This is probably my favorite book I've read so far this year. It's so different than recent books I've read and I love that the protagonist is a guy and yet I still really identify with him. Sometimes I think there are less YA books out there that capture the attention of both male and female audiences but The Maze Runner really nails it.
This book is all about mystery and the psychological effects of not knowing anything - who you are or where you are and which one is worse?. In many cases in fiction, the main character doesn't know exactly what's going on, but the reader is given hints and we can predict a little of what can happen next. James Dashner doesn't do this at all, and it's amazing. I was kept in the dark just like Thomas and was just as confused by all the unhelpful answers he received when he asked the boys in the Glade the questions I also wanted to ask.
Another great thing about this book is that all the characters are so unique - they all have completely different personalities and quirks that made each one stand out so even though there are many, I was never confused about who was speaking. Each character had his own tone and dialect that I could pick out as being definably theirs. (By the way, the made-up slang James Dashner created for these characters is hilarious!)
This book was like a puzzle and I was desperately reading so I could find the next piece. I barely put this book down and read until the wee hours of the morning just to finish it. This book is a great ride full of psychological twists and turns and I recommend it to everyone!
The Maze Runner is such a good book! This novel is simlar to the Hunger Games, and it contains the concept of a different world. Although it was a little boring and slow in the beginning, it quickly got better and became one of my favorite books. It forced you to keep reading, because every page had something surprising and interesting incorporated into the story.
If you like books about different worlds, adventures, and even some scary parts, this is definitely the book to read. It is so different than any other book I have read, and the whole idea behind it is thrilling.
The main character, Thomas, arrives in a new place with no memory of his previous life, he only knows his name. He is trapped in a place called "The Glade" with a bunch of other boys, and together they have to find a way out so they can go back home.
There are two other novels in the series called "The Scorch Trials" and "The Death Cure." I can't wait to read them! Read this book today!
I bought The Maze Runner because it was a kindle daily deal, but I didn’t have super high expectations for this book because of all the mixed reviews I’ve read. Mainly, I thought this was a decently average book. Not bad or even mediocre, but not great. Bordering slightly on good, but nothing I’ll feel the need to re-read again any time soon.
I had heard a lot of reviews say that the withholding of information went on too long, but I actually wasn’t bothered by that. While it is true that a good chunk of relevant information only comes about halfway through the book, the book was so quickly paced I didn’t realize I was actually in the middle of the book by the time the plot was really shining forth.
The best thing I can say for the Maze Runner is that it’s exciting. Dashner writes the Maze and the Grievers, the terrible monsters that haunt the maze, incredibly frightening. I pictured the maze the entire time I was reading and what it would feel like to be in such a place. Even though the glade isn’t tiny and the maze expands for miles, I think it would feel extremely claustrophobic because of the lack of escape routes. Truly terrifying.
The aspect that really brought The Maze Runner down for me was the lack of connection I felt to the characters. I know this is suppose to be an intelligent, action-packed story and not an emotional one, but to be at all invested I have to feel some emotional connections to the characters. I want to sympathize for them, feel their losses and victories, and in general, care about them, but I never really did. Thomas, the main character, was almost robotic in his actions. I found him annoying at times and tolerable at others, but I never connected with him. Since the stories focused around him, I didn’t get connected to the other characters around him either. Characters suffered severly and I felt nothing, and that’s not normal for me. I can mask my emotions around others pretty well but I’m really a deeply emotional person and for me to not feel anything when a fictional character suffers. I honestly don’t remember the last time that’s happened.
Other than that, I thought the plot was really intriguing. I wanted more back story about what was happening with the world, but I didn’t necessarily expect anything because I knew going in this was mostly about the maze. The ending did feel a bit like a gimmicky set-up for the next book, but even though I knew what was coming, it still made my mind reel. I don’t think I’ll buy the next book in the series but I’ll definitely try to check it out from the library.
Final Impression: This was a pretty average book for me. The strong points of the book are the plot and the pacing, both of which kept my mind racing and was the reason I stayed engage. However, the characters felt extremely flat and I couldn’t relate to them even a little bit, which dropped my rating quite a bit. I’m giving this one a 3/5 stars.
The first hurdle I had to overcome was the odd language Dashner had created for the Gladers. I don't feel like it added anything to the plot, and after learning that they had only been Gladers for about 2 years, I couldn't understand how they had come to adopt such strange terms ("clunker", "shankface"). Thomas, though unable to remember much about his life prior to the Glade, managed to speak without the weird language nuances (at first) and as he began to adopt more of them, I found it harder to lose myself in the story; I spent a lot of time wondering why they were speaking so annoyingly childish.
Next came the frustrating secrecy about how the Glades functioned and why they had certain rules (like why only the Runners were allowed out in the Maze). I couldn't understand why someone wouldn't just explain things to Thomas be done with it; instead we were forced to listen to Thomas ask the same questions over and over, and listen to the same answer of "you'll find out eventually". I feel like withholding information was a tool used by Dashner to create suspense and conflict, and all it did was make for very slow pacing in many sections.
