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Showing 1-10 of 5,585 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 7,646 reviews
on January 11, 2017
I know I'm late to the Maze Runner party, but I am hooked! Dashner not be the greatest writer of our age, but he writes a compelling story and I have always been a sucker for a well written conspiracy theory plot. I can't wait to see what happens next :) There isn't any language (aside from some choice words the characters themselves have made up*) or sexual content in this book, but it can be a little scary in some parts. I would recommend 12+ age group.

* I have compiled a list of some of the words parents might find potentially troublesome:
klunk: euphemism for feces
shuck: euphemism for an explicit
slinthead: derogatory insult
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VINE VOICEon September 3, 2015
I ended up watching the movie first which piqued my interested to read the book. After finishing the book I realized both the book and the movie are completely standalone and barely the same, there are some similarities between the two but not very many. But I enjoyed both of them for different reason, but I think I liked the movie more. The book was slow and it was hard to keep me interested and the dialogue also wasn't my favorite.

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.
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on June 25, 2016
This review originally appeared on herestohappyendings.com.

Ah yes, The Maze Runner. Until now, it has been one of those books that I have been seeing and hearing about for years..and there's even a movie out for it now. Honestly, I don't know what took me so long to read it, but wow, was it a treat.

I don't know what else to say about this book that hasn't already been said, so I'll just stick to a relatively basic review, and tell you all not to make the same mistake that I have made and take forever to pick up a copy.

Seriously. Go to your library or bookstore and buy a copy of it. Now.

The Maze Runner has such an interesting premise - a teenage boy wakes up in a box surrounded by a bunch of other boys that he doesn't know. He has no idea where he is, or who he is (except for his name), and is absolutely in the dark about everything that is going on.

It does start out with a bit of confusion, since we pretty much know nothing, and we are piecing information together bit by bit with the main character, Thomas. This really makes for a deep, engaging story, though. What better way to grab a reader's attention and pull them in than with a a mystery like this? It's such a brilliant idea.

Well, after we learn where Thomas is (The Glade) and learn how all the other boys were in the same boat at one point, we start to learn about how life in The Glade is. Along the border of The Glade, we have the maze - a huge, stone maze (that closes every night and moves around). The boys are separated into groups - some of them farm, others create things they need, such as houses and the like, and we also have the runners. The runners go into the huge maze, looking for a way out. They make maps every day, trying to figure out what parts of the maze changed from the previous day, and attempting to make sense of everything. However, that maze seems to be the key to them getting out of there.

Eventually a girl gets sent up...and she is holding a piece of paper that has a creepy message and pretty much sets off a chain of events leading to things changing in The Glade - and not for the better. When the maze stops closing at night, the creatures that live on the inside (called grievers) are able to come out...and they aren't feeling very friendly.

Together they have to work to find a way out of The Glade through the maze before things become even more dangerous.

A lot of stuff happens in this book. I mean a lot of stuff, too, not just your simple, everyday annoying teenager type of stuff. The pacing is a little bit slow, but the sheer amount of information and things that are going on all over the place is incredible. Also is the way everything fits together - it's just amazing. We get to learn about each character and really get a feel for his (or her) personality, as well as learn all the goings-on in The Glade. Learning about the maze and the grievers is also another part of the book.

Also, I feel the need to point out that there's no romance in this book.
...Yep, you read that right. No romance. Thank you, James Dashner, for writing a splendid novel without any romance in it. It's rare that I read a book in this genre (or any genre, really), that doesn't have either a love triangle or two people drooling all over each other and making me want to throw the book across the room. So I was so happy to see that The Maze Runner focused on strong character development, problem solving, and action instead of romance.

The neat part about the book is that at first, Thomas has no idea what's going on or how he got there, so it's like we're learning all of this with him. As time goes on, and closer to the end of the book, we learn how he came to be there, but it still doesn't answer most questions at the end, leading to endless ways to continue the story.

I'm going to say it again...go get a copy of this book if you haven't read it yet! I don't really read too much science fiction or dystopian these days, because I feel like it's all been done about 500 times already, but this is so much different than anything I've read. I know it came out almost seven years ago, and I'm just getting around to it now, but even so, I still haven't read anything as complex and fascinating as this. I think I may have found my new favorite series.

