Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Today you’ll be getting three reviews for each of the books in the Maze Runner trilogy. I thought of compiling them all in one post but I wanted to be able to touch on different points and I found that these books are very different to each other. So I’ll begin with what I thought of the first book in the series, The Maze Runner

I recently recommended reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner before the movie comes out in cinemas this year so I was excited to read it myself.
I’m afraid to say, I was a little disappointed. I expected more from such an acclaimed story, although it is full of little gems.

““Can’t take a chance that one day, in one spot, somewhere, an exit might appear. We can’t give up. Ever.””

coveThe Maze Runner is the first book in its trilogy and is written from the perspective of Thomas — a teenage boy — who wakes up in a lift with no memory of who he is or how he got there.  He’s pulled out by a group of boys — the Gladers — living in the Glade and surrounded by a giant maze.
None of them know how they got there, all they know is that the massive doors to the maze close every night when grotesque creatures roam it.
Their routine life is interrupted when a girl appears in the lift and everything begins to change.
Will Thomas unlock the secrets only he knows? 

WHAT DID I THINK?

I enjoyed the parts of The Maze Runner when it gets exciting, however those moments are few and far between and over all too fast. There were times in this book when I couldn’t put it down, I was up until two in the morning compelled to keep reading. Unfortunately there were also parts when I didn’t want to pick it up…

The Maze Runner is told by an omniscient narrator allowing us to see what characters other than Thomas are doing. An omniscient narrator can often be used in an extremely effective way allowing the reader insights of what other people are feeling and experiencing. However, Dashner seems to tell us what they are feeling rather than show us. This creates significantly less impact in the otherwise fascinating story.maze-runner-concept-art

The incessant use of made up swear words like ‘shuck’ and ‘klunk’ drove me mad, I understand that it kept ‘real’ swearing away from the book but they just didn’t work. I think it would have been more beneficial to just eliminate swearing from the book altogether. Eliminating would have been less noticeable than the somewhat awkward use of these words.

I also found that everything was a little too convenient for me. When the Gladers needed something, they managed to find it almost instantly.

-SPOILER BELOW-

For instance:
They desperately needed the maps they had accumulated over the two years but the place they were kept had been burned down. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what they were going to do, I felt engaged and excited only to find half a page later that the maps had been hidden elsewhere to keep them safe and they were completely undamaged.

-END OF SPOILER-

I did thoroughly enjoy some parts of the book though, there were parts that I really didn’t know what would happen and I was excited and terrified for the characters involved.
Those are the gems of this book.

I really hope that the sequel in this trilogy — ‘The Scorch Trials’ — is more exciting.

WHAT IS MY RATING?

I’m afraid I would only give this book two stars. Although there were some parts of the story that were compelling and exciting, there were more parts that dragged on and were, quite simply, boring.

I would recommend this book to younger teens, I think it’s a fantastic read for younger people, something they’d enjoy. This is a very plot driven story and it’s difficult to feel invested in the characters.
If you enjoyed ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth or ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins you might enjoy The Maze Runner.

2stars

WHERE CAN YOU GET IT?

You can get The Maze Runner in eBook or paperback from Amazon: The Maze Runner
You can also get the trilogy box set here: The Maze Runner Trilogy

Find out more about this series here: http://jamesdashner.com/books/maze-runner-series/

To see my review for The Scorch Trials visit: https://bekahshambrook.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/book-review-the-scorch-trials-by-james-dashner
T
o see my review for The Death Cure visit: https://bekahshambrook.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/book-review-the-death-cure-by-james-dashner/

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