The Maze Runner, James Dashner

Delacorte Press, 2009

Finally the time has come for a new blogger to make her mark on “A Novel Thing”…

As someone who was recently introduced to the post-apoctoplyptic genre through The Hunger Games, finishing that trilogy made me yearn for a new series where I could escape to a different world in which I would battle nature, new technology and human beings in order to survive. Therefore, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, as suggested to me by Google, was the best choice in covering all three of those criteria and so here goes my short but sweet rundown on the novel.

Thomas wakes up in a box knowing nothing of his life but his name. He soon comes to realize that he is surrounded by a group of boys ages 13-18 and they are in a large courtyard area surrounded by giant walls with 4 large openings, leading out into a dark unknown. The boys explain to him that each month, for 2 years, a new boy has been sent to the “Glade”, in the same state as Thomas, and for the past 2 years, the boys have had to learn to work together in order to survive. They have no idea why or how they got to where they did, they just know that each morning, the 4 large openings lead out into a maze that is changes each day, and every night the openings close, leaving whoever is out in the maze alone to get attacked and ultimately killed by the “Grievers”. The next day, despite confusion, Thomas tries to integrate into the Glader society, but when a horn sounds signalling a new and unexpected delivery, the boys start to worry. As they open up the box they see that it is something new to the Glade, a girl. And she comes with a message stating that she has triggered the end.

DUM DUM DUM…

So, the summary I just gave could be easily enough written on the back of the novel, which is why my opinion of the novel is now the important part. The Maze Runner is a fast paced novel and it succeeded in keeping my attention throughout. I read it in a day, so obviously it is not too complex, but Dashner gives enough description of the locations, people and things that a clear picture was painted in my head and I was able to stay interested. Despite this, one serious flaw in the novel is the storyline of the girl. Because she arrives in a coma and basically doesn’t talk throughout the first half of the novel, Thomas’ interest in her is slightly obsessive and unnecessary. Soon after she wakes up from her coma (this is not a spoiler alert. Obviously she will wake up from her coma or what would be the point) Thomas’ attraction to her (and soon really strange connection to her) begins to flare up even stronger. Maybe I am overreacting to this portion of the novel but I find it hard to connect to girls in comas. Therefore, I feel as if Dashner could have introduced the girl in a different way – without a long, drawn out coma – and with more of a purpose.

Let me be very clear that this is a young adult novel. Despite the interesting story line, The Maze Runner is simply written, and Dashner is overly cautious of his young readers by making up his own swear words such as ” shuck” and “shank”. For me, this sort of language in other novels has made me feel annoyed – swear, or don’t swear at all! But, in The Maze Runner, I was able to overlook that small issue and if you are able to do so as well, this book will be captivating enough.

Okay, so there were two things that really bothered me about The Maze Runner, but despite them both, this novel is worth a read. It’s easy, doesn’t take much time, and it has just the right amount of adventure and suspense that a post-apocolyptic book should have.

I hope that I have succeeded in interesting you in The Maze Runner, by James Dashner, if not by my summary then by the author’s new, intriguing swear words that I have introduced you to.

I promise that my review will get better over time and until next time…

– Goodbye!

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2 responses

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Books to Read Before Heading to the Theatre | A Novel Thing

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