Review–The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1)
by James Dashner
Summary: The first book in the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series—The Maze Runner is a modern classic, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book for Kindle through my local library.



I loved The Maze Runner. It had such an interesting concept that kept me on my toes the entire time. I loved the way it was executed –how I was trying to figure out the world the same way as Thomas, the main character. The fact that all of the kids had limited memory meant that the reader and the characters were unraveling the mystery as we went. Each new piece to the puzzle was examined by all of the characters in the Glade and by me, the reader, too. I just loved this aspect and I think it’s what made the story even more engaging.

"He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air."

The Maze Runner was a brilliant novel and I highly recommend it. I almost don’t know what to say because I knew literally nothing when I started the book and I think it added to my own reading experience. Thomas, the main character, woke up in box with barely any memory other than his own name. He had no idea how old he was, where he came from, or where he was. The box was opened and he found himself staring at a group of other kids and teenagers in a place they called the Glade. They wouldn’t tell him much, kept using strange slang he was unfamiliar with, and each Glader had a different job. They sort of set up their own society in the middle of a maze. They were given supplies by the same unknown entity that gave them a new member in the box each month. And they all had one focus: figure out the maze so they can all go home. Even though none of them had any idea where home was or what home was like. They knew nothing outside of their own society they built for themselves.

“I mean, it should be impossible—sometimes you don’t look very hard for things you don’t believe will or can happen.”

Thomas knew right away he wanted to be a Runner –the one job that required you to go into the maze and attempt to figure it out. Thomas’s presence led to strange happenings in the Glade and broke the normal routine that the kids living there relied on. Order was incredibly important and Thomas shook that order up, partly due to his drive, but also due to circumstances beyond his control. The doors to the maze closed each night and opened each morning and walls inside of the maze were thought to change each night as well, making the maze virtually impossible to solve. Especially because there were terrible creatures living in the maze that attacked and killed whoever they came across. If a person got stung, he would go through what they called the Changing and wake up a little less normal with haunting memories that faded over time.

I can’t give any more of the story away without ruining awesome moments. The premise was stunning. The book was one big puzzle/mystery, but also one with action, character development, and survival. And quite possibly a post apocalyptic story, if the characters memories were correct after the Changing. And on top of all of that, the story was also dystopian. Someone created the maze. Someone was watching the kids. Someone was giving them supplies. And someone was taking away their memories. But who?

"Thomas felt a trickle of doubt that life was so great back home—what kind of world allowed people to make kids live like this? The thought surprised him, as if its source had been founded in actual memory, a wisp of light in the darkness of his mind. But it was already gone."

I’ve seen such mixed reviews about this book and I honestly don’t understand the negative ones. I thought The Maze Runner was so unique, creative, and awesome and it was also well written with likeable, well developed characters. Perhaps the only thing that is missing from this story that The Hunger Games and Divergent (the two books it is compared to) have is a romance. But I don’t think there was really a place for it in The Maze Runner. There was a hint of a romantic connection that I don’t think should have been explored anymore than it was in the book. I can’t think of any other reason anyone would not finish or love this book if they are fans of other YA adventure, dystopian, or post apocalyptic fiction.

I will definitely continue the series and I highly recommend the book.

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