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The Maze Runner (Book 1) Paperback – August 24, 2010
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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 the Hardcover edition.
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
[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
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Top Customer Reviews
I downloaded the complete collection and read all the books at once. Each book picks up right where the last one left off, so there is not much repetition when you read one right after the next. I definitely thought the first book (The Maze Runner) was the most enjoyable. While there was plenty of action, the characters seemed to do the most thinking in this book. The pacing was pretty good, revealing little bits at a time--enough that you felt it was moving and that there'd be some resolution at the end of it.
The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure shed more light on the mystery of the maze, as well as what life is like in the real world. Dashner did a great job creating a really creepy and scary feeling of life outside of the maze, making some characters almost wish they were back there. There were a lot of very suspenseful scenes, however, I thought there was too much action. It seemed they just kept running from one fight to the next and it got tiresome. I know this book is really targeted to a younger audience, so that might not be a problem for them.
The fourth book was not what I expected at all. I was hoping for more of the story of Thomas and Teresa before the maze. The Kill Order, however, is set several years before Thomas and Teresa ever enter the picture. Instead, it describes how the world got to the state it did. Again I thought there was too much running around and not enough information on why things happened. I don't want to give anything away, but I felt the motivation of those in charge left me with many questions.
I would recommend to anyone who likes sci-fi with a lot of action.
Even though it was slow, I wanted to finish it to see how much different it would be from the movie...what would be changed. And a lot was. The book bothered me a lot because the author would write something like and this is where the good part was... or And then it really started to come together. But as I read it, I didn't feel that way and I was waiting for what the good part actually was when it didn't come.
The dialogue bothered me because everyone sounded the same, even Thomas a couple hours in started to say their slang like he was saying it all this life even though he didn't know what it meant. The only one that sounded a little different was Newt with his bugger.
Overall it was just okay, it only kept me into it at the very end when they began to escape other than that it was blah and didn't keep my attention. Took me way longer than I thought to read it.
I really got into the first book. It was interesting and different from the many other books of this genre. By the time I got halfway through the second book, I was finding myself getting bored with the read. There was a lot of redundancy in stating the same thing over and over by using different types of phrases and words. Okay...I get it, why be repetitive about something that has already been explained and/or presented? It seemed the author used this technique to get as many words as possible into the books to meet a word count quota.
Some of the scenarios were just not believable. For a 17 year old boy to take as much physical punishment as was depicted in this series and still be standing was ridiculas. Constant beatings, getting cut, physical exhaustion and mentally debilitating situations that even an adult in great physical condition wouldn't even be able to contend with. It's like Thomas was this superhuman kid that could regain his energy in just a couple of hours. It just was not realistic, imho.
The author could have done a much better job at explaining more about why things were happening, more clarification as to who WICKED was and expound upon why the tests, variables and blueprints of the mind were needed. How did Commissioner Paige come about? Who was she...really? Why was Rat Man the bad guy? Where did he come from?
Thomas was touted as the "real leader", but he never truly took on a leadership role. Thomas was depicted as one of the geniuses, if not the smartest one, but he was not portrayed that way. I got so tired of the way the author made him out to be a whiner, indecisive, a follower...yet, he was supposed to be this 'last chance hero' that was going to save the world. I won't even get into the mental love fest he had going on between Brend and Teresa. I personally think Minho is the one character that will be remembered the most in this series. That's who Thomas should have been portrayed as.
I was disappointed in the ending. After all everyone went through, fighting for their lives every step of the way, thinking there was going to be a cure, that they were the answer...and then...
I'll leave it at that. We'll all wait 3-4 years now for all the movie episodes to come out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
By: James Dashner
I think that The Maze Runner is an amazing book and I would recommend it to sci-fi lovers everywhere.Read more
SPOILERS! The Maze Runner is a post apocalyptic story set in the future about how sun flares that radiate off the chromosphere of the sun itself have gotten...Read more