Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner

Publisher: Delacorte Press

4 ½ out of 5 stars

Your feet are hitting the ground. Your chest is heaving up and down. Your breathing is heavy, but you can’t stop. You know that you must continue forward if you wish to make it back in time. You keep your legs moving, only slowing down for a short break, or if you happen upon a Griever. At every turn and junction you steer yourself in the right direction knowing that the colossal stone walls are towering over you. Sweat drips off your body as the sun slowly goes down. You know that you must get back, before it’s too late. This is what it feels like to be one of the Runners. And Thomas has this gut-wrenching feeling that he must become one. He just knows.

 The Runners risk their lives every day to map out the Maze. They do so diligently, and always report their findings. The Maze is just that, a maze. With its massive, solid stone walls and confusing patterns, it’s almost impossible to escape. There is a way, there must be, but it just hasn’t been found yet. That’s why the Runners go in search of an exit and scour this vast puzzle. Yet, it is a difficult task, for the walls alter their pattern every night, and every night is when the Grievers come out.

But where is this peculiar network of walls that is causing the Runners so much trouble? Well, no one knows, except maybe the Creators. But, no one in the Maze or the Glade knows. The Glade is at the center of the Maze. It is one big grassy field surrounded by four stone walls where the Gladers live. Each wall has a door, and it opens every day, and closes every night. This is where the Runners go, only to return later in the day. The Gladers have learned to live self-sufficiently. They grow their own food, and everything is in working order. The Gladers don’t know how each of them got to the Glade. But they do remember their first name. One boy is delivered to the Glade every month, on the same day. It has always been this way. Each boy never remembers anything of his past, and is bewildered and shocked when he turns up in the Glade.

However, when Thomas is delivered to the Glade things start to change. He is just as shocked and bewildered as everyone else once was when they arrived at the Glade for the first time. He is confused and just wants some answers. But, he seems to get some the very next day. For a girl has arrived, for the first time…ever. The news she brings with her is just as unexpected as her arrival. Things are about to change, and nothing will ever be the same. Does Thomas know this girl? She seems almost familiar. And will Thomas ever find a way out of the Maze, so he can just go home and see his family again, if they’re still there? All is revealed in James Dashner’s perplexing escapade, The Maze Runner!

This account of an assembly of teens’ will to survive and not give up is quite incredible. Not only is the idea magnificent, but it is full of wonder and mystery too. James Dashner did an excellent job at portraying a grand and believable adventure. There were many new ideas, but at the same time it still felt as if this could occur someday. Overall, The Maze Runner will suck you into a twisting, winding maze that is shrouded in mystery.

In the beginning, I was just as confused and befuddled as Thomas was. Right from the start the Glade, and its surrounding Maze, piqued my interest. I was intrigued by this strange world, and my curiosity grew even as I learned more about it. This was one of the first things that grabbed me. The concept was just one aspect that caught my attention and gave me cause to enjoy this book even more. I can hardly contain my excitement for the second book, The Scorch Trials, to come!

I also enjoyed the way in which I saw the Glade and the boys living there. At first I was confused and wary of whom these strange new people were, just as Thomas was. But slowly I warmed up to them, and grew accustomed to their unfamiliar way of talking. The way they used “shank”, and “klunk”, just became natural by the middle of the book. But, the characters all have a lot to contribute to this too. They are the most down-to-earth people, who won’t tolerate slackers. I thought that it was quite fun watching them react to different things, and how, in the end I realized that they weren’t so different from us.

However, there were some instances where the story just felt like it was too lengthy. I felt like there was too little excitement going on at certain parts. Also, sometimes I felt too confused, like too much information was being withheld from me. Yes, this did add to my desire to find out what that missing information was, but many times I got a little annoyed at how I didn’t understand what was going on. However, all becomes clear in the end, when you are just blown out of the water with the surprise ending. I think that the last two pages express exactly how I feel, and when you reach the end I hope you’ll understand what I mean. (But, don’t peek ahead, it will just ruin the story for you.)

Overall, The Maze Runner is an epic voyage of one boy’s determination to learn the truth about his past, and his situation at the present. Join Thomas and the Gladers as they search to find a way out, and overcome the Grievers and the Creators once and for all in, The Maze Runner!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out James Dashner's website at
The Maze Runner is available from Amazon here.


  1. I loved this book! I'm actually reading The Scorch Trials right now in Homeroom :P. It's really good! It keeps me in suspense! I rather not spoil it for you. ;)

  2. Really, I'm glad you liked The Maze Runner! I enjoyed it very much too! I want to read The Scorch Trials soon, and I plan to review it on my blog also.

    I can't wait to read The Scorch Trials, as the ending of The Maze Runner threw mw completely off track! Let me know how you enjoy The Scorch Trials.

    Keep checking back for more reviews!


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