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The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Postby Bmat » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:19 am

The Maze Runner

By James Dashner

SF, ages 12 and up

Thomas woke up in an elevator that had lifted him to a place called the Glade. Thomas had only fleeting memories of his life before the Glade, and he found that the other boys had also had their memories wiped. Supplies were regularly delivered to the Glade, and once a month, a new boy was brought there in the elevator. Surrounding the living area was a high wall that separated the area from the Maze and the monsters that roamed there.

The boys had developed their own society, words, and customs. Some of the boys were Runners, who struggled to run through the Maze during the day when there were fewer monsters, then they came back to the living area and made maps of what they had found.

Even though this is a Young Adult book, I would recommend it for ages 12 and up. The premise is interesting, even though confusing, which actually makes sense in a book called The Maze Runner. Some of the characters did not seem quite believable- the boy who cooked for everyone, the boys with medical responsibilities, for example, although these skills were explained to some extent at the end of the book. I felt that the story was about 50 pages too long, but this did not stop me from enjoying it and learning about Thomas and the new place where he had been brought. The action moves at breakneck speed the closer it gets to the end, and the set up is for another book to follow. I felt a bit unsatisfied that so much had happened only to find out that the story was not over. It was as though one has given their all to a task, only to find out that the task is not over yet.

(The book was given to me to review by the Publisher, but this did not affect my review.)
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Re: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Postby Asp Zelazny » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:42 pm

I read this book on the suggestion of a friend about a year ago, and felt as you do about it. It held my interest, was a classic "page-turner" even while being clearly a 'juvenile' in fairly straightforward characterizations, and little deep complexity. I did not, though, feel unsatified that it was clearly an opening book of a series; as the book truly did have that crescendo pace, I found it better that the author introduced a new problem, set up yet another story, rather than doing the classic Star Trek "wrap everything up in the last 5 minutes" ending. That said, I don't think I will seek out any more of the series should they appear.

It probably would engage a bright 11 to 15 year-old who is not deeply into SF already, though ... not as well as Ender's Game, The Dragonriders series, or even the Perelandra Trilogy ... but it could serve as a reasonble gateway drug.
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Re: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Postby Bmat » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:17 pm

Enders Game occurred to me more than once while I was reading. I have the third in the series and have started it. so far it seems that some of the kids are very distrustful now.

The feeling I had of dissatisfaction with Maze Runner was similar to the feeling I have when I watch a tension-filled TV program or movie and think that finally the problem is resolved, only to find in the last scene that the alien's eye opens, or the robot's finger twitches- That the resolution of the tension really hasn't happened yet.

I agree with you about the story being a classic page turner. It was exciting to read some SF that was for fun instead of needing deep analysis. I did not believe in the walls or maze moving- in fact, it occurred that maybe the book strayed into fantasy. However I suspended my disbelief and enjoyed the ride. At least I didn't feel very involved or dismayed with the kids who, for the sake of not spoiling the story, "encountered trouble."

I am glad that you have read the book, Asp, so that I can get other opinions on it.
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Re: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Postby Harybald » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:03 am

Even though this is a Young Adult book, I would recommend it for ages 12 and up. The premise is interesting, even though confusing, which actually makes sense in a book called The Maze Runner. Some of the characters did not seem quite believable- the boy who cooked for everyone, the boys with medical responsibilities, for example, although these skills were explained to some extent at the end of the book. I felt that the story was about 50 pages too long, but this did not stop me from enjoying it and learning about Thomas and the new place where he had been brought. The action moves at breakneck speed the closer it gets to the end, and the set up is for another book to follow. I felt a bit unsatisfied that so much had happened only to find out that the story was not over. It was as though one has given their all to a task, only to find out that the task is not over yet.


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