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!