Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner


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?

In The Maze Runner, Dashner has crafted a creative and engaging novel that's both mysterious and thought provoking.


I actually started reading this book because of school. Yes, school. I had to find an outside reading book that I could read within a week to get my project done. (I have a bit of a procrastination problem.) This book fit into the category that I needed it to, and I thought, "Well, it's been sitting on my bookshelf forever, I mind as well read it for my English class." So I did. And I was definitely not disappointed. I actually wondered why it had taken me so long to read this on in the first place!

Now, I am going to start with the one minor problem I had with this book: in the beginning, it did move slow. It took me about fifty to seventy pages before I got really interested in the story, because it was there that the action really started happening. After that, however, I could not put the book down.

The plot, after that fifty to seventy page mark, is really action filled and interesting. I have been reading for a long time, and I am usually good at making predictions while reading the book that usually end up right. However, I failed with this book. Almost everything that I guessed was wrong! WRONG! It was a nice surprise to read a book and find that I am not guessing what is going to happen!

The characters will appeal to boys who want to read this. The main character is a boy, as well as all the other characters except for one girl character. And even though there is one girl character in the book, she doesn't always play an active role in the novel. (I put it that way to avoid any spoilers.)

Overall, this book is a wonderful addition to young adult literature that I think is sometimes overlooked by many people. I loved this novel, and I can't wait until I get the chance to read the second book. I definitely recommend this novel for male readers, because of the fact that it has a strong main character that is a boy.

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