The Maze Runner

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The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
The Maze Runner is the first novel in a series set in a dark post-apocalyptic world.

Our central character is sixteen-year-old Thomas. When he wakes inside an metal elevator car, he has no memory of how he got there or who he is, except for his name.

Thomas learns that he is part of community of around 50 teenage boys known as the ‘Gladers’. The boys live in an artificially created environment that is managed by an unseen and unknown group simply known as the Creators, that communicate through deliveries via the elevator car.

The ultimate goal of the community is to solve a maze built beyond huge grey stone walls that are over a hundred feet high. Each night the entrance to the maze closes protecting the boys from the Grievers, a horrific monster that is a mix of metal and flesh that can bite, sting and kill.

Each boy in the community has his own role that he does in order to keep the society functioning. The Runners run through the maze mapping it out. A position Thomas feels himself drawn to.

Everything changes on Thomas’ second day when a mysterious girl, Teresa, arrives in the elevator car. The Gladers were not expecting another delivery for another month – the pattern in the Glade. Teresa is the first girl to arrive and she will be the last delivery – no more Gladers, food or supplies.

Thomas also feels that he has connection to her. Teresa and Thomas are somehow connected to the mystery of the Glade. Will they be able to work with the other boys and help everyone escape the maze?

The novel is written in third person, but the narrative strongly favours Thomas’ point of view.

The Maze Runner series will be popular with readers of dystopian fiction.
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I didn't like it
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
While reading this book, there were spots where I couldn't put it down because I wanted to know what happened next and there were other spots were I really couldn't care less what happened to the boys (and girl) in the Glade. In the end, I think I just really didn't like this book. The premise was interesting, which is what attracted me, but the character development left something to be desired and the bizarre addition of words that didn't mean anything annoyed me as did the fact that the reason behind their inclusion was never explained. The whole book felt forced to me. I do not plan on reading any of the other books in this series.

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It also irritated me that the Creators thought that the boys had done a wonderful job when, in reality, they had spent two years failing miserably and only got out of the Maze because the kid they sent in their with special memories helped them. It was unrealistic. If they hadn't sent Thomas in to the Maze, those kids would have died there.
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Exciting, but Lacks Depth
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
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.
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weird twist on the Minotaur in the Labryinth
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0


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.
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Interesting
(Updated: August 15, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
This one has some imagination and mystery woven together.
Good Points
The good part of the story was the tension. It really built up well, and the author would often leave the chapters with a major emergency, making you wonder what would come next. I also appreciated the absence of profanity, because often that takes more away from the characters and the story, to me, than many other things do. So, kudos on that.

BA
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Interesting
(Updated: August 15, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
This one has some mystery and imagination woven together.
BA
Report this review Comments (1) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
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