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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on October 16, 2014
I enjoyed this series, but began to get bogged down with the read by the time I got to the third book. As recommended, I read the prequel "The Killzone" first. I'm glad I did; however, it didn't help any in understanding books 1-3. I'm not so sure it even related to the series at all, except to show how the FLARE came about.

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.
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VINE VOICEon August 11, 2014
Imagine a story where the author has a small secret to tell, and it's so small he can't reveal any clues at all about it because you'll figure it all out, so he creates this book where NO ONE EVER ANSWERS A SINGLE STUPID QUESTION! Welcome to "The Maze Runner".

Dashner starts the book out with a fairly cool scenario. Unfortunately, he immediately falls into this maddening habit of never answering a single question from any character with a straight answer. I'm not talking rhetorical questions here...I'm talking ANY question. EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION goes along these lines:

"What does that mean?"
"You'll find out."

And that's how it goes. I started actually keeping track of it halfway through the book as sort of a game and found that on average SEVEN out of every TEN questions were answered with a "You'll find out" variation answer. Rather than take five minutes to explain the situation to Thomas (the main character), EVERYONE in the story just gives him a "You'll find out" answer...and then gets mad because he keeps asking questions! It's as if Dashner realizes he has this very minor plot laid out and knows the only way to keep the reader hooked is to constantly offer answers someday, without ever giving them. And to top it off, as Thomas starts getting ideas, he does the same thing to the other characters...not in a spiteful kind of way, but simply because that's how the author writes.

It's one thing to have a mystery unfold with the reader following the main character. It's another thing altogether to purposefully not give any answers because you have no confidence in your plot. This book is a lot like shuffling through a diamond-peppered poop. Every once in a while you see a gem and keep going, though most of what you're sorting through stinks.
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on May 18, 2017
Run for the Maze
By: James Dashner

I think that The Maze Runner is an amazing book and I would recommend it to sci-fi lovers everywhere. This book deserves 5/5 stars because it has everything you want in a book like sci-fi, emotion, and good detail. It describes the setting so well that it felt like I was watching the movie.
In the book, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, The main character, Thomas is trapped in a large area called the Glade with only one escape, the maze. The maze changes every night and has monsters called grievers that only come out at night . Will Thomas get through the maze and learn the truth about why he’s there?
The following quote is from the part of the book when Thomas is in the maze at night running from the grievers, “Minho stood, his face barely visible in the dying light. But when he spoke, Thomas imagined his eyes wide with terror. ‘We have to split up-it’s our only chance. Just keep moving. Don’t stop moving.’ And then he turned and ran, disappearing in seconds, swallowed by the maze and darkness.” That was on page 118 and is an example of why this book is a page turner and so exciting to read.
In conclusion this was an amazing book and and I rate it 5/5 stars because it has sci-fi, emotion, and great detail. Thank you for reading.
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on October 22, 2014
Dashner pens a suspenseful dystopian future with "The Kill Order." When sun flares and radiation wreak havoc on the Earth, Mark and his friend, Trina, are forced to abandon the life they know to live in one of the new - and rare - habitat zones in the Appalachian mountain chain.

Life in the mountains is hard, but livable. Mark's family is gone and in their place are Alec and Lana, two adults, along with Misty and Toad. The story opens with an airplane known as a Berg descending on their village. People in bio suits start shooting darts, infecting people with a virus that causes a quick and painful death.

Mark and Alec act quickly to discover what is happening. Soon they learn the virus has a name – the flare. It's also mutating, becoming more destructive. They soon discover a young girl, DeeDee, who appears to be immune to the virus. DeeDee is the hope for the future, but can Mark and Alec get her to the scientists in time to stop the destruction?

Dashner's writing style is easy to read. His imagination shines throughout the story as he creates a devastated world. Dashner places you next to Mark in the heart of the action. The plot races forward at break-neck speed, yet holds the reader enthralled. Clues to the sunbursts and flare virus are revealed in just the right places, keeping the reader turning the page.

The characters are interesting, especially Mark. His life changes quickly and in a dramatic fashion. His concern and empathy for mankind demonstrates the rapid growth he undertakes.

