Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Received, Won, or Bought: I bought a copy of this book.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
Yeah. I know. That is one heck of a summary, huh? I put off reading this book for awhile. You know why? Because I was afraid to read it. I wanted it to be soooo good because of that summary and other reviews I had read. And it alllmmmoooosst met all my expectations. Don't hate me. There's a reason why there is a star missing. I'll get to that in a minute and I promise I have valid reasons. But first I want to talk about what I loved!
Geez. The setting. It was out of this world and met every expectation I could possibly have for a setting hog like I am. It was vivid and lush and took on a life of its own. I could rave about the setting forever. The maze, the glade, the homestead, and the forest. And the grievers! Holy crap! They were so frightening and I freaked out when I was reading about them. That whole scene where Thomas gets trapped out in the maze at night. I'm lucky I didn't have nightmares from reading that!
The author is a pro at writing suspense and the book was fantastic in that aspect. The action never stopped and it kept building and building. It was awesome. And I hear the next book may be even better than this one. I can't wait to read it, but I'm going to wait a little bit because I don't want to freak out waiting for book 3 to be released. That's another thing that was great about The Maze Runner. It is going to be stuck in my mind for a long time. The details will stay because the book and the events that took place were so darn memorable.
Things I didn't care for. The stupid lingo. Was it seriously necessary to put in fake swear words to make the kids sound tough? I understand why he wanted to leave the swearing out, but I would have preferred he not use the fake language device either. Just have them not swear, because honestly, it took me out of the story a little bit. And for me it interrupted the flow.
I'm also going to hate on the character development too. There wasn't enough of it. I understand there were a lot of characters, but I felt that by the end of the book, some of them were pretty interchangeable. They all felt like the same person with different names. Except for Chuck and Teresa. For obvious reasons. Chuck was a little kid and Teresa was the only girl. I just felt like the personalities could have gone in different directions instead of having them all kind of appear as one entity.
But I cannot rave enough about the plot and suspense. What a fantastic story. And the conclusion was magical. I was afraid it wasn't going to be able to surpass the story itself, but it wrapped up even better than it possibl could have. Fantastic read. And I have a lot of love for that cover too, because it is exactly how I pictured the maze would be. And now I hear they are making a movie. I can't wait to see how that turns out and I will most definitely be one of the first in line to see it. I can't wait to see the grievers in all their special-effect movie glory. Read it!
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Check out The Maze Runner on Amazon here: The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1)
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