Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner 
by James Dashner 

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 2009
Page Count: 374
Format: Paperback
Source: Own

Goodread's Synopsis: "If you ain't scared, you ain't human."

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.


Review: Yup, I'm one of those people. I see a movie trailer for a book adaptation, and I suddenly feel like I need to read the book right. then. Okay, this isn't always the case. I certainly did not feel this way when I watched the Fifty Shades of Gray trailer (I just HAD to see how they were going to make the trailer even somewhat appropriate..). Typically, when it comes to a young adult title I am sold, though. I know that this book has been out for awhile, almost five years, in fact. This is not the first time I have felt the desire to read the book, either, but I simply never picked it up. A few months ago I finally got it for a great price at Target and added it to my bookshelf, though it took me awhile to actually read it. 

I'm going to be honest again, it's been some time since I've read this now and I'm not sure I'm going to remember everything like I hoped. I also took my copy to my classroom library (school starts tomorrow!), and so I don't have it here to include the quotes or great parts I marked. Basically, I'm a failure when it comes to this review, sorry! Still, I am going to share my thoughts with you about the book, because that's what this here blog is all about. Right? 

I really had no doubt that I was going to enjoy this book. It's a YA Dystopia, after all, and I'm sure you all know by now that this is one of my favorite genres. I keep hearing people talk about how tired they are of seeing dystopians everywhere; not this girl. I say bring them on! I was happy with just how much I enjoyed this book, too, as the movie trailer looks pretty good to me. I love how the book really just throws you into the story. There is no background or introduction, Thomas is just surviving the ride to the Glade, where he appears and has no idea what is going on. Heck, he's not even sure if his name is really Thomas, it just seems kind of right to him. 

I thought that Dashner did a wonderful job of keeping me guessing throughout the entirety of this book. Every time I was sure I had everything figured out and knew what was going to happen next, he threw in a twist and I was lost all over again. To me, this is the sign of a great science fiction book. I give Dashner a lot of credit for this; as well as for his obvious intelligence. He had so many small details throughout the book that he has to be brilliant in order to imagine them up, keep them in order, and make them seem realistic. I have no doubt that he has a wonderful mind, and that showed through in this book. 

Honestly, while I was completely intrigued by everything that was going on (I mean, how scary do those Grievers seem?), it was really the characters that had me in love with this book. It was not just Thomas, either. While he was a great, loyal, conflicted character in his own right, he had a lot of amazing supporting characters right along side him. Chuck was so fun in all of his parts, and I love how he decided that he was going to take care of Thomas, though he was clearly younger than him. He was a very real character though; as much as he wanted to be strong like everyone else seemed to be, there was still a scared little boy underneath the facade. Who wouldn't be terrified in that situation? One of my favorite characters in the book was Minho, though. I was interested in his role as a runner, and then his ability to share with others that Thomas was brilliant despite the possibility of it making his skills look a little less. It was clear he was a good guy who desperately wanted to help everyone stuck in the Glades. 

Some parts I did have to re-read, some because I didn't quite get what was supposed to be going on with them, and others because I was so interested in parts that I just wanted to go back and read it again. While I thought the book was wonderful, I was a bit disappointed by the ending. Not because of that happened; I certainly think that Dashner carried out and awesome, believable, intriguing series of events. I do believe that it happened too fast, though. We could have been given much more information and still been left to wonder what was happening. 

I'm very glad that I read this book, and I am even more excited to go see the movie when it releases now. While I loved this book and suggest everyone read it, I must be honest and say I am not sure I will finish the series. I had been warned by a few people that it goes downhill, and I'm said to say that those people might be right. I read a few chapters of book two before I had to put it down. I just wasn't feeling it and it was not grabbing me and pulling me in like book one. I am sure I will eventually go back and read them (especially if they continue the series in film), but I do not think it will be anytime in the near future. 

Have you read The Maze Runner? What did you think of it? Do you plan to see the movie? 

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0


  1. I struggled a bit with the book, just not really being able to visualize the world building. I am excited to see the movie though
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. I was blown away by the entire trilogy, only the prequel didn't speak to me. But I remember reading this two years ago and absolutely LOVING it. I also love the way the trailer looks - pretty much perfect! I'll have to re-read it before the movie comes out :)


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