The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner

There are alternate cover editions for this ASIN here and here.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.Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing ma...

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Title:The Maze Runner
Author:James Dashner
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Maze Runner Reviews

  • Nick

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  • Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    Truth be told, I’ve been waiting to read this book for ages! I don’t even know when the first movie came out, but I think it must have been around 2014 or something like that. Anyway, because I didn’t know better back then I just went to the movies and watched the film only to find out that it’s based on a trilogy that was written by James Dashner. Of course I was very int

    Truth be told, I’ve been waiting to read this book for ages! I don’t even know when the first movie came out, but I think it must have been around 2014 or something like that. Anyway, because I didn’t know better back then I just went to the movies and watched the film only to find out that it’s based on a trilogy that was written by James Dashner. Of course I was very intrigued and immediately wanted to read the books before I watched the second movie.

    Well, you know what they say about good intentions, right? *lol* The road to hell is paved with good intentions. (Love that saying by the way. ;-P) So you can already guess what I did, I watched the second movie before reading the book and then desperately tried to catch up with this series. Unfortunately the book was always borrowed from my library and already pre-ordered by other people. (Seriously, what is it with you guys in Austria that you all want to read the same book?! XD) And then a couple of weeks ago, I already had given up hope, I stumbled over a second copy of

    in the children’s section! Haha! Imagine my delight when I finally borrowed it from the library! And the rest? Well, the rest is

    review history as you can see! ;-)

    Considering when the movie came out it’s been a while I saw it, but reading the book I realized that it seems to be pretty close to the movie or rather the movie seems to stick with the book. If there were some changes they obviously weren’t severe enough to notice them so my reading experience remained intact. (I hate it when they don’t stick with the book and make unnecessary changes. >_< You may call it a personal pet-peeve if you wish. XD)

    What I found pretty interesting was the fact that in the movie the infected people seem to be like zombies. There was none of that in the book, I mean they are in the maze and don’t have anything to do with people who are infected with the Flare

    but as I understood it from the various memories of the Gladers it’s more some sort of sickness that drives people mad. I mean I could be wrong there, the memories of the kids are more than just patchy after all, but I still got the impression that the infected are just people that suffer from some sort of sickness. Guess Hollywood thought zombies would sell better? *lol*

    Well anyway, I still enjoyed the book and as expected I loved book Newt and book Minho to bits and pieces. <3 Those two boys are just amazing and I think with Thomas as the third part of the triumvirate they actually made all the difference! ;-) I loved how the characters complimented one another and the dynamic between Minho and Newt was not only entertaining but also a very good addition to the plot. It made them human and relatable and I literally breathed for their conversations. *lol* Poor Newt though, he’s such a laid-back and matter-of-fact guy and then he has to put up with Thomas’s and Minho’s antics. Haha!

    See what I mean? *lol* I still think that was the best pep talk in all history of pep talks though. ;-P The ending was as shocking for me as it was when I watched the movie and I can’t wait to get a hold of the second book. I was warned that the movies differ from the books so I’m really curious how the rest of this series is going to play out.

    For now all I can say is that I really enjoyed

    and that I’m already looking forward to read “The Scorch Trials”. =)

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    This has to be the first series I never actually read but watched at the movies instead. XD

    Shame on me, but oh well I’m trying to make amends by reading it now. =)

    This has to count, right? And technically speaking it’s not even my fault I never managed to read it. I mean I

    to read this series for ages but only got the book now.

    If you have to wait ages for a book at your library it just can’t be helped. *lol*

    It’s mine now though, well at least for 3 weeks, so I’m going to make it count! ;-P

    Can’t wait to read about “Wicked”, Thomas, Newt and Minho. Boy, I hope Newt is going to be awesome, because he definitely was one of my fave characters in the movies. Let’s hope it will stay that way.

    Oh and I still didn’t see the third movie so I might even be able to finish the series and watch the last movie knowing it all! *lol* YAY!

    Wish me luck! ;-)

  • Tatiana

    This book would have been great IF:

    1) the characters had some personality

    2) the main character - Thomas - weren't such a Gary Stu and showed some character development and growth instead of conveniently "remembering" important information to advance the plot

    3) the book weren't filled with atrocious made-up slang - "shuck-face," really, is this supposed to be cool?

