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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 Audio CD 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
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.
Thomas's thoughts are repetitive, including the over 10 times he says he wants to be a runner, he also panics every second page in one form or another.
I don't understand why the boys didn't fight the grievers and devise clever ways to escape. I didn't like any of the characters and I found the dialogue just as dry, there was a sense of disconnect. There were so many things that irked me, not least of which was the "swearing", cutesy words made up to replace real curse words. I wanted Thomas to be a maze runner, and he became one (like I knew he would) but at the same time he never really did take me on the adventure I had hoped for, inside it. It didn't do it for me, I wanted it to. Really wanted it to. Procrastinating boys, I didnt think it worked.
Notes: Amazon's method of delivering this omnibus type bundles is somewhat poor. All the books are delivered as one eBook. It would be awesome if you got individual files for each title in a bundle.
Back to the books:
The Maze Runner: This book is awesome and done really well. The book starts as a big mystery and just continues. The story is full of memorable characters and has a fantastic setting unlike anything I've ever experienced in a book. I flew through this book and loved every minute of it. The ending was awesome (read the epilogue).
The Scorch Trials: This book started right were Maze Runner left off but it quickly dies off and becomes quite stale. I strongly feel this is the weakest book in the entire series. The storytelling becomes fairly stale, and the characters who were riveting in the first book become rather stale. The least imaginative setting is used and the series essentially devolves into a run of the mill zombie movie. To be perfectly honest everything about this book screams laziness on the author's part. It was purely off the strength of the first book that I managed through this book.
The Death Cure: The book starts off slow, but gets going. Up to a quarter way into the 3rd book I was concerned we were going to experience the same laziness seen in The Scorch Trials. At the 1/4 mark the book improves immensely and the author gets back to doing what works, creating a great atmosphere and refocusing on character development. There are a few big moments that don't resonate as they should because core characters in the series are relegated to the background in favor of an extremely lame romantic triangle we are forced to suffer through. The final quarter of the book was awesome. But overall the trilogy is brought to a satisfying close.
The Kill Order: I like this book. This is a prequel that is somewhat hastily tied to the rest of the series. This brings us a new set of characters and I can honestly say I really liked this story. It's fresh enough to feel like something completely different from the rest of the series in a good way. And maybe it was because this was a new set of characters, the author was forced to develop them. I love the characters in this book. Their adventures and fight for survival was a fun experience to read through. This book does suffer from another romance being shoehorned into the narrative but it's not as lazily done as the previous books. But the story was a good read that kept me entertained and it introduced me to some cool characters.
In short, this series is bookended by two very different books that both tell a great story. The series grows a little stale during the second book, but regains it's traction a quarter way into the third book. Overall, I'm very glad I read the entire series and even at it's lowest points the series is full of page-turning suspense. I look forward to reading more from the author.
Most recent customer reviews
Couldn't put it down!
Great character development and enjoyable story.
Very addicting...Read more