Book Review – The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner cover

Title: The Maze Runner 
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Date: 2014 (2009)
Publisher: Chicken House Books
Pages: 371
Started: 26th August 2015
Completed: 26th August 2015
Rating: 4/5
Summary: ‘When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything – even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out.’ – Amazon

Warning: Contains spoilers!

The Maze Runner is the first book in a trilogy by James Dashner and the series also has a prequel called The Kill Order. Another prequel, The Fever Zone, is due out next year (2016)The first two books, The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, have been made into films starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter, and Patricia Clarkson. I have yet to see either of these films but I do own the first one and I hope to watch it very soon.

I really enjoyed The Maze Runner and I read it very quickly (in less than a day!).

I really liked the setting of the novel. The Glade itself was a very interesting place and the Gladers had their own community which was nice to read about. I enjoyed reading about the different jobs and the council, even though that may seem mundane to some readers. The idea of the Maze and the mystery surrounding it also really interested me. It annoyed me that the Maze could suddenly be solved when Thomas and Teresa entered the Glade because I think that diminished the importance of the other characters somewhat. But I guess that since Thomas and Teresa were connected to WICKED it made sense that they could solve it when none of the other Gladers could. I also liked the whole concept of the Gladers having their own slang because it unsettles you as a reader when you don’t fully understand what the characters are saying.

I loved most of the main characters. Thomas, Teresa, Newt, Chuck, Alby, Minho, and Frypan are all likable characters and I’m eager to know what happens to the ones who survived in the sequel. Some of the other characters were annoying but I’m sure that they were meant to be.

I thought that the book was relatively fast paced too which meant that I enjoyed it more. Quick reads always appeal to me because I don’t have much time to read and it’s nice to start and finish a book within the same day.

Finally, I liked the ending as it sets up the sequel. If the book had been a stand alone story I wouldn’t have been impressed because there are so many unanswered questions but knowing that it’s part of a series made me ignore that in hopes that they’re explained in the next book.

There isn’t much to discuss when it comes to what I didn’t like about The Maze Runner but there are a few things.

One of the main aspects of the story that I disliked was the telepathy that Thomas shared with Teresa. I understand that it was to show that they were connected and different from the other Gladers but I just hated it. It seemed almost out of place in this novel and I know that it’s probably going to continue into both of the sequels and I’m really not looking forward to that at all.

I also hated Chuck’s death. I loved that he sacrificed himself for Thomas because it was such a selfless act but I wish that he hadn’t have died. I’d really come to like his character.

Overall, I enjoyed The Maze Runner and I’m looking forward to reading The Scorch Trials to see what happens next.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyes YA novels and/or dystopian universes. I’d recommend this book if you enjoyed The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins. I have recommended this book to some of my friends and most of them have enjoyed it but one preferred the film to the book. Which is understandable because the film version has Dylan O’Brien in it.

Have you read The Maze Runner? What did you think of it? Did you enjoy the book or the film more?

11 thoughts on “Book Review – The Maze Runner by James Dashner

  1. I seriously need to get into this series^^ I’ve heard mixed things about it but there’s been enough positive in there to make me think I’d really enjoy it, and your thoughts on it pretty much confirm that 🙂 Good luck with the rest of the series and thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was wary of it at first because I’d heard mixed reviews too but I really did enjoy it 🙂 I hope I can read the rest of the series soon. Thanks for reading my review 🙂


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