Title: The Maze Runner
(The Maze Runner #1)
Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: October 6th 2009
Finished reading: June 26th 2014
Pages: 375

Rating 3

“Where are we going?” Thomas asked, still feeling the weight of seeing those walls close, thinking about the maze, the confusion, the fear. He hold himself to stop or he’d drive himself crazy. Trying to grasp a sense of normalcy, he made a weak attempt at a joke. “If you’re looking for a goodnight kiss, forget it.”


Before I start, I have to confess that I started reading this book having very, very high expectations. I even put on hold other books that were next on my TBR list so I could read The Maze Runner first… And that might have influenced my opinion in a negative manner. People have compared this book to The Hunger Games series, and to be honest I cannot see the similarities. The main character Thomas lacked personality and the made-up slang and language used by the teenagers was actually quite annoying. The story itself is interesting enough though. In The Maze Runner, James Dashner presents us to a post apocalyptic world where a bunch of teenagers have to find their way out of a maze. None of them have any idea of how they arrived in the new world called the Glade in the first place, and they all suffer from memory loss. And that part is where I raised my eyebrows: the memory loss and lack of information mostly seemed forced and therefore not credible. I was still able to enjoy the story though, and will probably read the sequel The Scorch Trials somewhere in the future…


We get to know the post apocalyptic world through ‘Greenbean‘ Thomas, the newest teenager to arrive to the Glade. He wakes up inside the Box (similar to an elevator), and doesn’t remember anything. The other boys welcome him to the Glade, but are being quite mysterious about the new world and evade answering his questions. Thomas is simply told to ‘shuck it‘ and wait until tomorrow. The other new kid Chuck is ordered to take care of him, and they soon start a friendship. Thomas finds himself feeling more at home already, and realizes things around the Glade sound and feel quite familiar…

Soon it becomes clear that Thomas had arrived at the wrong moment. For the last two years the Glade had been populated with boys only, and once a month the Box sent a new member to the Glade. Those days are over now. The next day the Box surprised the community and sends another member, and everybody is shocked to see that it is an unconscious girl.  Before she’s taken away in a coma, she wakes up briefly to let everybody know that “everything is going to change”. And she was right, as she was the last one the Creators sent to help solve the maze. Things are starting to change quite a lot for the Gladers during the next days. They try to maintain order, with everybody doing the jobs they were assigned and the Runners trying to find a way out of the maze. But soon the maze and the horrible creatures called Grievers start taking their victims. Due to circumstances I won’t discuss because of spoilers, Thomas becomes a Runner. Together with the leader of the Runners Minho, they desperately try to solve the puzzle and find a way out before it’s too late…


The plot itself is definitely interesting, and that is mostly why I’m probably going to read the sequel. That and the fact that I already own the next two books… I do hope the character development gets better though, as well as the prose. I’m not saying to leave out the slang completely, but maybe toning it down a bit will make it less annoying. Recommended for those who enjoy YA post apocalyptic stories and prefer a good plot over well-developed main characters.