    4) the villains - Grievers - were actually scary or dangerous

    5) the maze had some kind of mystery about it and not limited to moving w

    This book would have been great IF:

    1) the characters had some personality

    2) the main character - Thomas - weren't such a Gary Stu and showed some character development and growth instead of conveniently "remembering" important information to advance the plot

    3) the book weren't filled with atrocious made-up slang - "shuck-face," really, is this supposed to be cool?

    4) the villains - Grievers - were actually scary or dangerous

    5) the maze had some kind of mystery about it and not limited to moving walls and un-threatening prickly Grievers

    6) the plot weren't based on constant withholding of information by everyone and releasing it 200 pages later than it should have been

    7) the smartest of the smartest kids actually did something smart and uncovered some mysteries of the maze during the 2 years spent there

    8) the death of main characters evoked any feeling in readers

    9) the book weren't so slow-moving (thanks to constant withholding of info) and BORING!

    In the present form "The Maze Runner" deserves nothing more than an OK rating for moderately interesting premise. The hype and comparisons to "The Hunger Games" are unwarranted.

  • Izzy

    This book was recommended for fans of the Hunger Games series, a series that has become one of my favorites. I began The Maze Runner excitedly, hoping for an equally enjoyable, dystopian adventure. I didn't find it.

    The plot was intriguing and kept me reading; in fact, it was probably the

    reason why I kept reading. Some writers are able to seamlessly integrate characterization and good writing with a fast-moving plot; James Dashner is not one of them. The pacing is strange, and Dashner's use

    This book was recommended for fans of the Hunger Games series, a series that has become one of my favorites. I began The Maze Runner excitedly, hoping for an equally enjoyable, dystopian adventure. I didn't find it.

    The plot was intriguing and kept me reading; in fact, it was probably the

    reason why I kept reading. Some writers are able to seamlessly integrate characterization and good writing with a fast-moving plot; James Dashner is not one of them. The pacing is strange, and Dashner's use of cliches became very irritating.

    The main character, Thomas, was annoying. Rather than allowing his readers to

    what Thomas feels, Dashner chooses to

    . We are told many times how "frustrated" and "confused" Thomas is, but we can't identify with him. Some of the supporting characters, such as Minho and Newt, could be interesting, but they remain secondary to Thomas. In addition, I was frustrated with the character Teresa. Teresa is the only female main character; instead of making her an intriguing, powerful female, she is christened with flimsy adjectives such as "very pretty" and "smart", becoming yet another 1-dimensional character. I realize that this is a plot-driven story and not a character-driven one, but I would hope that the characters would at least be appealing to the reader.

    Criticism aside, I found the book enjoyable, and the plot kept me hooked. I felt that the epilogue was well-written and I might seek out the rest of the series when it is published. Ultimately, it's unfortunate that Dashner's poor writing takes away from a good story line; in the hands of a writing master, I believe that The Maze Runner could have been something extraordinary.

    2.5/5

    EDIT: More than a year later, I have not procured any other books in the series, nor do I intend to. Personally speaking, this is one series better left alone.

  • Emily May

    2 1/2 stars.

    It's funny how just a few years can change everything - your reading tastes, your expectations, your standards... because when I read

    in early 2011, I enjoyed it a lot. It seemed fast-paced, exciting and a little scary. Plus, I thought the slang was a nice touch.

    Three years and a million dystopian/sci-fi books later and everything about me has outgrown this book. It's not

    . I can still see why someon

    2 1/2 stars.

    It's funny how just a few years can change everything - your reading tastes, your expectations, your standards... because when I read

    in early 2011, I enjoyed it a lot. It seemed fast-paced, exciting and a little scary. Plus, I thought the slang was a nice touch.

    Three years and a million dystopian/sci-fi books later and everything about me has outgrown this book. It's not

    . I can still see why someone who is new to YA dystopias might get caught up in the loosely-plotted (read: nothing happens) drama and think that "shuck" amounts to a clever invention of a new language. But as I was rereading this before seeing the new movie, I realised just how much it pales in comparison to many others in the genre.

    The thing about this book is that it is so simplistic and... immature, I guess. I'm not here to simply piss off the book's fans - I enjoyed it too, remember! - and I can still see why it might provide some light entertainment. But... the characters and plot are so underdeveloped. The language seems silly now. The scary Grievers no longer seem scary, but cartoon comical instead.