"The Kill Order" is a taunt, suspenseful read. It offers intrigue, action, and adventure. I did not want to put the book down. I would recommend it for readers over 12.
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on January 12, 2015
Loved the idea, then hated the execution. The main issues for me where the only female character being completely redundant and for some unknown reason, in a coma for 60% of the book. My interest waned along with my enthusiasm. When it started to pick up I still found the whole mystery too mysterious. The female character was flat and the premise, that held so much promise, took me on a journey I didn't want to go on.
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.
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on October 26, 2016
First I would like to say I love James Dashner and the maze runner series. This specific entry into the series was not my favorite, although it did keep me glued to the pages and wanting more. The things that bothered me the most were the repetition of the conflict scenes between the multiple antagonist and the main character. It was the exact same to many times. In fact I believe even the character mentions "this is happening again?" many times. Still 3 stars though cause I like the story of how the things in maze runner came to be. For real fans of series only IMO
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on April 4, 2015
So recently I decided I wanted to try out audiobooks for my commute to and from work, and The Maze Runner was the first audiobook I decided to try. I had been meaning to get to this series for a while now and I figured this was the perfect excuse. I am so glad I finally got to this book because it was sooooo good! I loved it and I was addicted and I found myself listening at every single chance I could.

I am seriously kicking myself for waiting so long to get to this book. Beginning to end, this book just grabs you. It has been so long since I have read a dystopian that I really enjoyed but The Maze Runner changed that. The world is dangerous and crazy and kinda scary. The characters are both realistic and likable and the way they interact is so relatable and real. I loved the dynamics of the group and the dialogue.

Our main character Thomas is great and I really enjoyed his perspective. I love the way he took charge of every situation he found himself in and refused to give up. He asked questions and analyzed everything. He was brave and he fought but at the same time he was scared. He wasn’t just this fearless kid who was thrown into a crazy situation and then all of a sudden because awesome. No, he was awesome in spite of being afraid and lost and really having no clue what to do. That is what makes Thomas special.

I also loved the secondary characters: Newt, Teresa, Chuck, and Minho. I have a real soft spot for Teresa, mostly because she has an awesome name, but also because she seems like such a strong character and I feel like I am really going to love her as the story progresses. Chuck I loved even if he could be a bit annoying. And then I really like Newt and Minho and how they kept the other Gladers strong.

I really loved how this story was pulled apart piece by piece. That as a reader you don’t have any more information other than what Thomas has. Discovering everything and watching all the pieces come together was a great ride for the reader.

Now while I don’t have much comparison for it, I really enjoyed the narrator for The Maze Runner. I was able to distinguish between characters well and I never felt myself fall into a lull as he was reading.

All in all, I am really glad I finally made time for The Maze Runner. This is an awesome book and I cannot wait to get to The Scorch Trials.
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on November 2, 2014
My review is of the The Maze Runner Series Complete Collection. This includes the following titles: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure and The Kill Order.

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.
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on September 19, 2014
While reading this I WANTED that transvice so I could use it on myself! Let me start by saying I was looking forward to reading this and had high expectations. It took me a while to get around to reading it, so the ending of the Death Cure was a little blurry, but I was still able to understand the book. I had two peeves while reading this. The first was the use of "soldier" and old bear. Mark must have called Alec these at least 10 times. Could he just stop doing it?!?! It was very annoying. Secondly, there was the repeating cycle of danger that made up the whole book. First, two people would run off in their stupid fashion trying to be "hero". Then they would go sneaking around a little. In the end they would get into some sort of trouble, but don't worry, because they ALWAYS GOT OUT OKAY. There was no guessing game involved, which made it boring to read, knowing what was going to happen every time. The only reason as to why this this got 3 stars was the characters. I liked the indirect backstory on Teresa, as well as the crazies. Basically, I just liked the concept-a prequel is a good choice for writing and at least this book was actually a prequel. Overall, an OK book,but beware of the cycle of predictability and the overuse of soldier.
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on January 1, 2015
The beginning of this book had so much promise - I was excited about another awesome book in the same genre as "Ender's Game" and "The Hunger Games" and was not disappointed until about half way through the first book. I kept reading all three books, hoping against hope that eventually the plot would solidify and come together but, it never really did. About 3/4 of the sum total of all three books could have been deleted to tell the exact same story. The first book starts with a good premise but quickly loses it's way. Two stars are because I did enjoy the first half of the first book so much.
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