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The Maze Runner (Book 1) Paperback – August 24, 2010
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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
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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'.
[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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was awesome! I was not looking forward to reading it but my family convinced me and I love it! There was drama and a little bit of love ! Read morePublished 22 hours ago by Bryan J
My 13 year old whipped through the first 3 books. I could hardly get finish the first. It finally picked up 2/3 through, but leaves you hanging and I have no interest to see it... Read morePublished 1 day ago by JZ
I love this book. Thomas can remember things where as the others don't. I can't wait to read book 2.Published 2 days ago by Ariella Holstein
In all my years and literally countless books read; James dashner is without a doubt, unquestionably the worst author I have ever come across. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is really good Ana I really liked it. It was a very enjoyable book. Very good. Loved it.Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
An interesting premise that got progressively weirder and less interesting.Published 3 days ago by Rebecca S.
It was good. I liked it. Pulled me in at about chapter 34. I can see the world in the book.Published 5 days ago by Kirchner
Great read for all levels. Interesting and never left me bored. I would HIGHLY recommend reading this book and the rest of the books.Published 5 days ago by Rae