Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Posted 20 May, 2010 by Danny in / 12 Comments

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)
Author: James Dashner
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Random House (Delacorte Press)
Length: 374 pages

Book Description:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.

The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable.
And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

My Thoughts:

When I was looking for a new book, I really wanted something that was not a series…well, I didn’t look very closely when I picked this book. I have been sucked into yet another series, but this time it’s written by a man and there aren’t any vampires or other supernatural folk. Perhaps this will put some of you off, but I urge you to give this book a try in spite of its lack of non-humans.

I will admit a few shortcomings before going further. The author has made up a lot of words to use instead of curse words. So if “frak” annoyed you as much as it did me in Battlestar Galactica, then you’re just going to have to suffer through it. Although, I did think there was some literary merit to it because Thomas, the new guy, thinks the Glader’s-speak is quite awkward as well, but he comes to adopt it. And you will too…well, not really, but it won’t seem quite as atrocious. The other thing is there is a love story, but it’s not the main focus…it’s almost an afterthought thrown in to lure in the females. Sorry ladies…no big strong man lovin’ in this book.

With those things said, I really enjoyed this book. It was a respite from my normal YA fare. I would put The Maze Runner in the same genre as The Hunger Games series (you must read it, check out Annie’s review here). These boys are placed in a maze month after month in which they seemingly have no chance of escaping from…until Thomas appears in the lift. Some of the Gladers seem to know Thomas from another time…a time before the maze which none of them really remember. Thomas begins to wonder what he did to deserve being dropped in the maze like a rat. Perhaps he was a killer…perhaps they had all committed horrible crimes in their former lives. But Thomas is determined to get home because home couldn’t be worse than the maze…or could it?

Dashner keeps the questions coming throughout the entire book, and just when you think the Gladers have solved the maze, BAM! He totally flips the Gladers’ world. I highly recommend this book, and while it’s not for everyone, you might want to give it a whirl.

Final verdict: 4 out of 5 books

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12 Responses to “Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner”

  1. This sounds pretty cool. I think I will give it a try. I'll stick it on my ever-growing TBR list haha!
    Btw, I love your layout.
    I'm trying to follow you on Twitter though,and the graphic isn't clickable. Glitch?

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  2. I LOVED this book! I'm a huge fan of The Hunger Games and when I was searching for something else along those lines, I found The Maze Runner. It was a little slow start for me, but once I got into the story line and started learning about the characters, I was hooked! The plot is pretty intense and the characters are cleverly written. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

    My recent post Once Upon A Time There Was A Girl Who Felt Up Rob…

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  3. I've soooo been dying to read this book and it's just sitting on my shelf waiting, everyone says it's great and I've heard a lot of comparisons to the Hunger Games series which …come on who doesn't love that series that's picked it up? Thanks for the review and the rec!

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  4. cutie

    Hm… It sounds like a cross between the Hunger Games/Uglies and the Cube (a sci-fi horror movie that the mister enjoyed). I am definitely adding it to my list. =) I enjoyed reading the Uglies series because it was written by a male author also. And since that series is already done I wasn't put off by the whole series situation. Uglies did the same thing with the different words, using bubbly and bogus and slang like that. It wasn't too bad once I got into the story.
    Why am I recc-ing a book in your comment thread? Am I even making sense? Maybe it's the kids running around me driving me nuts. Hm…
    Great review Fire! *hugs*

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