Friday, December 30, 2011

The Maze Runner by James Dashner


When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

My thoughts:
I'm not sure why it took me so long to pick up this book, I know many people compared it to The Hunger Games and I really enjoyed that trilogy.  A friend listened to it with her children on audio and told me they really got into it.  I was a bit leery as I knew there would likely be violence, but I checked it out of the library and we listened to it last week.  I am still feeling like there is more violence than I would like for their current ages, but they got very into the story and seem to comprehend well what is happening.  We stopped to talk at more than one point about violence or the way characters were treating each other, but it is a well done story that appeals to a wide age group.  Yesterday we stopped by the library to pick up books two and three on audio as well.

If I were comparing The Maze Runner to The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games would win.  I'm not sure if it is because the main character is female or if it has to do with the dystopian worlds and how they were portrayed.  In both children are being used for a purposes children were not intended for by people who should be protecting them.  It will be interesting to learn in books two and three more about what and why the maze was built and what exactly the end goal was.

Imagine the terror of waking up only being able to remember your name and nothing else about yourself and being dumped in a place where everyone else is in the same boat.  Then the monsters in the maze and the distrust by others in your group sounds exhausting.  I don't even really know where to begin talking about this book.  The author creates a very well drawn world that becomes very real in your mind.  I imagine Thomas and his hints of deja vu about the maze and the the mysterious girl who is sent up the day after him.  How do you get people who have been working together for months or years to trust someone who is new but thinks he knows what they need to do to get out of the maze.  What will the world be like outside of this experiment?

It will be interesting if this makes it to the big screen as a movie.  I looked and it seems like talks are in the works with a tentative 2013 date for a film, but I couldn't find a whole lot of details.  I know lots of times things fall through, but this seems like one that will go all the way especially with the success recent book to movie adaptations for YA books.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385737951
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 8/24/2010
Pages: 400
Age range: 12 - 17 Years
Series: Maze Runner Series, #1


  1. I keep thinking that I should pick this one up at somepoint, but not sure when I will. I've been on a YA ban for a while, so maybe once I decide that I'm over it. Thanks for the review.

  2. I am working on The Hunger Games trilogy now. I'll keep this in mind after I finish it. This does sound like another good dystopian read.

  3. When I first started reading your post, I thought, "That reminds me of the Hunger Games." It's going on my reading list, sounds interesting! Thanks!

  4. When I first started reading your post, I thought, "That reminds me of the Hunger Games." It's going on my reading list, sounds interesting! Thanks!

  5. You have a great blog!

    I'm your newest follower :) Happy New Year.


  6. I liked this one, but can't picture it as a movie. I still have to read The Scorch Trials, book 2 in this series.

  7. I just started book 2, not sure how it would translate to the screen. I guess we'll see if it happens!

  8. The story is incredibly well-crafted with likable characters and twists and turns galore. There were times when I was nearly screaming because I didn't want the characters to do something and other times I was on the edge of my seat gnawing on my fingernails in anticipation.