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

4.3 out of 5 stars 7,476 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Maze Runner Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for the Maze Runner series:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
A USA Today Bestseller
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
 
[STAR] “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

About the Author

James Dashner is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and The Kill Order, as well as The Eye of Minds and The Rule of Thoughts, the first two books in the Mortality Doctrine series. 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, and find dashnerjames on Instagram.

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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: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7,476 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
This is a full analysis of the book, full spoilers included. You have been warned.

[ALSO, if you choose to downvote my review saying it wasn't helpful, please tell me why in the comments. I welcome everyone's thoughts and opinions, but if you downvote a review of this size without commenting I will be under the assumption you simply downvote all negative reviews.]

The story itself was interesting enough for the most part, but the pace was painfully slow and Dashner committed a few things you are not supposed to do in fictional writing, ever. I'm talking newbie mistakes here.

The second largest thing that Dashner violated was the Show, Don't Tell rule. He almost assuredly does not understand this, as a lot of his descriptions are flatly told instead of explained. "Thomas felt sad." "Thomas snapped." Dashner does not do a good job showing us his world or his characters, instead just telling us how things are. This interweaves with my next points a bit and is explained in greater detail later.

For my second point, marking the biggest mistake Dashner did with this story, he began the book with the White Room Syndrome. Much like the Show, Don't Tell rule, this is one thing that almost all writers know very deeply - do not start your story off with the white room syndrome.

The white room syndrome is where your character suddenly wakes up in a completely unfamiliar setting and knows nothing about anything - his past, his name, people he knew, etc... This is cheap because it allows you to dodge any sort of actual development in the world, its characters or the relationships that the characters have. This book in particular suffered a lot because Dashner decided to go this way.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I do not typically write reviews, but I feel compelled to save you a few hours of your life. :)

So many try to excuse this book's atrocious plot and character development by saying, "It's Young Adult". I'm 32 yrs old; I almost exclusively read books written for children/teens because most are written fairly fast-paced in order to keep the younger audience engaged, allowing the focus to be on the storytelling. I love storytelling. In other words, this is the time for the character and plot to shine. Harry Potter, the Hunger Games: here are two examples that have reached the masses. But there are many, many more.

The Maze Runner ain't one of them. I finished the book because the premise had so much potential, and I wanted to find out what happened. For those of you who would argue that means the book was at least interesting enough to suck me in, so it must have been half-way decent, I say not if it NEVER delivered. At some point, I just felt past the point of no return and slogged through to the abysmal ending.

By the way, many YA books fall apart at the end, giving the reader the feeling that the author was bored with the story, rushing to meet a deadline, or never had a good plot resolution lined up in the first place. Dasher's ending is a train wreck, feeling like he's pulling events out of his butt as the train picks up speed.

I'd say Dashner's greatest flaw is telling the readers, instead of showing. He thinks we will swallow his nonsense because he said it was so. Examples: The Maze is compelling enough to make young boys run around exploring it for 2 years. These boys have above average intelligence. (That one really got me. What?? Compared to what, a chimp? That's an insult to chimps, imo.) Thomas is a hero genius everyman.
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