How to tell if someone is unemployed: their blogs started getting updated.
I am, however, an unemployed librarian so I am spending a lot of time using my local public book lending facility and finding new material to read. I also am spending far too much time on Tumblr which has led me to this latest trilogy (though actually a quadrilogy if you count the prequel), a dystopic serial that focuses on teenagers.
Now, the thing to remember is that this isn’t The Hunger Games. Not that it doesn’t have similar elements, it does, VERY similar, but these aren’t children in a public forum told to murder each other. These are children, boys to be exact, given a strange new existence in a place called ‘The Glade’, their memories having been wiped except for their first name.
Our main character is Thomas, a boy of sixteen possibly, who arrives in the Glade with a strange feeling of familiarity with the place and at least two of its inhabitants. The first of which is Chuck, a boy of twelve or thirteen, the second a girl (A GIRL!) who arrives the day after Thomas. This is unprecedented in the two years these boys have been there, first she’s a she, next she arrives within twenty four hours of Thomas – Greenies (newbs) arrives once a month like clockwork from ‘The Box’.
There are Creators, the people the boys assume have sent them to this place, the Gladers themselves with their jobs and responsibilities to keep the place running, some hideous monsters nick named ‘Grievers’ who are part flesh part machine, their sting able to bring on ‘the Changing’ and bring back painful memory glimpses of the lives before.
Just in case you want to read the novel/series am not going to say any more plot wise – in fact all I knew about the book was it was set in a Dystopia and the cast of the film version (out next year) are some of the best young adult actors in the business right now (Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster).
It isn’t the greatest piece of young adult literature out there at the moment, but it is by no means terrible writing. Thomas is a reasonably engaging lead and the book sets up an intriguing premise for a serial. It suffers from my brain constantly comparing it to the Hunger Games, which I hope now that the end was sufficiently exciting and thought provoking that I will be able to separate the two series.
What I think is that this will make a much better film than a book, the excitement will translate easily and the relatively simple start will be more engaging in a visual medium.
Saying this I am keen to read the rest of the trilogy, then the prequel, to know what happens to these characters, who they are and why they have the gifts they do.