Speaking of slow pacing, the lack of character development made for an emotionless read which only added to my sense of Dashner drawing out the story. Dashner spent so much time telling me how Thomas felt, versus allowing me to experience how Thomas was feeling, that I had a hard time relating to him. Many of his reactions confused me and made it impossible for me to identify with him. I was also left extremely frustrated with Teresa's character. As the only female present in the majority of the novel, she should have been a well-developed and strong character. Instead, she is merely a "very pretty" face, brought in, I assume, to again add suspense and conflict. I didn't see the need for Teresa, and since Dashner spent no time developing her character, I was unable to identify with her either. At the end of the day, I just didn't care what happened to Thomas, Teresa, or any of the Gladers (except for maybe Chuck).
My biggest problem with The Maze Runner however, was definitely Dashner's completely underwhelming and disappointing solution to the Maze. Having Thomas conveniently remember bits and pieces, and then ultimately figure out everything (the way he did) after having only been in the Glades for about a week was the biggest cop-out I've ever read. I wanted to see Thomas overcome obstacles, and persevere through failure to come to conclusions on his own, using his intellect. I did not want it spoon-fed to him on a silver platter, virtually risk free. But, this ties in to the lack of character development, which seems to be Dashner's theme. So I guess I can't be too surprised by the completely unsatisfying conclusion to the Maze.
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(Warning: Review may contain spoilers!)
To tell the truth, I expected a lot from this book, especially that the idea of a maze that changes every night is a highly intriguing concept. The movie adaptation, which I now realized did not entirely stayed loyal to the book, also did not help as I previously thought it was an awesome film (What, did you expect me to not like it when I can see Dylan O'Brien's face for the entire duration of the movie?). However, now that I've finally had the time to pick up The Maze Runner by James Dashner and have perused it over the course of three days (three days, can you believe that? I've never gone that long to finish a book!), I realize that perhaps I expected too greatly.
When I first started reading the book, I candidly did not enjoy it. I constantly found myself reading one or two chapters, then closing the book to go and do something else. I did not relish the first several chapters because I think that the story is going too slow for me. The narration goes at a plodding pace. There is a lot of repetition going on, mostly the parts where Dashner keeps mentioning how Thomas can remember the basics of life, like, what a hamburger is, what theatres are, but he cannot remember his family, his home, or who Thomas was with when he ate a hamburger or when he went to the theatre to catch a movie. Nonetheless, by somewhere near the middle of the book, when the actual content of the Maze is finally involved, that is when I found myself resisting the temptation to put the book down and give my eyes its much needed rest. The characters are suddenly interlaced with a lot of action and mystery and puzzling clues, which are often times the key elements that I always look for in a good book.
The Maze, overall, is one clever idea. Dashner has managed to create this harrowing puzzle that changes course every night, and is filled with ghastly creatures called Grievers. However, as slick as the idea is, I honestly feel like I would have liked The Maze Runner better had Thomas and his co-Runner Minho did not move in one specific area in the Maze. The route to the Cliff seems to be too "easy," so to say. I get it--I get that Minho have been mapping the Maze for two years and have the entire route memorized, thus the Cliff being easy to navigate, but I personally think that it would be more adventurous if the other sections of the Maze were also explored, not just mentioned. I think that it would have made the Maze sound even more intimidating and difficult.
Dashner's writing is simple with few prosaic similes. His choice of wording and sentence structure is easy to read, nevertheless, lacking words that sound almost too foreign that you have to pick up a dictionary as though to make sure the word actually exists in the English language--which is a good thing because, hey, less time browsing through the dictionary and more time to indulge in the story! Dashner's characters, however, have a certain diction that is kind of hard to understand in the beginning. Words like "shank," "splinthead," "shuck-face," "Greenie," and "klunk," were honestly hard for me to get used to. It makes me wonder how the early habitants of the Glade came up with those words--how they came up with their own language.
Notwithstanding the specific things that I did not like about the book, I cannot help but admire how Thomas's character can evoke emotions so easily. As I was reading the book, I felt irritated sometimes at Thomas's constant nagging, but it's so understandable because if you would just put yourself in Thomas's shoes, you'll also be asking tons of queries about what is going on. The way I see it, it is always good for an author to elicit emotions from their audience--whether it be sympathy, anger, irritation, love, or whatever, because that's when you would know that your writing is working. It's doing something that makes it capable of producing such reactions from their readers. Dashner is able to work that magic with me because I found it easy to connect with Thomas, to Newt, and to the other characters, no matter how shallow and cruel they seemed to be in the book.
As far as recommending The Maze Runner, if you are someone who is looking for a book with little to no romance at all and you just want to read something adventurous, The Maze Runner is the perfect novel to pick up. It may start out slow, but it eventually picks up pace once the real deal begins. Although I did not enjoy the book as much as I imagined I would, The Maze Runner is still promising with its heart-pounding action scenes and mystery that makes you want to either stay clear of the Maze or enter it and face the horror it houses.