    Dashner uses that tiresome old writing technique called "withholding information" to propel the non-existent plot along. The whole book is built around a single mystery - that of the maze - and our supposedly intelligent-beyond-belief characters keep the novel going by standing around and scratching their heads. It's so lacking in any depth, layers or complexity.

    Comparisons to

    are frankly quite hilarious when you consider Collins' intricate world, complex characters and clever plot... then consider what Dashner offers up next to it. Not to mention that Thomas is an extremely boring, self-sacrificing MC.

    In its defense, though, I was still affected by what happens near the end. I would recommend the book - with some hesitation - for younger readers or those who are new to YA dystopian fiction.

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  • Joe

    You know how sometimes you're running really fast from a horrible creature and, in a moment of panic, you turn around to see how close it is only to run straight into a brick wall?

    No?

    I don't know what that's like either.

    But that inattention to detail would probably totally screw you over because

    now you're knocked unconscious and

    the creature is going to devour you. Good job.

    I guess this is kind of like Lot's wife looking back on Sodom only to be turned into a pillar of salt.

    And it is

    You know how sometimes you're running really fast from a horrible creature and, in a moment of panic, you turn around to see how close it is only to run straight into a brick wall?

    No?

    I don't know what that's like either.

    But that inattention to detail would probably totally screw you over because

    now you're knocked unconscious and

    the creature is going to devour you. Good job.

    I guess this is kind of like Lot's wife looking back on Sodom only to be turned into a pillar of salt.

    And it is also kind of like reading

    .

    Stick with me.

    The first half of James Dashner's

    maintains a superbly frantic pace. Thomas, our empty-shell-of-a-protagonist is thrust, via the Box, into a curious and unfriendly world populated by dozens of teenage boys. He remembers nothing, and the boys are uncooperative, refusing to reveal any details regarding their home, the Glade. The Glade is surrounded by stupendously tall walls, outside of which lays the Maze. During the day, the Maze is (kinda sorta) safe. But at night, the Grievers emerge. These are half slug/half woodshop tools that enjoy slicing and dicing apart anyone unfortunate to encounter them. They can also sting you, which causes much mayhem and requires the administering of Grief Serum, which triggers the Changing.

    What Is It With Authors Of Dystopian Novels Capitalizing Really Important Words? It's Annoying. Find A New Stylistic Approach That I Can Later Become Exasperated With.

    Anyway, Thomas' situation is bleak, made bleaker when a number of unfortunate coincidences causes him to bear witness to some truly awful acts of violence. Let's just say one untrustworthy soul is unwittingly tossed into the Maze at night and then a girl (not a boy!!!!!!!!) suspiciously arrives the day after Thomas.

    All of this, despite the Unnecessary Capitalization and the boys using completely pointless terminology like

    and

    , is totally kitty fantastico. The constant psychological mystery keeps nagging doubts at bay and the variety of personalities that populate the Glade is totally believable. They talk like teenagers, they (generally) act like teenagers, and they form cliques and factions the way teenagers would.

    (From here on I'm covering up "spoilers", even though I think they're total nonsense and hilariously awful. And because I advise you

    to read this book, you should click them. Just keeping the haters at bay.)

    Then Thomas

    the Maze.

    And the book falls apart.

    For those of you paying attention, here's where the running into a brick wall metaphor arrives full gale.

    Dashner, whose prose has heretofore been mediocre but serviceable, completely fails his audience. He writes himself into a corner. He knows it,

    know it. Thomas, who has always been slightly unlikeable and jerky becomes even

    unlikeable and jerky, and the plot holes start opening up like the really bad similes peppered throughout the narrative. How does Dashner patch them up?

    Seriously.

    Yup. The girl who mysteriously appeared

    and tells him

    . It doesn't. It just creates a frustrating deus ex machina that

    have been avoided, but isn't.

    As Thomas's character stumbles upon more and more unbelievable clues, like

    the book loses its momentum significantly.

    In fact, despite tearing through the first half of the book, I had to put it down. Afterwards, every time I looked at that stupid green cover, I found myself filled with dread - knowing full well that what remained would irritate me.

    And it did.

    Sometimes when the first book of a trilogy ends on a cliffhanger, I feel compelled to continue. I don't care what happens to Thomas and the rest of the characters. Maybe they'll smoke lots of pot, form a commune, and grow daisies. Maybe they'll turn into Grievers. Maybe they'll run into Katniss and Peeta and become BFFs.

