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The Maze Runner (Book 1) Paperback – August 24, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

The Maze Runner (Book 1) + The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2) + The Death Cure (Maze Runner, Book Three)
Price for all three: $18.26

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Maze Runner Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; Reprint edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385737955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385737951
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,440 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–10—Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers. Unfortunately, the question of whether the teens will escape the maze is answered 30 pages before the book ends, and the intervening chapter loses momentum. The epilogue, which would be deliciously creepy coming immediately after the plot resolves, fails to pack a punch as a result. That said, The Maze Runner has a great hook, and fans of dystopian literature, particularly older fans of Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember (Random, 2003), will likely enjoy this title and ask for the inevitable sequel.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH END --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for the Maze Runner series:
 
A #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
A USA Today Bestseller
A Book Sense Bestseller
An Indie Next List Selection
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year
An ALA-YASLA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick
 
"[A] mysterious survival saga that passionate fans describe as a fusion of Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, and Lost."—EW.com
 
“Wonderful action-writing—fast-paced…but smart and well observed.”—Newsday

“[A] nail-biting must-read.”—Seventeen.com

“Breathless, cinematic action.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Heart pounding to the very last moment.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Exclamation-worthy.”—Romantic Times
 
* “James Dashner’s illuminating prequel [The Kill Order] will thrill fans of this Maze Runner [series] and prove just as exciting for readers new to the series.”—Shelf Awareness, Starred
 
“Take a deep breath before you start any James Dashner book.”—Deseret News


From the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

James Dashner is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series that includes The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and The Kill Order. He has also written The Eye of Minds (book one in the Mortality Doctrine series), the 13th Reality series, and two books in The Infinity Ring series: A Mutiny in Time and The Iron Empire.

Dashner was born and raised in Georgia but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains. To learn more about James and his books, visit JamesDashner.com, follow @jamesdashner on Twitter, or find dashnerjames on Instagram.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#13 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#1 in Books > Teens
#13 in Books
#36 in Kindle eBooks
#1 in Books > Teens
#13 in Books
#36 in Kindle eBooks

Customer Reviews

The book was very easy to read and it kept me interested, wanting to read more.
Brendan M
That is the best book I have ever read I definitely recommend it for anyone so good so amazing and so awesome.
Savanna Anne Hirtzel
Character development was a little strained and the ending felt flat given the rest of the book.
Donnie Hall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

442 of 503 people found the following review helpful By Jarucia Jaycox VINE VOICE on August 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I first heard about this book at an SCWBWI conference where its editor from Delacorte spoke highly of how it grabbed her attention right away.

I have to agree. The one thing that Dashner does right from start to finish is barely provide enough information to answer the questions that form in the reader's mind BUT what information he gives does promote one to keep reading.

Curiosity drove me to read this book straight through...that and the fact that the writing wasn't all that challenging.

I'm not trying to bag on Dashner, but I was a little surprised at the many passed-on opportunities he had to draw me further into the story or even care more about the characters' fates .

I felt consistently disappointed with what I was offered of Thomas's character -- far too sulky and desirous of screaming at people who can hardly offer him the answers, etc. he's so desperate for. And Teresa, for as important as she's made out to be, is so flat. I think it was well within the author's scope to improve the depth of these characters considering the decent job he did on secondary characters like Chuck and Minho.

By the time I reached the end, I all but rolled my eyes. I felt roughly the same as I did when I finished watching 'The Cube'...interesting story, but what was the point of putting the characters through all that? Especially when the characters themselves hardly spend any real time trying to understand their situation. And this latter part actually seems quite critical to the purpose of the situation they're in.

Okay, I know this is meant to be YA but it certainly had room to grow in the 'thought provoking' department. It's a decent and entertaining story, but will it become the topic of critical academic discussion? Not likely.

It's far too light in depth and development as it stands. Perhaps the eventual trilogy as a whole will provide something 'more'.
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136 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Bookgirl on October 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
After completing the Hunger Games trilogy, I was eager for another great YA dystopian read but did not find it in The Maze Runner. I was initially intrigued by the book's description. I knew there would be boys caught in a maze, with their memories wiped and little hope for escape, and I knew that the appearance of a girl on the scene would change everything. Mazes, games, riddles, and other sorts of non-traditional mysteries attract me, but Dashner's execution of his book did not.

The plot was ill-paced. At times it felt slow, because Dashner introduced the reader to the maze in the same way the main character, Thomas, was introduced to it: both the reader and Thomas learn almost everything through numerous secondary explanations by characters. In more skilled hands, this might be an effective way of immersing a reader in a fictional world. Dashner's exposition, however, felt cumbersome. As a reader, if I'm going to be told about a world rather than shown it, I'd better be told well. When I wasn't slogging through Dashner's writing, I was tumbling head-over-heels down its textual cliffs. Parts of the novel simply moved too quickly for any real character or plot development to occur. Readers are barely introduced to the main protagonist before being introduced to Teresa, the girl who supposedly changes everything. We really have very little sense for what's changing, because this inciting action comes so shortly after our encounter with Thomas.

The plot also felt as if it had been constructed with little forethought. Each step or twist in the plot seemed as if it were generated on the spot as the author wrote his way linearly through this novel. Shazam! Such and such happens out of the blue. A quick patch-up of missing explanation ensues. Shazam!
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176 of 218 people found the following review helpful By Laurel VINE VOICE on November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A hundred or so teenage boys, their memories wiped, are trapped in the center of a gigantic shifting maze, many miles across. As the book begins, Thomas arrives in the "Glade" -- the center of the maze, where they all live. The next day the first girl ever shows up too. And everything begins to change.

While living in the center of a giant ever-changing maze full of monsters is an extremely odd way to live, the boys have made do. After two years, they have a ruling council, they grow food, raise animals, and look after any sick or injured. They also send out trained runners to map the maze every day, in search of an exit, or a pattern, or some clue as to what they're doing here.

With the arrival of Thomas and the girl, the Gladers' carefully-crafted order begins to break down. Now solving and escaping the maze is immediately necessary. Fortunately, Thomas isn't quite like all the other Gladers, and is able to help.

The premise is great, and the plot moves well. There's a lot of action and the tension constantly builds. Unfortunately, the story failed in two important aspects for me.

First, the the maze itself is so absurd, the final explanation had better be pretty impressive for the story to hang together. And at least for me, the explanation was not plausible. Though, at least there *is* an explanation, which is more than can be said for some stories I've encountered!

The second weakness was the characters. I'd be okay with a somewhat implausible scenario if the characters were likable enough. But, Thomas is bland and whiny, and his only moments of greatness arise from his forgotten past. The other boys are mostly hostile and uninteresting. Not, mind you, that I expect deep, sophisticated personalities from amnesiac teenage boys!
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