

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Book Review – Unwind

Unwind Book Review by Casey Carlisle From Goodreads:

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Page border by Casey Carlisle

The first ten chapters dragged a little for me, but from that point onward the plot twists and action kept my attention until the end. A unique world of justifiable and forced organ donation for children is a fantastic premise and I enjoyed Neal Shusterman’s dystopian landscape.

I was a little torn in regards to the switching points of view between Connor, Risa and Lev; solely because at times it was difficult to discern the difference as the style of writing remained the similar. However, their differing experiences did drive the story forward.

The maturity of the characters felt a little unrealistic at times, especially towards the end their newly formed community. I loved how they addressed element of identity and evidence of a soul, and a person’s essence living on after being unwound.

The only thing stopping me from giving a higher recommendation is the pacing, and I felt Shusterman neglected to take opportunity to explore some of the more darker, controversial elements of the world fully. (Maybe it will be addressed in the following novels in the series?) That, and I’m not a big fan of changing P.O.V’s unless adding credence the storyline and the styles are discernibly different.

But it is definitely a fascinating read. The main cast are uniquely strong and all go through separate journeys, growing in unexpected ways. The character arcs were unexpected, though the overall premise of the book is a little predictable.

The story is compelling and I’d definitely recommend it. I felt a little let down in the build and connection to the main characters with one another – although they became closer in light of their shared experiences, they were dealt with in isolation of each other, and didn’t have me rooting for them as a ‘ship than if some stronger emotion and angst were introduced  earlier.

I will definitely be picking up the following book in the series ‘UnWholly’ to continue with Connor, Risa and Lev’s story.

Unwind Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

   Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Start up shenanigans

Sometimes the adventure you take to start writing is just as entertaining.

Start up Shenanigans by Casey Carlisle picture by Minahohh95

I booted up my ancient computer this morning, which I love – it’s not networked and has no internet access and therefore less distraction when writing.

 

Upon pressing the on switch, my screen lights up, accompanied with an unfortunate whirring sound. Oh God, not the fan! I am not ready for the desktop to be on its last legs!

 

I waited for a few moments before turning it off hoping it would stop, but it didn’t, so I closed the computer down. The sound ceased.

 

Re-booting the trusty old contraption for a second attempt, in hopes the problem had magically fixed itself (as they sometimes do) and once again shortly after flicking the switch, a familiar whirring began.

 

Oh bother in a hat!

 

Maybe one more re-start before resigning myself in taking it to the shop…

 

Then after I had shut down the desktop… the sound kept going. What tha?

 

Cringing, I discovered it was the neighbor across the road trimming the edged of his lawn with a whipper-snipper.

 

Well that was embarrassing!

UPPERCASE lowercase banner by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.