Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

TheMazeRunnerSource: Purchased
Publisher: Delcourte Press
Series: The Maze Runner #1
Edition: Paperback, 374 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Science-Fiction Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon  / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 2/5

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 maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

The Maze Runner is one of those books that fall into to the ‘hyped-up’ category. Everyone said I should read, even some of my customers…so I decided to cave in and just do it. Unfortunately this one didn’t hit the mark for me at all.

I struggled greatly through the entire book. I had issues with the plot, the characters, and the world-building…and in the end I was just happy it was over. The Maze Runner takes place in a odd place called the Glade and the surrounding Maze, which rearranges itself every night. This place is filled with teenage boys, who have all woken up in the elevator to the Glade with no memories of who they are or why they are their and now they must work together to survive and try to figure out the way out of the Maze. It really does sound promising, but after the first few chapters it became glaringly obvious that I wasn’t going to have my questions answered anytime soon…in fact I didn’t get most of the answers until the last 5% of the book. The book actively tries to keep information from the reader. Someone knows something? Well…now they’re dead, crazy, or can’t talk. The world building is non-existent. We don’t know where they are, why they are there, what the purpose is, or when any of it takes place…until the last 10%. The meat of the book is simply focused on Thomas as he tries to puzzle out the maze itself and survive the horrific things called Grievers. I’m the sort of reader who needs to be baited a long. You don’t have to give me huge mind-blowing answers to every questions I pose, but you need to get me atleast a clue here and there to keep me interested.

I can’t say I enjoyed many of the characters either, and I don’t really feel like I know them. Thomas is driven by his gut feelings the entire time, making him seem reckless to the other boys…but other than I’ve got nothing. The other books range between tolerable and utterly irritating. None of them are forthcoming with the information they have, they all act put out when someone puts in extra effort to try to understand or help out, and they all this incredibly frustrating use of slang that made me quit listening to the audiobook and pick up my paperback instead. Not to mention it’s mentioned they are supposed to be a really smart group of people…if this is what intelligent teens are actually like you should kiss the world goodbye because these guys were dense…

So in the end, it wasn’t for me. I do see the potential for the book series, and I can understand why some people love these books with all their hearts…but I just don’t have it in me to put in the extra effort to continue this one.

2 stars

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6 Responses to Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

  1. simonereads says:

    Too bad you didn’t like it. I really loved it! But I am kinda glad to read some people don’t like books, which are hyped so much. Beacause I read a few hyped books and didn’t like them and thought afterwards if there’s something wrong with me XD

  2. I remember struggling a lot with the world building and their self made slang

  3. I own this but haven’t read it. We watched the movie last weekend and I enjoyed it and thought about starting the book..but maybe not.

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