Review of the Maze Runner novella: Crank Palace

Review of the Maze Runner novella: Crank Palace

December 2020 – If you are a Maze Runner fan like me who was devastated to read the last book and find that the series had ended and there were going to be no more new books, you might be surprised and happy to learn that the author, James Dashner, has written a new novella. This novella is about one of the characters in the book, Newt.

A novella is a short novel or a long story. Spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read the Maze Runner: In the book series, Newt ends up getting the flare, a deadly virus that’s sweeping the nation. He ends up leaving to go find a home somewhere where he can live out the rest of his days with the virus without his friends having to see him going crazy from what the sickness does to your head. So, Newt sets off, and that’s really all we ever see from him again, despite a few more interactions.

However, Crank Palace is a book all about Newt’s perspective going into a flare-infested city, and eventually being sent to a place called “Crank Palace” where he must learn what it means to be independent and experience a world like no other. Upon reading the novella, I found that you could definitely tell that James Dashner wrote it. He uses lots of imagery and depicts the characters’ emotions really well. I was also really entertained by the book, and it gave me some closure I needed.

Reading the reviews, I saw that a lot of the people liked the novella and recommended it. The first thing I looked for was the price. Since this novella just came out, I wondered whether Amazon would make it more expensive. You can buy the book with a hardcover for $20.00 and the paperback version for $10.00 along with the audiobook version which is free if you have your own audiobook account, like Kindle. But you can also get it from the Austin Public Library app to listen to as an audiobook.

Although this was an adequate book, it wasn’t exactly the best. The book mostly focused on helping someone else do something, whereas I wanted to see his internal struggles dealing with the flare, and how it affected his decisions. I also personally thought that the writing of Newt was a lot like Thomas, who was the main character in the original Maze Runner series. One of the reasons Newt was my favorite character was because he had a very certain personality that always lightened the mood, but here he lost all of what made him Newt and became sort of bland.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who loved the Maze Runner series. It’s obviously not like a regular Maze Runner book, and you have to read the whole series to understand the plotline before you look at this one, but it is an excellent read and definitely gives you the edge-of-your-seat feeling that a normal Maze Runner book does.