Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: The Maze Runner

Title:The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner Series, #1)
Author: James Dashner
Type: Hardcover (Library copy)
Imagine waking up one day in total darkness, unsure of where you are and unable to remember anything about yourself except your first name. You're in a bizarre place devoid of adults called the Glade. The Glade is an enclosed structure with a jail, a graveyard, a slaughterhouse, living quarters, and gardens. And no way out. Outside the Glade is the Maze, and every day some of the kids -- the Runners -- venture into the labyrinth, trying to map the ever-changing pattern of walls in an attempt to find an exit from this hellish place. So far, no one has figured it out. And not all of the Runners return from their daily exertions, victims of the maniacal Grievers, part animal, part mechanical killing machines.

Thomas is the newest arrival to the Glade in this Truman-meets-Lord of the Flies tale. A motley crew of half a dozen kids is all he has to guide him in this strange world. As soon as he arrives, unusual things begin to happen, and the others grow suspicious of him. Though the Maze seems somehow familiar to Thomas, he's unable to make sense of the place, despite his extraordinary abilities as a Runner. What is this place, and does Thomas hold the key to finding a way out?
I checked this book out at the library because every corner I turned around a book store, The Maze Runner was there. The description sounded interesting, and similar to a book I had just read (Incarceron by Catherine Fisher). So, I checked it out with high hopes since I loved Incarceron.

I didn't love it nearly as much as I thought I would. It was similar to Incarceron in the idea of a teenage boy losing his memory and being trapped in another world similar to a prison. The world he ends up in is full of other teenage boys and it's known as the Glade. Every month, a boy is sent to the Glade in an elevator known as the Box. Each time, the boy only remembers his name.

The Glade is the size of a small town and is surrounded by skyscraper high walls with exits on the North, South, East and West sides. Every night, the walls close and every morning, they open up. Outside of the Glade is The Maze. The Maze is a tangle of stone walls that move every night. Every boy that lives in the Glade, lives to find the escape from their world. They all know they had lives before but they don't know what.

Everything runs fine until the main character comes along (which is the start of the book). His name is Thomas and with him, comes drastic changes the boys of the Glade have ever seen. A week after his arrival, a girl comes, and announces that this is the End. So, it becomes apparent that they must find an escape or die trying.

Sounds interesting, right? Even more so when it's sprinkled with high-technology and creepy monsters that all sum up to a dystopian, futuristic setting. I loved that bit of the story.

The downside to this book? It's shallow. The writing is plain and verges on boring. I felt the whole time that I was just skimming the surface of what could have been a fantastic book.
The other thing that bothered me is that they didn't cast nearly as much focus on the girl that I would have expected.

Overall, it was just okay. Worth the three stars, but not anything more. Perhaps I shall pick up it's sequel though.

I gave it three sporks


  1. I've been back and forth with this book for awhile. A lot of people have recommended it to me, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. That really sucks the writing is shallow, though. :/ It may be worth a speed read, since the plot sounds interesting. Great review!

  2. Thanks! And it's a good summer read, for sure, since it's not really deep. I didn't mind it, it just could have been better. :]


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