December 3, 2011

REVIEW: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

*Cover and Summary from Goodreads

Title: The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1)
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: 6 October 2009
Edition: First Trade Paperback: 375 pages

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 Review:

James Dashner does a perfect job at engaging a reader. He really sucks you into the story of The Maze Runner. Although this is my second time reading this book, Dasher's story hasn't failed at making me want to read it in one sitting. The pacing of the book is wonderful. There is never a boring moment and I never felt like things were going too slow. Each chapter is something different, something exciting happens that makes you want to keep turning the pages. Dashner's writing flows fairly well.

The plot of the story is very intriguing. The book keeps the reader and the characters in the dark about their true identity and why the characters are stuck in the predicament that they are in. With each chapter, lit bits of parts become clear and I thank Dashner for doing this. You are not bombarded with all the information at the end of the book nor are you given information that takes too long to be revealed. The plot of the story eases you into the ways of Gladers. You get to know them fairly well and you just end up loving them like I did. Sometimes, you want to smack some characters, but I think that's normal. You learn the mystery of the Glade and the Maze along with the characters. Every chapter builds up to the exciting ending of the book, keeping you at the edge of your seat rooting for the Gladers.

I found that the characters in the book are really unique. I love how Dashner gives them their own Glader slang. Many of the characters interactions will make you smile and laugh. My favorite character is Minho. I'm not quite sure why, I just find him the most likable among them all. I enjoyed being in the MC's head (Thomas), but I couldn't quite connect to him as much as I would like to. I love how each character has their own personality and it really shows in their interactions. They really have this bond that I thought worked well into the story. What would of really made this book is if we got to know a little bit more about some of the minor characters, not just the 4-5 of them.

"Leader?" Minho barked a grunt that was probably supposed to be a laugh. "Yeah, call him leader all you want. Maybe you should call him El Presidente. Nah, nah- Admiral Alby. There you go." He rubbed his eyes, snickering as he did so. [...]

"Greenie, just shut it before you confuse yourself more." Minho sighed as if bored, then muttered to himself, "Why do you shanks always come in here asking stupid questions? It's annoying?"

Like I said, Dashner does a great job of building up the story. In the end, you really start to understand what is going on and you just can't help wanting more. Not everything is revealed, therefore you are left with wanting to read the next book: The Scorch Trials. I also think the Epilogue of this book is a nice touch. I really love how that's added into the book as well.

What I probably had most trouble with was visualizing the Maze. I had no trouble seeing the Glade. I could see that in my mind as clear as day. No matter how many times Thomas described the Maze, I just couldn't get that visual I needed. This made it difficult for me to see the last few chapters of the story.

Even so, I still loved this book a second time around. It's definitely worth the read especially if you like dystopian (sci-fi?) novels.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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