Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Series: The Maze Runner #1
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 374 (Movie Tie-in Paperback)
Source: New York Comic Con 2014
If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I wish I read this book closer to its release. I know that the reader I was several years ago would have adored it. But the reader that I am today did not. After having read many dystopians, I found myself frustrated with this book often and slogging my way through it, finishing it over the course of a month out of duty to my younger sister's love for the story as opposed to an actual desire to finish. However, it is worth noting that my struggle to finish has more to do with the fact that I know how the story ends since I saw the movie and not because I don't like the story.

The story itself is what kept me reading. The plot is ridiculously cool and awesome, which is why I understand readers who haven't read as much as I have to love it. It's why I'm not surprised that the series has such a hugely devoted following or why my sister likes it. I'm not at all surprised that a movie was made and that it did very well. Heck, I adored the movie and can't for its sequel.

My main issue with the book was the writing and the set up. That's not to say Dashner is a bad writer, it's just to say that the writing did not appeal to me. I found the book dragging constantly and it bothered me immensely. I was also beyond frustrated because at over 200 pages there was still no answers. There's so much set-up and explanation, but no true answers, and it was doubly frustrating that the main character didn't feel inclined to bug his fellow Gladers for said answers. The pacing could have been better.

I also found myself struggling with the language unique to the Gladers. The word "klunk" was used so many times I never want to hear it again. By no means am I a primarily "clean" reader, but the word was used so much that it made my skin itch because of the vulgarity I knew was behind it. Also weird terms like "good that" bugged me because I could guess what they meant, but couldn't really explain it outright. I really hate made-up speech when it is over-used like this and it makes me hesitant to continue on with the series since it grated on my last nerve so much.

However, all of this aside, once the book (finally!) picked up, it was intense, but I still only found myself skimming because I had given up so much beforehand. Unfortunately, it took a very long time to get to that point. I understand why many like this series because of how awesome the plot is, but I think it will appeal more to boys because of the POV, younger readers because of the writing style, and not avid readers like myself that seek out certain styles to be impressed. I will probably continue on with the series for my sister's sake, but I will be a bit more hesitant when picking up book two.

I am beyond disappointed to say that I did not enjoy this one as much as I wanted to, but I think it is very similar to the novel THE 100 by Kass Morgan. It reads like a movie or television show and will flourish in this form of media no matter what, and I will definitely follow the series in that fashion.

2 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation in any form in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Aw, it sucks that you didn't like this one! I didn't know if I wanted to read this or not, but maybe not. Anyway, great review! :)
    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor

    1. I think I'll continue on with the series, just a bit more hesitantly. Some books simply are not for me, you know? But I love the story that is being told here!

  2. I know sooooo many people who are nt fans of this book or thought that it was too slow.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

    1. It was just really slow. That's my only issue with it!