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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1) » User review


  • Feb 14, 2010
"Thomas was more than happy to get away from the house, and headed back toward the tree. He'd only known what it was like to be alive here for a short while and he already wanted it to end. He wished for all the world he could remember something about his previous life. Anything. His Mom, his dad, a friend, his school, a hobby. A girl. He blinked hard several times, trying to get the image of what he'd just seen in the shack out of his mind. The Changing. Gally had called it the Changing. It wasn't cold, but Thomas shuddered once again." - From The Maze Runner

Imagine you're a youth and you find yourself in a dark, moving room made out of metal. You remember concepts of things (mom, school, friends, etc.), but no specific names, faces or memories.

You don't know how old you are, either, but you do know one thing: your name.

The metallic room lurches upward, accompanied by the grinding, clanking, grating sounds of pulleys and gears. The smell of burnt oil assaults your nose, inciting waves of nausea. You pound on the steel doors, but there's no way out. The box continues to ascend...and then stops.

The top opens and dozens of arms reach down to lift you out. It's bright and you're surrounded by strangers, all boys.

Welcome to your new life. Welcome to The Glade.

To reveal more than this about the absorbing Young Adult novel The Maze Runner by James Dashner would be giving away too much and doing the book/author a great disservice, in my opinion. The intrigue, action and surprises speed along, the characters well drawn, believable, and the "oh my God!" ending making an already excellent novel one of the best I've ever read (yes, it's that good!).

However, just as a book like Lord of the Flies can be enjoyed by those of all ages, so, too, can The Maze Runner (i.e. if you're over 30, don't be put off by the fact that this book is designated YA or that it features boys).

If you're bothered by violence against children, though, you may want to weigh that predisposition against reading/owning this book (for example, my husband loved the book up until ¾ through for this reason, swearing that he wouldn't read the rest of the series--which surprised me, actually). Although I am, indeed bothered by violence against children in real life, it doesn't bother me in a fantasy novel--especially since the readers really can't be sure what has really happened until the end of the series (I'm guessing).

Teeming with high-tech, horrifying monsters, resourceful kids and several mysteries (Who are the Creators? What is the purpose of the Glade? The moving maze? Why can one-kid a month arrive in the metal box but no one can descend from where it came? Why is WICKED good?), you'll be transfixed and delighted by The Maze Runner. It's a great read and the Epilogue will make you sorry the book is over--and hoping that author James Dasher gets the sequel out yesterday!

-- Janet Boyer, author of Back in Time Tarot

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review by . June 03, 2013
Such an amazing book
If you're going to read any book set in the dystopian future, read The Maze Runner.   I fell in love with The Maze Runner simply from the summary on goodreads.com, and it did not disappoint.   Every chapter leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat.   Brilliantly written with superb characters.   There are two sequels and a prequel. I promise you, once you read The Maze Runner you'll be awaiting the moment you can start the second book, The Scorch …
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Janet Boyer ()
Ranked #195
Author of The Back in Time Tarot BookandTarot in Reverse. Co-creator of theSnowlandDeck. Amazon.com Hall ofFame/ VineReviewer; Freelance Writer/Reviewer; Blogger; Professional Tarot Reader/Teacher; Lover … more
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About this book


Grade 6–10—Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers. Unfortunately, the question of whether the teens will escape the maze is answered 30 pages before the book ends, and the intervening chapter loses momentum. The epilogue, which would be deliciously creepy coming immediately after the plot resolves, fails to pack a punch as a result. That said,The Maze Runnerhas a great hook, and fans of dystopian literature, particularly older fans of Jeanne DuPrau'sThe City of Ember(Random, 2003), will likely enjoy this title and ask for the inevitable sequel.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OHEND
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ISBN-10: 0385737947
ISBN-13: 978-0385737944
Genre: Teens
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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