I can't wait to pick up The Scorch Trials!

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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on March 22, 2017
P. 0
Tragedy, doubt, and adventure- are just the things that you will encounter reading the novel Maze Runner by James Dashner. It is filled with twists and turns in the plot leaving you on the edge of your seat.

It starts out with a teenage boy named Thomas who comes out of the box coming from the ground which serves as the entrance to the maze. No one knows how you get in there or where its comes from. He comes into a clearing towered by walls that are part of a gigantic, dangerous, tricky Maze. Thomas, just like all of the other boys has lost his memory of his past life. They all what lies outside of the maze. The maze is filled creatures called Grievers, with their half mechanical bodies. Getting stung by them will leave you wishing you were never born. In the center of the maze is a clearing called the glade. Every day the boys do their jobs while the runners go out into the maze hoping they will find a way out. Thomas soon befriends a boy named Chuck that is also relatively new there. Shortly after, someone arrives in the box unexpectedly. It was the first girl ever to enter the maze, coming with an alarming message. After she arrives things change; nothing will ever be the same in the glade again.

The theme of the book is to persevere through hard problems. If you look at a problem with a different angle you can think you way out. The characters have to be smart with the maze and can not mess around which can also kept the book interesting. One thing that I thought is great was that the author always was surprising you with new events every chapter. I recommend this book to boys and girls, ages between ten to fifteen. The subject might be too confusing for younger ages and may boring for older.

There was one thing I did not like about the book, the ending. Now I will not tell you, but I will say it does not leave you wanting more and on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens. The rest of the book was great but the ending did not live up to the expectations and depth of the rest of the book. Just like all books, The Maze Runner has ups and downs even with a boring ending, it was an enjoyable book.
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on December 19, 2014
The Maze Runner is a book I chose because a movie was made based from it and I was curious. I did not know what to expect, except there is a maze, probably some running, and the movie is chasing Hunger Games fame. Given that frame of reference, I approached the book with some familiar tropes in mind.

The story starts with a boy who has lost his memory and is placed in a prison surrounded by a maze with no exit. There are no guards, no authority and no instructions, so the boys in the situation have to figure things out for themselves. There is the constant presence of a monstrous enemy and a looming mystery of why they are there and how they get out.

The first thing I would say about this book is it has an interesting concept. The maze, the situation of being trapped and the boys creating their own form of governance was fascinating, but it also placed itself on a pedestal. Like any story where a mystery is involved, the reader is going to spend the entire time trying to solve it and that puts a lot of reliance on the answer being a good one. Though there are characters whom have decent depth, this is absolutely a plot driven story, as no one is truly that dynamic or developed.

Some minor spoilers below:

The biggest problem I had with this book is that there are a lot of elements that seem to be entirely out of place. For instance, there are a couple of characters who are telepathic and one of them is the only girl in the entire story. Granted this book is part of a series, but if you took this book alone I am left asking myself, why make her a girl at all? Does her gender in anyway add to the story? Usually I am all for inclusion and feminist causes, but in a case of an all-male prison, adding a token female is almost more offensive. Worse yet, there are inklings of romance to be explored in later books, which is in my opinion the entire reason she exists. They could of made both telepaths (who can only speak to each other telepathically) boys, but that would of seemed ‘gay’. If that offends you it should, because the book was explicit that the main character’s feelings toward his best male friend is brotherly with: “I loved him like we came from the same mother.” Why couldn't he of simply thought that he loved him? Why include the part where he essentially tosses in a ‘no-homo’. In fact there is never a hint of romance in the story between the boys, just some very masculine friendships, and while you might argue given their situation this is appropriate, I would argue that no, because the moment a single girl is introduced she is incapable of ending the story without hints of romance, as if that is all women are good for.

So why the complaints about this? I am building for why this book is three stars instead of four or five and it basically boils down to a lot of unnecessary additions to the story. The thing that makes this book good in the first place is the unusual situation and the Lord of the Flies-esque governance. However the story ends with a new mystery and changes everything about the book’s strength, leaving you with only the characters themselves to carry on.

