Review: The Maze Runner

January 24, 2013 Review 18 ★★★★

Review: The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 400
Release Date: October 6th 2009
Series: Maze Runner #1
Genres: Boys & Men, Friendship, Social Issues, Visionary & Metaphysical, Young Adult
Imagine waking up one day in total darkness, unsure of where you are and unable to remember anything about yourself except your first name. You're in a bizarre place devoid of adults called the Glade. The Glade is an enclosed structure with a jail, a graveyard, a slaughterhouse, living quarters, and gardens. And no way out. Outside the Glade is the Maze, and every day some of the kids -- the Runners -- venture into the labyrinth, trying to map the ever-changing pattern of walls in an attempt to find an exit from this hellish place. So far, no one has figured it out. And not all of the Runners return from their daily exertions, victims of the maniacal Grievers, part animal, part mechanical killing machines.

Thomas is the newest arrival to the Glade in this Truman-meets-Lord of the Flies tale. A motley crew of half a dozen kids is all he has to guide him in this strange world. As soon as he arrives, unusual things begin to happen, and the others grow suspicious of him. Though the Maze seems somehow familiar to Thomas, he's unable to make sense of the place, despite his extraordinary abilities as a Runner. What is this place, and does Thomas hold the key to finding a way out?
 I kind of dislike reviewing popular books that came out years before I got around to reading them. There are so many reviews already out there, and nothing I say will be anything not already heard. That aside I feel like I need to review this, mainly because of how surprisingly good it actually was. Part of what made me push this aside for so long is the simple fact that the main character is a guy. I know, I shouldn’t let the gender difference affect what I read. To be fair the book that made me iffy about male main characters was Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. In which he talked (constantly) about how he wanted to bang some chick, and my thirteen year old (at the time) reserved self was appalled.
Getting back on track: Thomas wakes up one day in the box. He can’t remember anything except his first name. When the box opens, he finds himself surrounded by a group of boys, they help me out, and briefly explain whats going on. He’s in the Glade. No one knows why they’re there, all they know is there’s a maze (which gets closed off every night), evil creatures called Grievers, and that a new boy is delivered every month. Then BLAM the day after Thomas shows up a girl is in the box, and she carries a message with her. You follow the characters as they’re forced to risk the maze to find the way out.
There were only a few cons:

Thomas was whiny. I understand he has woken up in a strange place, had his memory wiped and has monsters trying to kill him. But COME ON, the other boys had been there longer and they didn’t complain half as much has he did.

The romance, if you could even call it that. I get that they’d known each other before the mind wipe, but even still it just felt so Insta-love, but at the same time they felt distant, like they didn’t really like each other. To be honest I just didn’t like Teresa at all.

Thomas was not the only one frustrated with the lack of answers. I was getting annoyed with how little the story had progressed for awhile there in the middle. Just as I was getting to the point where I might consider skimming, it decided to pick up.

Other than those things, I really enjoyed this novel.
Rating Report
Overall: 4

18 Responses to “Review: The Maze Runner”

  1. Robyn Jones

    I enjoy reviews on previously popular books because you make the book current again in my mind. I put this on my wish list forever ago, but you just dusted it off for me.


    Welcome to the world of Male books. There is no romance, if fact they’re isnt supposed to be- for that would destroy the story for many male readers.- My logic
    Being a male I greatly enjoyed the maze runner, i just finished the whole series a week ago, watch out for the scorch trials! They may bore you!
    Regards- eddie

    • Brooke (Readers In Wonderland)

      I can understand how the romance in novels would bore guys, quite frankly half the time it bores me, and gets annoying. I really enjoyed this book, and I’m half way through Scorch Trials and really like it although it does have it’s slow moments. Thanks for the comments (:

  3. Elizabeth Di Benedetto

    I totally understand what you mean, I recently read the whole mortal instrument and I didn’t really know how to review them because I felt everything has been said.
    I enjoyed this series but Yeah No romance :(
    I am excited to hear they are gonna be movies.

    • Brooke (Readers In Wonderland)

      Yeah it’s just hard to think of new things to bring up when you’re so late to the series. And by the time I get around to reading the mortal instrument series it’ll have been so long I might as well not even review them haha. I had no idea they were making movies of this?!? How cool! Thank you for taking the time to comment (:

  4. Sunny Duvall

    I got this from the library, but I never had time to read it. It sounds good by your review, but I don’t like whiners and insta-love. However, I still might pick it up again :) Great review!

  5. littlebookstar

    Your review makes me want to go buy this book right now! Lol. Although I hope I won’t be bothered that much with the character’s whiny attitude.

    Little Book Star

  6. Soma Rostam

    Well, you are right. i hate reviewing popular books, too. There are already too many reviews out there. Though I have heard a lot about Maze Runner, and its sequels. They sound very interesting and since I have read Temple Mathews’ The New Kid Series, I have fallen in love with main characters who are boys, or male, for that matter. So I cannot wait to see how Thomas is like
    GREAT review, Brooke
    Your reader,

    • Brooke (Readers In Wonderland)

      Thank you (: I haven’t heard of those series. Definitely adding them to my to-read list though I need to read more books with male leads just to expand my horizons. I just finished the sequel to Maze Runner and It made me love Thomas so much. I definitely recommend you check this series out (:

  7. @HarleyBearBooks

    I’m glad you felt the same way about this book as I did. I just read it a month ago. There was so much hype for it, but for me it fell flat. Nothing exciting happened until the last 1/3 of the book. And you’re right…there was this weird insta-love thing going on, but at the same time it wasn’t romance. Are you going to continue the series? I don’t think I am.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Also, I can’t decide which Vampire Diaries team I am. I’m only on season1 episode 4. I think I like Stephan, but my cousin watches this show a lot and says that as the seasons go on Damon gets better or something. So I’ll have to get back to you on that one. haha what team are you?

  8. Brooke (Readers In Wonderland)

    It was kind of flat for awhile there, but picked up at the end and was much better. The second book is MUCH better and definitely makes up for the slightly boring first book. I’m glad someone agrees with me on the weird love story in this book.

    Since I’m not really a fan of Vampire Diaries but Alise is, I will tell her to reply to this comment also. But I did read the first couple books and watch the first two seasons. I liked Stephan at first but now like Damon much much more.

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