Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

October 26th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: I bought it

Publication date: October 6, 2009

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars

Description from 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 arrives in the lift—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.

I have had this one in my TBR pile for ages and I put it off for a long time because I heard so many good things about it and did not want to be disappointed because I read too much hype about it.  James Dashner is coming to town on Monday so it finally motivated me to pick it up.   I blazed through it pretty much in one day which amazed me considering how much time my 3 month old and 3 year old take nowadays.

The characters

I have mixed feelings about Thomas’s character.  I did not actually care for him much but I felt guilty for not liking him.  He came across to me as arrogant and kind of a jerk sometimes.  I know this is a shocking experience and everyone is allowed some hysteria but he was almost unreasonable in the way he demanded answers, did not want to listen to anyone and wanted to do things his way. Yet he had his nice moments when he befriends Chuck and tries to save Minho and Alby so I can’t say he was completely unlikeable.    The other main character, Teresa, also felt kind of flat to me.  She was supposed to be a key component to what was going on in the Glade but I did not feel like her character was developed much.  Hopefully we will see more in the next book.  Minho and Newt on the other hand were probably my favorite characters.    Minho wasn’t afraid to take charge when needed and stand up for what he believes and Newt just struck me as a really nice, loyal guy.

The story line

I found this story line fascinating.  Why were these boys sent to the Glade?  What were they supposed to do and why all of a sudden was a girl sent to join them?  I’ve heard this story compared to The Hunger Games and while it does remind me of it I wouldn’t really compare the two.  Where as in The Hunger Games these teenagers are out to kill each other the teens in the Glade work amazingly well together to create a stable environment that enables everyone to live peacefully together.  It was almost unbelievable how well this group of boys managed to create the society they did (the explanation for how they managed this comes later but I don’t want to spoil it).

The ending definitely leaves you hanging and wanting to pick up the next book to find out what happens.  So although I found a lot of the characters in this book to be flat I enjoyed the premise and cannot wait to read the next one to find out what happens next.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Young Adult

2 Responses

  1. Michelle

    Awwww, I’m sad you didn’t enjoy this book more. It was one of my favorites for the year in 2009. I’m hopeful for the follow-up which I’m going to get to this weekend if I can!

  2. dsuzuki

    I think I might have been expecting too much after hearing so many rave reviews and comparisons to The Hunger Games. Plus Thomas kept irritating me. :)

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