When I started this book, I was completely confused. Seriously. The new lingo and the cryptic nature of the story itself had me thrown for a loop. In fact, I really didn't care for the story much because of it. But, since I picked this book for December's Dystopian themed YA book club topic, I had to finish it.... and I am glad I did!
The book starts off a little slow in my opinion. Thomas is in The Glade but he has no idea what's going on. As the reader, you have to piece the puzzle together along with him. The author gives subtle clues here and there through slipped messages or fuzzy memories. But just like Thomas, you have to decide what to make of it.
The characters didn't make a lasting impression on me. There really wasn't anything mind blowing or special about them. Seriously. Ok, two of them had telepathic powers, but that didn't even impress me. It actually felt a little weird, but given how bizarre this book was as a whole, I decided to just go with it. I will note that the creatures lurking in the maze were terrifying. I have never read anything like that before! It makes the minotaur of the Labyrinth seem like a fuzzy puppy in comparison.
After I finished reading The Maze Runner, I discovered there was a prequel. Thank goodness! I highly recommend reading The Kill Order before you start this book. I had so many questions while I read The Maze Runner. Some were answered, but most were not. I think the prequel will help set the stage and explain why the maze was actually created. The ending of The Maze Runner tried to explain it, but it was too rushed. The best part of the book was crammed into 30 pages at the end.
Which brings me to this book's saving grace: the ending. WTH. Holy crap. I was expecting some twist ending, but not exactly what I got. I really wish I could share what happened, but it would give away too much. Know this though, the "flare" that is discussed came up at Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. And no, it wasn't because of this book. My dad was discussing "survival tactics" due to EPM or CMB attacks... and so "that" flare was also mentioned. I was a little unnerved to think that about the amount of destruction that could be caused by an act of nature. And of course I mentioned that "I have a book for that"-- interest piqued instantly.
I think boys might enjoy this book. It seems pretty geared toward them since the MC is a teenage male living with other teenage males in a maze. There is a good amount of gore and violence, so that also seems fitting. The other books in the series might be promising too. I am interested to see what happens, but I'm leery to read on. I hate sequels that feel stale, and that might happen with book two. I already know what the premise is, so not sure how the author can pull of any surprises. I don't know though, the titles do catch my attention, so I may try to squeeze them in at some point.
If I had to describe this book in few words I would say it's a... wild
ride. I am beyond amazed and stunned at Dashner's ability to keep me
helplessly glued to the pages. I don't think I've ever been so glued to
any book as I was to this one. Despite the fact that this has none of
the qualities I normally like in a book, I think this was an incredible
The action in the plot is infinite. My heart was racing
the whole time. I think I even had trouble breathing in some parts.
Seriously. On top of that the writing was impeccable. I loved the new
Glade-slang he threw in there. The characters were great, and I really
enjoyed that they were all male, with only one exception. It was really
interesting to see boys interact among themselves without women around
and under pressure.
The cover is fitting and draws attention. I
definitely recommend this book. In overall, it was awesome. If you
loved the Hunger Games series, you will love this trilogy. I am
desperate for the next book!
Tomas woke up in a box, remembering nothing besides his own name. He finds himself in the Glade surrounded by the Gladers, who are boys that live in the Glade. For the past two years the Gladers have been searching the maze that surrounds them, trying to find an escape. No one knows why theyre there, they only know that they hate the Creators (the people who brought them there). Tomas was there for only a day when the box came up with another person, a girl. Not only has there never been two people come from the box in the same month, but there has never been a girl. Tomas was sent there for a reason. The girl has triggered something and the horrors of the maze are released to the Glade. What is happening? Who is Tomas? Is it the end of the Gladers?
The Maze Runner was amazing! I couldnt put the book down, James Dashner made the characters realistic with real emotions. At parts I was afraid for the Gladers, at the same time I was eager to keep reading. The plot was well thought and the writing was great.
Full of suspense, mystery, and adventure The Maze Runner will have you on edge the whole time.
Thomas wakes up in an elevator. He has no idea how he got there, only remembering his name. Thomas finds himself in a very strange place. Basically he is in a large courtyard in the center of an even larger maze. Daily runners are sent out to map the maze, but must be back by nightfall. At dark, the gates close and strange beings roam the maze, being left out overnight is certain death.
However, things change after Thomas's arrival. The next day the first, only, and last girl comes up the elevator. She bears a note saying that no more supplies will be coming. Things begin to change in the Maze and Thomas, and the others, realize it is now or never.
I loved this book! It was a little slow in the beginning but after you get past that, it is so good! There are twists and turns all the time and you will not believe what happens in the end. I can't wait for the sequal, I'm sure it will be just as good as this book if not better!!!
heck out more frightfully entertaining children's stories below, enter the giveaway, and don't forgot to check out all of the other posts this week and enter those giveaways for more chances at spookt...
Check out more frightfully entertaining YA books below, enter the giveaway, and don't forgot to check out all of the other posts this week and enter those giveaways for more chances at spooktacularly ...