Unfortunately these elements that are supposed to make the future mystery interesting were poorly developed and only detracted from this book. In essence they sold their present to try to buy a small piece of their future, but in doing so moved away from the sole reason the book was worth reading in the first place. Do I care about the characters whom aren’t truly developed enough to carry a story on their own? Not really. Do I care about an extremely generic romance which was out of place and felt forced? Not at all. In fact the best hook they give comes in the very end of the story, but because of the execution of prior elements I find myself very skeptical if the remaining series can carry itself even as well as this book did.

Ultimately I would say this is a decent read, just be prepared for some pitches aimed to get you into book two that regrettably make book one a little worse.
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on May 31, 2014
We really enjoyed this book. Took a while to move past none of the lead characters questions ever being answered in a very "Lost" like fashion, but then the interactions with the Grievers inside the maze sped the story along. A few plot holes here and there, but very entertaining, if if you're not a teen. I'm in my 30's and couldn't stop picking it up. Likeable characters, well paced and intriguing.
Hopefully the movie doesnt ruin it.

Looking forward to reading the next installment!

Cheers!
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on June 24, 2016
I am not a fan of this book. I like the premise: kids with no memory trapped in a giant maze. But the writing is lackluster. There are a few climactic chapters but the story keeps losing momentum and dragging. The characters are to antagonistic and closed off for me to get attached to them, including the main character. The author alludes to solutions in a way that a 5 year old could see through but the main character can't seem to put the pieces together and then gets distracted by something pointless happening. I haven't been able to finish the book. The only reason why I keep trying is that I saw the end of the first movie and now I want to see how they get there. I'm not sure I'll ever find out...
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on February 11, 2016
It seldom happens that the movie adaptation of a particular novel helps me enjoy said novel, more. So you can imagine my surprise when this exact thing happened. What do I mean by this?

The Maze Runner moved very sluggishly, and majority of the characters were stale, like our MC Thomas. Since I enjoyed the movie and there weren’t a ton of differences between the two, I was able to imagine the movie playing in my mind as I read; This helped me tremendously! It’s amazing how fast I finished it after that switch was flipped in my mind. For me watching the movie first was the best idea.

I’m not going to take you through the beginning because, frankly, it was boring and I’d be wasting my time retelling the exposition. This first book was a lot of world-building, however this wasn’t beneficial because it’s the world inside the maze that Dashner was building. Since the second book doesn’t take place within the maze, this extensive building was useless. If there was suspense surrounding the who, what, where and why then I could handle that, but the suspense lies elsewhere. The suspense that exist within the novel is about Thomas’ role within the maze and how to escape, which completely neglected why they’re there to begin with. This bothered me almost as much as my initial opinion of Thomas.

Like I said before the characters are really, really stale – minus a few exceptions – which didn’t allow me to feel connected to the characters at first. However, I proceeded to read the novel while imagining the movie (as I stated above) and Thomas’ stupid actions, decision and dull inner voice became the movie and everything unfolded well. His constant barrage of questions and irritating mirror-like emotions became something much more fierce and wonderful until I liked the characters, except for Theresa.

This is a very serious question, and I’d really like an answer.

Q: What was the purpose of Theresa?

A: unknown (can someone please answer?)

[...]

That’s the last mention of her character in this post.

There were some characters that I loved, like Minho, Newt, and Chuck. Minho is overflowing with sarcasm and his character has to be the most genuine and honest throughout the novel. You love him from the moment he’s introduced to you (as Thomas) – his humor is wonderful in a world devoid of real happiness. Newt is described differently in the novel than in the movie, however his attitude and calm nature is ever prevalent throughout the book. Chuck has a larger role in the movie than he did in the novel, but he’s still this cute kid just trying to fit-in with the big guys. His positive attitude gravitated me toward him and once you decide to read it, I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

Since this novel is a dystopian, set apart from the rest of the world, the kids there are surviving and adapting to their environment, which cannot be done without a hierarchy and a workforce. Everyone in the Glade (where the boys live, believed to be at the center of the maze) has jobs like cooking, mopers (janitor), runners (explorers of the maze), etc. the job you get depends on your skill-set and it keeps the Glade running efficiently. There are leaders to each group and they’re like the union bosses for each career “choice”, with Alby being the leader of everything. This setup, in my opinion, was awesome and showcased what the story was meant to be about, but it just fell flat on many other points.

