Saturday, April 19, 2014

Review: Maze Runner by James Dashner



Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner

Release Date: August 24, 2010
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Pages: 375
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Goodreads • Amazon


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.


If you're thinking, "Oh, she saw the preview for the movie and decided to read the book." You are dead on. Congratulations, you're very astute! Yes, I was in the theatre to see Divergent—pretty good interpretation, by the way. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But that's neither here nor there. Anyway, saw the preview and my interest was piqued. Mainly because I saw that kid from Love Actually/Game of Thrones (Jojen!), and was like "Hmm...I have a blog. I need a book to read. I want to see this movie. Why not?"

I hope you enjoyed that brief glimpse into my rather mundane psyche.

But overall, I am very glad I saw that preview. Maze Runner was a nice break from the girlie YA novels that I've been reading (that wasn't a dig, I just needed a break).

Here's the lo-down:

Thomas is in a box. He doesn't remember how he got there, where he's from, what he did before finding himself in this box. All he knows is his name.

When the box opens, he is greeted by a mass of teenage boys. And all they do is survive.

If you were a fan of Lord of the Flies, like I was, you will probably enjoy this novel. It's not as dark. But my first instinct was to find the Piggy of the group. He's easy to spot, and you'll love him. He is just so darn adorable. And that's coming from me—the chick with a phobia of children!

But anyway, it has a very similar set up to Golding's iconic novel. A group of boys in an unfamiliar terrain, left to their own devices. Thankfully, however, they don't turn into a throng of demon-children. There is order to their group, and I am eternally relieved.

They divide their pseudo-society into job-castes. Most jobs are safely nestled within the protection of the Glade (the area they live in) but their survival depends upon the Runners. Spoiler alert: a Maze Runner is a... Maze Runner. It's exactly what it sounds like: the Glade is surrounded by an ever-shifting maze, and the Runners are responsible for searching for an escape. And escape is the hope that keeps them sane.

It gives them purpose.

From the moment Thomas arrives, he knows that he has to become a Runner. Which, to the rest of the boys, seems insane. The Maze is crawling with Grievers—amalgams of organic matter and metallic "arms" tipped with wicked blades and needles. And when a Griever stings you, it could mean death but definitely means agony.

But those who are stung are able to remember. Remember flashes of who they were before and what the purpose of the Maze is.

But everything they thought they knew is about to change. Because for the first time ever, a girl is sent to their group. And she is the catalyst.

The game is nearing its end. And in order to survive they need to run.

In short, ladies and gents, this is a page-turner. Once you hit your stride, you won't be able to put it down. And if life interrupts your reading time (the audacity of it!), your mind will never be far from that next page or chapter. It's a quick, compelling read, and I already have the second book queued up!

I would strongly recommend this novel to any SciFi/Dystopian lover!



About the Author

James was born and raised in Georgia but now lives in the Rocky Mountains with his family. He has four kids, which some might think is too many but he thinks is just right. Once upon a time, James studied accounting and worked in the field of finance, but has been writing full time for several years. (He doesn’t miss numbers. At all.)

In his free time, James loves to read, watch movies and (good) TV shows, snow ski, and read. (Reading was mentioned twice on purpose.) Most of all, he’s thankful that he gets to make a living writing stories and considers himself pretty much the luckiest guy on the planet.

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