The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Pages: 379
Source: purchased
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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 30 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.--Goodreads

Everyone in the Glade arrived in the Box, remembering nothing except their first name.  The Creators sent them to survive and these teens try to do just that.  Thomas enters through the Box like everyone else, but he is special.  He becomes the first newbie to take to the Glade without tears and he finds things familiar.  Like he remembers something.  The Gladers work to solve the Maze that they have been running through for about two years, like mice they are trapped within the small community, looking for an escape.  Does Thomas hold the answer?

This book was good.  It is mainly targeted toward tween boys, I would say, but I enjoyed it all the same.  However, there were a few things that irked me that I will mention below. 

The cover, more specifically the hardcover copy, has a picture of the doors to the maze.  It is described in the novel almost perfectly to the cover, which makes me excited because the cover almost never makes sense to the story inside.  However, the brief excerpt on the back cover was about the doors closing for the night.  This scene happens in the very beginning and almost has nothing to do with the overall story, so I saw no point in having it on the cover.  The excerpt made me want to read it in the first place and to have it come and go as quickly as those doors close was disappointing.

Dashner created this unique world and I loved being immersed in the Glade.  I loved the idea of the Maze and how these teenagers had created such a wonderful community in the years they had been there.  But Dashner also created a not-so-original language for the Gladers, such as klunk, shank, and shuck.  This language was used very strongly, as their personal code of cursing, with most of the Gladers and even Thomas caught on to the language before long.  I did not like the language; it got annoying being used all the time.

The plot was good.  I was almost as curious as Thomas when we were introduced to the Glade and the Maze.  I immediately wanted to go explore.  I loved almost every scene that involved the Maze, but found myself bored when they were stuck in the Glade working.  It was a bit slow in the beginning until they formally introduce the Maze to Thomas.  It picked up from there and gradually got better.

The ending killed me.  It is the epilogue that always teases you that there will be more.  I wasn’t expecting something like that to happen and, of course, it was a cliffhanger.  I loved the ending and was on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what was going to happen next.  The next installment of the series, The Scorch Trials, is something that I will be definitely looking into. 

James Dashner created a world that readers will enjoy hearing about.  This book is highly readable and makes for a great gift for any boy.  My brother even read it before me and enjoyed every second.

First Sentence:
“He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.”
—The Maze Runner by James Dashner, p.1
Rated PG for implied language and scary themes.

Cover: 3
Characters: 4
Plot: 3
Ending: 4
Writing Style: 3


You Might Also Like


  1. I like these kind of books more on the big screen lol. Maybe if the book had a romance I would read it LOL. I've thought about buying it, but always stop myself. LOL Great review though!

  2. I read this a while ago and enjoyed it quite a bit at the time even though it wasn't a seamless read for me. Great review! :)