    But I will let you, gentle reader, find that out for yourself.

  • Meredith Holley

    Q: if you could edit this book, what would you take out?

    A: the words.

    . . .

    Have you ever had an eight-year-old kid try to describe to you winning a level of a video game? Have you ever had a middle-aged man try to describe to you completing the games section of the New York Times? Did those experiences involve multiple conversations like this:

    “What is the maze?”

    “Stop asking so many questions!”

    I have to say that this book was more boring than having someone tell you in painful detail about winnin

    Q: if you could edit this book, what would you take out?

    A: the words.

    . . .

    Have you ever had an eight-year-old kid try to describe to you winning a level of a video game? Have you ever had a middle-aged man try to describe to you completing the games section of the New York Times? Did those experiences involve multiple conversations like this:

    “What is the maze?”

    “Stop asking so many questions!”

    I have to say that this book was more boring than having someone tell you in painful detail about winning a video game or finishing a crossword puzzle. It is more boring if only for the constant, "What are you talking about?" "No! I won't tell you!" This book is astonishingly boring. I know that I am predisposed not to like it because there are no female characters (no, I do not count the leggy, blue-eyed girlfriend as a female character), but, really, I ask you: are there any male characters either? If you say, yes, then I challenge you to prove it. Are Mario and Luigi and Princess Toadstool characters in Mario Kart? What about the ducks in Duck Hunt? Are they

    ? We have to draw the line somewhere. And I submit to you that there are no characters in this book. Or, at least, there are fewer characters in this book than there are in Duck Hunt.

    Also, a couple of things that bothered me throughout:

    1. What famous scientist was Minho named after? Okay, I just googled that and apparently Dashner “purposely” named a few characters after scientists who will supposedly exist in the future. Like the only Asian kid in the book. Because there are no Asian scientists today that he could name someone after. *facedesk* And like Zart. Zart and the Asian kid were not named after scientists. *double facedesk*

    2. Why can’t the grievers climb over the wall? They obviously can climb. But not over the wall? Did I miss this? At first I thought the kids were in some kind of dome, but then it seemed like it was just a really tall wall. . . . That it was impossible to climb? WHYYY?????

    3. What purpose does the telepathy serve? None is the answer. It serves no purpose.

    4. Why is this book so, so, so long and boring?

    So, maybe a third of the way through the book, I developed this false hope that this book would be some kind of pretty metaphor for children going through the grieving process and supporting each other in loss. I thought, “Oh, grievers! Maybe the challenges of the maze and the bonding of the boys in the glade will have some larger message.” No. This book is not about that. It is about doing the NYT games section and then maybe vague talk of zombies later. Total bullshit.

    I have to think this book came out while

    was still on and before its terrible conclusion, which forced millions of Americans to face the fact that when it looks like a story will have no purpose, it probably has no purpose. I have to think Dashner thought he could bank on the millions of us willing to suspend our skepticism and keep watching a show whose writers clearly had no plan. I am hoping that in the wake of that disaster, we will have grown up a little and be less willing to stand for bullshit like this.

    I googled it, and, yes, I was right. Cashing in on gullible

    audience. Unacceptable.

  • Miranda Reads

    To Summarize:

    Thomas wakes up in the middle of a glen in the center a enormous maze. He (along with all of the other guys in there) have

    of life outside of the maze.

    Absolutely blank slates the lot of them...

    Their entire lives were

    just enough so they'd have language, motor skills and just enough memory to understand irrigation/farming but nothing of their personal lives.

    Every month, a

    to the Glade.

    To Summarize:

    Thomas wakes up in the middle of a glen in the center a enormous maze. He (along with all of the other guys in there) have

    of life outside of the maze.

    Absolutely blank slates the lot of them...

    Their entire lives were

    just enough so they'd have language, motor skills and just enough memory to understand irrigation/farming but nothing of their personal lives.

    Every month, a

    to the Glade. After a brief orientation, they are sorted into a job and society continues.

    The day after Thomas arrives, a girl (Theresa) comes for the first time ever. Thomas and Theresa know each other, but they don't remember how or why.

