Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner

Here’s why I wanted to read this book:

Dylan O’Brien and his amazing face. What’s this have to do with anything? O’Brien stars in the movie adaptation of this book and, like any good reader, I can’t watch a movie based on a book without first having read said book.

Dylan O’brien is a baby and he makes me feel like a dirty old lady at 31 years of age. I’m working through it because, really? The boy is a fantastic actor and I have no doubt he will do big big things in his career.

The book… Yes, that’s what I’m supposed to be talking about. Right. Got it.

Here’s what the official description reads:

The first book in the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series—The Maze Runner is a modern classic, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind. 

The comparisons to the Hunger Games are inevitable. YA books about teenagers thrown into some weird world where death lurks around every corner, kids die, crazy machines hybrids want them dead, all controlled by the mysterious Creators (aka The Capital). It’s a little bit Lost. A little Lord of the Flies.

But it’s good! Promise!

You’re thrown into this world where you know nothing and you’re forced to ride it out to figure out what the hell is actually going on. Just like our boy Dylan…I mean, Thomas.

A little mystery. A little adventure.

The beginning? Not great. Thomas is thrown into a world where no knows nothing more than his name, no memories, no idea where he is or what he’s doing there. Your first reaction should be to ask questions to the 50 or so people already there, right? OH SILLY YOU! That’s how Thomas is treated. Basically, he’s told to shut his mouth and all the answers will come his way in due time. Except they don’t and you, as the reader, are left just as frustrated as Tommy Boy because no will tell us anything! This resulted in the beginning feeling a wee bit Lord of the Flies for my taste but it moved quickly away from that. The beginning is a bit rough and there some obvious cliches throughout but Dashner does a great job of creating this faux world the boys are thrown into and made to survive.

Beyond survival, the book is steeped in the themes of friendship and community.

Will this be the greatest book you’ve ever read? Not a chance. But Dashner created an adventurous YA piece that keeps the reader flipping through this fast and easy read.

One good thing about missing books when they “happen” is not having to wait forever for the release of the next book in the trilogy!

Also? Added bonus of picturing Dylan O’Brien throughout.

Speaking of bonuses:

You’re welcome.

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One thought on “Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

  1. […] loved The Maze Runner. As explained in my review, picturing Dylan O’Brien throughout didn’t hurt any. (That kid is going to be a huge […]

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