Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Maze Runner

by James Dashner
Published: Delacorte Press, 2009
Pages: 375

When Thomas wakes up, he knows two things: his name and the fact that he can't remember anything else.  Now he is forced to make a home with the boys he meets in a place called the Glade.  They were sent here just as he was, the only difference being that things started going weird when Thomas showed up.  Thomas joins the effort to get out of this weird world that some of the boys have called home for two years.  The only possible way out is through the maze, but he'll have to gain the trust of those in charge to even begin to help.  The problem with that is there are several boys who believe that Thomas is the problem and not the solution.

Thomas is a curious character from the beginning, he knows as much about himself as the reader does.  It's easy to empathize with him because his lack of knowledge and language of the Glade is the same as ours.  The reader learns right along with Thomas.  This is a great writing tactic.

The plot moves along steadily leaving mystery after mystery to uncover.  There is always a tidbit of new information that keeps me reading, keeps me wanting more.  I sped through this book at a spectacular rate.  I just couldn't get enough information.  The characters were interesting and the more we learned about them, the more we learned about their surroundings.

As is the nature of any book beginning a series, it's hard to create a story within itself that's not purely setting the stage for the rest of the books.  I think this book did a very decent job at this, but the last chunk of the book felt very much like it was just a segue to the next book in the series.  Don't get me wrong, I think it sets up for the next book very well, there just seemed to be a little bit too much set up and tease.  Not enough questions were answered before more questions were revealed. (I'm all about questions being answered.  It's hard to be patient.)

Despite my frustration with the ending of this book, will definitely be continuing on with the series and hopefully I'll get some answers to my questions!  And I'm incredibly interested to see how the movie adaptation differs from the book.

4/5 Stars


"Dashner knows how to spin a tale and make the unbelievable realistic.  Hard to put down.  This is clearly just a first installment and it will leave readers dying to find out what comes next."
     --Kirkus Review

"A fast-paced narrative.... Dashner's suspenseful adventure will keep readers guessing until the very end."
     --Publisher's Weekly

"The tantalizing hints of a ravaged world outside makes for gripping reading."

An Eclectic Reader 2014 book. 

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