    All they have is a cryptic message -

    and a sinking feeling that they are responsible for this whole mess. After all, this is YA lit, thus the main form of motivation has to be:

    Anyway, the gladers, Thomas and Theresa spend their time

    surviving the wilds and....not much else. I suppose they invent their own slang, which gets a bit annoying after the first twenty pages.

    and

    Besides that bit literary genius, this book wasn't too bad. The adventure and intrigue of the maze was more than enough to keep me entertained.

    That being said...Like most memory-absent books, there's a bit of an issue with the longer it goes on, the

    it became.

    I mean, what are the odds that the main characters always seemed to know

    enough for the situation and the rest was

    shrouded in shadows?

    I was rather annoyed with the twist at the end.

    Read by Mark Deakins - and he really did a great job with tone and inflection. Despite my annoyance with some of the character's actions, at lest we had a splendid narrator.

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  • Nataliya

    The last page is turned and all I have to say is this:

    ...Aaaaand ..... rant!

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    When I'm sick - the snotty phlegmy febrile kind of sick - and my brain feels sizzlingly fried, I sometimes turn to easy reading "fluff" to give my neurons a break. Sometimes this strategy backfires and the 'fluffy' book actually tries to break my long-suffering brain cells with its sheer stupidity.

    It's not even mediocre; mediocrity would be elevat

    The last page is turned and all I have to say is this:

    ...Aaaaand ..... rant!

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    When I'm sick - the snotty phlegmy febrile kind of sick - and my brain feels sizzlingly fried, I sometimes turn to easy reading "fluff" to give my neurons a break. Sometimes this strategy backfires and the 'fluffy' book actually tries to break my long-suffering brain cells with its sheer stupidity.

    It's not even mediocre; mediocrity would be elevating this book to the undeserved heights. It's simply boring, uninspired, ridiculous and poorly executed.

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    Let me sum up the things that I thought were awful, stupid or just plain ridiculous (apparently my febrile brain likes making lists):

    Seriously. When there is no reason for keeping the characters in the dark, all suspense goes out of the window. There was no reason why nobody could tell Thomas what was going on when he showed up in the Glade or when he saw the Doors or the Maze.

    The frustrating to me approach of never discussing what happened with those who went through the Changing. The lack of curiosity about the only potential exit from the Maze that the boys have found in two (!) years. The pointless doing the same thing over and over again just to come up with the same results, relishing in the special status of the Runners instead of just sitting down to discuss the situation and their findings.

    Replacing 'fuck' with 'shuck' and 'shit' with 'klank' for PG purposes does not work when you shove it unto the readers' faces every sentence or so. At least be inventive or make it sound organic, but all that's achieved is sounding like a five-year-old complaining to her Mummy.

    I rest my case in the face of this nonsense.

    Because Thomas is so special at fragging everything. He doesn't even need to try. Instead, when we need a proof of his awesomeness, the get the

    impulses and urges that are never wrong, or if that fails, simply a quasi-recollection that saves the day. Which segues into my next frustration point:

    The author knows what he wants to happen in this book, and he moves the characters along like checkers pieces, just to make plot happen. The characters are just sorta there, are static, and therefore I could never get invested in them enough to care even when some of them died. Especially when the death of at least one of them was pointless.

    . Yes, the Grievers and the strangely non-menacing way they were portrayed. The Maze that is anything but intimidating (that effect is due to the non-spectacular writing, really). The Changing - oh so scary of experience! - that does not really affect Thomas the Special Snowflake, not even a minor inconvenience.

    It's poor Gally, who's labeled as a "bully" before he's had a chance to do anything even remotely bully-ish except for staring at Thomas with dislike. To cement his unlikeability, Gally is described as physically unattractive - because in shallow books like this one if you look like a villain, you must be one. Gally, whose distrust of Thomas is perfectly logical (if any of the characters would take any time to think about it instead of singing accolades to the Special Snowflake).

    Seriously. Every few pages my reaction was - really? You guys haven't tried

    ? You haven't thought of

    ?? You haven't talked about

    ??? Ugh.

    This does not work in real life - even the kind of 'real life' that involves a few dozen of teen boys stranded in a few square miles area where they successfully run a farm, a slaughterhouse and an industrial-size kitchen.

    No, the characters do not work hard just to get the pay-off; they get told all that's happening, like a cheap trick.

    No, everything is simplistic, childish and therefore strangely light and unconcerning. There is no depth, no real substance, and no complexity. It's page-filler, easy to read, easy to forget.

    Yawn. A frustrated yawn, at that.

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