Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Target Audience: Teens - Adults
Number of Pages: Hardcover - 374 pages

" When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. 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 expanse enclosed 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, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.

The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable. And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind. "
- Summary from Good Reads

This book has earned its spot on the top rung of my bookshelf. I had set high expectations for this book after seeing all the hype, and in my opinion, it delivered itself splendidly. Compile heaps of action, prolific amounts of suspense, an original plot, a dash of romance, a cliffhanger and you get The Maze Runner.

The overall writing was decent, and the sentence fluency was acceptable and readable. However, some snippets that I encountered were a little repetitive. Dashner had overly restated things like: “Thomas could remember performing certain activities, but he couldn’t remember whom he did them with.” The first and second times he mentioned it were necessary for introduction. Personally, I thought the third time wasn’t really needed, but I brushed it off nonetheless. After the fourth time, it was starting to get a little annoying. At points, I wanted to tell the pages that I get the point already! But overall, the thrilling and exhilarating plot evens out the writing part.

What I love about this original plot is its many twists and turns. It’s a pretty unpredictable book, and I can always count on Dashner to reveal another new turning point at the end of each chapter. The chapters are short, but not choppy, forcing the readers to keep flipping to find out what happens next. This fast past read made me sad when I ran out of pages, and I am highly anticipating the second of the Maze Runner trilogy, The Scorch Trials.

An excerpt from The Maze Runner just for you:
"Harsh sounds of chains and pulleys, like the workings of an ancient steel factory, echoed through the room, bouncing off the walls with a hollow, tinny whine. The lightless elevator swayed back and forth a
s it ascended, turning the boy's stomach sour with nausea; a smell like burnt oil invaded his senses, making him feel worse. He wanted to cry, but no tears came; he could only sit there, alone, waiting.
My name is Thomas, he thought.
That...that was the only thing he could remember about his life." - Page 1

Cover: 4/5 - I personally love the cover art. The picture of the high, vine covered, maze walls is relevant, and it provides insight about the book to the reader. It is also taken in an artistic manner and it sends chills down the spines of readers, just like how the book makes you shake. Just from the cover, you can tell it is a book that contains a lot of action and thrills.

source: The School Library

Rating: 4.5 Hoots


  1. I agree that there was a bit of repetition. And, I thought that the ending was a bit rushed. But, I liked it overall and am excited to read the next in the series. Thanks for your review!

  2. I agree, the ending was a little rushed. I felt like the last few chapters went by abruptly too. thanks for commenting!

  3. I like The Maze Runner, too. The way the chapters ended with suspense kept me turning pages and engrossed which is rare for me. I'm looking forward to the next book this fall...the way the first one ended - eek! I was like, no way!