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The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, Book One) Hardcover – October 6, 2009
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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
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.
One thing I can say about this book is that the world building is amazing. You get a very nice feel for the glade and the maze. I could imagine the towering stone walls, along with the smells. Characterization is moderate at best. The only character I felt like I knew was Chuck and Newt; everyone else was a stranger.
This book is not thought provoking and isn't for those looking for deeper meaning. it's a fun read, with a great story and fun characters. Thomas was super annoying at first, but overtime he matured.
One of the best things about this book are the plot twists, the plot in general and the general mystery of WICKED. I'm really excited to buy the next book and see what happens next!
I HIGHLY recommend this book!
Despite some of these character attribute shortcomings, I was immediately drawn into the plot of the story. I wrote a full review of the first story here: http://bit.ly/YfcyYd
The Scorch Trials lacked the heart of the first book and The Death Cure was underwhelming in terms of a conclusion. I couldn't bring myself to read the prequel because I was exhausted by the series at the end. There is so much action, horror and defeat that I needed a break, and plus - I didn't want to deviate from the characters I already knew.