Words fail me to describe the conflict present in the novel.

There’s the Griever: Machine/Animal creatures that sting their prey with a substance. Man vs. Technology

There’s W.I.C.K.E.D: A mysterious acronym that is mentioned much too early in the novel, and adds nothing to the plot – so far. (It’d be a spoiler to tell the actual definition) Man vs. Society

There’s Gally (is that right?): A Leader within the Glade that doesn’t add anything important or interesting to the novel, i.e, a waste of ink. Man vs. Man

There’s the Maze: The home of the Grievers and the labyrinth of uselessness. Man vs. Nature

There’s the Changing: After said Griever stings you with their poison(?), you go through the hallucinations and learn all this important information that turns most people semi-crazy. Man vs. Nature

There’s Thomas believing he’s the enemy: After certain events transpire Thomas believes he might be a foe, not a friend to the captors of the Glade. Man vs. Self

You’d think with this many obstacles to overcome this story would be a fat, juicy adventure…yet, it fails each time! Every type of conflict is utilized in this novel, however it failed to execute one and still barely held onto a plot.

Another issue that plagued me was the language. There were a lot of shuckface’s, flintheads, and klucks being thrown around.

See how you don’t understand what I’m talking about? Well that’s how I felt about the language in this book. Dashner had a cute idea to minimize actual swear words, and provide the boys with their own language that developed in the Glade, but it wasn’t altogether successful. It felt forced and didn’t flow with the dialogue. Although I do appreciate there not being any real cursing in the novel because some YA novels just include waaaaay too much of it, I couldn’t stop myself from wondering why these teenage boys didn’t use real curse words……

Will I read book two? Yes. I’ve actually already bought it, but only because I’ve seen the second movie and interested in knowing what’s been modified.

Overall, the amount of oomph missing from this book is apparent to anyone who reads it, and cannot be completely redeemed. The main reason I enjoyed this novel was because I enjoyed the movie for what it was – a teenage dystopian, adventure. Don’t expect too much from this novel, especially for those individuals who haven’t seen the movie.
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on March 2, 2016
The book content was excellent, but when I received the book itself, it did seem a little bent. And by bent, I mean the cover looked like it'd been pushed in; and not at all like it had just happened during the delivery process. Initially surprised because of the expected "New" quality, but did not disappoint that much. It arrived about 3 days earlier than expected though, so that was a surprise!
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on August 27, 2015
I am very picky when it comes to books. I love reading but the books must grab my attention and hold it. Otherwise I loose interest quickly. I love books with a lot of suspense and surprises. At the recommendation of a friend, I downloaded the free sample of The Maze Runner to my Kindle. After quickly finishing that I had to buy the entire book. I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed it!! The end of just about every chapter had at least a little "cliff-hanger". Made me want to read the next. I could not stop reading this book. The suspense, surprises (my jaw literally dropped a few times) and the twists just kept coming. Dashner pulled me into this story right from the beginning.

A group of boys with no memory of who they are, why they're there or how they got there, are trapped in a place called they call The Glade. They call themselves Gladers. Basically, over the course of 2 years, they have created a self-sustaining society (even with their own lingo) - albeit with the help of people they call The Creators who deliver needed supplies on a regular basis. Outside the Glade walls is a Maze, which has been unsolvable for them so far. At night the Glade doors close to protect the Gladers from the deadly nocturnal creatures that roam The Maze.

Thomas's arrival to The Glade marks the beginning of change for all of The Gladers. He senses that he was meant to do something special and for some reason feels drawn to The Maze. He doesn't know why - just that he needs to explore it. Immediately he tests some of the rules of The Glade, which doesn't go over well with The Glade Leaders, out of frustration of getting no answers to his questions. Eventually, this curiosity becomes an asset as The Gladers are forced to fight for their lives.

This was a page turner for me and I was so upset when I got to the end of the book. I immediately bought the rest of the books in the series - I just started the 2nd book (Scorch Trials). It is very unusual for me to do that but I was so entertained by The Maze Runner I just have to finish the series.

Get this book - you won't be disappointed!
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