The Maze Runner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Pub. Date: October 06, 2009
ARC from publisher
James Dashner website
James Dasher on Twitter

Life has made a very confusing turn for Thomas.  The moment he wakes up in the lift, he doesn’t know his name, his purpose, or where he is.  His mind is a slate wiped clean.  At least he’s not alone.  For as he climbs from the lift, boys of every size, shape and age surround him and welcome him to the Glade – a large, self-sufficient expanse surrounded by tall, stone, imposing walls, and, a maze.  Like Thomas, the other boys don’t know why they are in the Glade, they are simply living day to day, trying to survive.  Day after day, the boys work in the gardens, work with their livestock, and survive.  And they run the maze.  Every morning the stone doors to the maze open, and every night they close.  And every 30 days a new boy comes to the Glade in the same lift that brought Thomas.   Thomas was expected.

But the next day, the unthinkable happens.  The lift delivers a girl. 

Not just any girl – a girl that Thomas is certain he knows and she comes bearing a message.  The end is beginning.  Now Thomas might be even more important than he ever imagined; if only he could unlock the secrets buried deep inside his own mind.

When I requested and subsequently received this ARC, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I had a tiny blurb to go on.  It sounded interesting, but I had never heard of the author and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  One rainy weekend saw me pick this up, and I barely put it down until I finished it.

I have put off reviewing this for two reasons.  One seems pretty obvious; it doesn’t come out until October. Secondly, I wanted my excitement for this book to have the change to burn down a little bit, but honestly, it hasn’t.  When I finished this book I was convinced it was my favorite book of the year.  It may not quite be my absolute favorite now, but it will definitely be in my top ten.  This is hold-on-to-the-seat-of-your-pants done by a master.  Dashner takes you on a fast-paced adventure of a ride.  He grabs you up in the first pages and doesn’t turn you loose until well after you turn the last page.  In fact, he doesn’t ever let you go because there is one HECK of a cliff-hanger at the end.  And he breaks your HEART to boot.

Not only is the pacing and plotting so great.  The characters, despite their amnesia, are well rounded and well thought out.  I very quickly came to care about Thomas and the other boys (and girl!) and what they were going through.  James Dashner has created a dystopian future that is equal parts fascinating and terrifying.  And more than anything, I just had to know, what the heck was going on!  Dashner keeps you guessing to the very end and then just leaves you with more questions.  Leave your preconceived notions at the door for nothing is as it seems in this universe.  I cannot wait for the next book in this series and think you should go and grab a copy of this on October 6.   Highly recommended, especially to fans of The Hunger Games and other such dystopian young adult fiction.

~ Also reviewed by ~

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17 thoughts on “The Maze Runner

  1. You know, I didn't really love this book, because I wanted so badly to understand WHAT ON EARTH was going on and I couldn't because the characters didn't. I think it just set me up for a book I'll adore, though.

  2. Thanks Rhap! I'll be looking for your review. 🙂

    Yes, get it Kelly! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

    Yay Meghan! I can't wait to hear what you think of it.

    I can't wait until my two are old enough to read it Kathy. I can see kids really enjoying this one.

    I saw you weren't impressed Jen. I am actually surprised I liked it so much; I don't normally stick with a book when I don't know what is going on. I guess I was so intrigued I just kept going to find out! Hopefully you will enjoy the second one a lot more.

  3. Yes! Library has already ordered a copy, which is great, because you certainly made me want to read this. I love that you wanted to wait until you had simmered down a bit. 🙂

  4. Great review! I didn't realize this was going to be a series. Now I'm debating if I should read it right away or wait awhile so it won't be as long a wait for the next book. Decision, decisions.

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