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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 16 December 2014
Although I do understand where some of the negative criticism for this novel has come from, I found it to be an engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable read. I even thought the made up curse words were rather cute (though appreciate that many people seem to find them annoying).

The characters were likable and I enjoyed that fact that the story put the reader in Thomas's shoes, leaving them just as confused about what was going on as he was. While the first half of the novel was quite slow moving, it never seemed to drag as it took its time to extensively explain how the Glade functioned day to day. The story rapidly gained pace in the second half and quickly became difficult to put down.

There are only a couple of issues that I had with the story. Firstly, I grew a little frustrated towards the characters that kept important information from Thomas with no good reason (answering his questions by telling him he didn't need to know). Secondly, I didn't feel as though Teresa had much chance to shine. While her intelligence and strength of character is revealed, she did not really contribute much in the climax of the story. I hope that she has a far larger role to play in The Scorch Trials.

All in all, it's a brilliant start to the series and I can't wait to get my hands on the next instalment!
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on 21 November 2014
Synopsis: When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas can remember is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a bizarre maze.
Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there, or what's happening to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out.
Review: I really enjoyed this book. I think it may be my favourite of all the young adult dystopian novels I've read so far. I debated with myself for a while as to why. The Hunger Games Series has to me, the more horrid premise of teenagers killing each other to keep down the threat of rebellion yet The Maze Runner with less death keeps the reasons for being in the maze vague and creates more of a grittier feel. It comes across as more brutal.
I always love a book with short chapters. To me when you say 'Just one more chapter' with short chapters that usually ends up being half a book and with each of these chapters ending with little cliff hangers you really do just have to keep going. After a number of duds recently it was nice to find a book I couldn't put down.
There are a number of plot holes, it's true. The description of how many lads are in the Glades doesn't fit with the descriptions of the way they are brought there (one every month over a period of 2 years) but it doesn't really affect the overall story. I'm also wondering about the point of Teresa. Apart from being able to speak telepathically to Thomas she doesn't really do much or add that much to the plot. Maybe she will have more to do in future books?
I liked the story, loved the feel of it, and can’t wait to see the film to see of the Grievers match on-screen how I saw them in my mind. A high recommendation
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on 29 March 2014

I bought the Maze Runner series after seeing extremely positive reviews here on Amazon. I can only imagine that I must have been reading a completely different book to the one purchased by all the 4* and 5* reviewers, because I've rarely read something as poorly written. It's hard to even know where to begin with criticising this monstrosity, but some of the major bugbears are as follow:

The plot: clunky, slow, so contrived it's untrue. Instead of genuine suspense and clear plot arcs, the book is just a long line of events that never really succeed in building up any suspense.

The 'suspense': Dashner seems incapable of showing the reader anything, instead choosing to describe *everything* in painstaking (and often painfully boring) detail. I was never able to lose myself in the story because the omnniscient narrator and the annoying protagonist (whose voices often get mixed up, annoyingly) are always there, explicitly stating which emotions/reactions are appropriate at any given time. We don't *feel* suspense; we get told that things are Super Tense.

The characters: the protagonist, Thomas, is one of the most unlikeable characters I've had the misfortune of encountering recently. He's a textbook Gary Stu, and we're supposed to find him admirable/heroic/impressive when he is, in fact, erratic, unpleasant, obtuse and ridiculously entitled. Oh, and unbelievably dense, a lot of the time, although this seems to be more of a plot driver than anything - he does a lot of daft things and asks a *lot* of very daft questions simply so the reader can be privy to information that was obvious already:

"'Where was he bitten?' Thomas asked. 'Can you see it?'
'They don't freaking bite you. They prick you....'
For some reason, Thomas thought the word prick sounded a lot worse than bite. 'Prick you? What does that mean?'"

This dude is supposed to be 16-17 years old, and hyper-intelligent, and he doesn't understand what the word 'prick' means. So many interactions like this read like word-count fillers.

Sexism / objectification: the only female character for the vast majority of the book is supposed to be around 15-16 years old. And yet, she's described constantly in nauseatingly clichéd terms relating to her physical appearance. She conveniently stays in a coma until needed, when she wakes up, magically realises that she's meant to be with Thomas (I won't tell you how, but it's vomit-inducing) and spends the rest of the book clinging to him and making acceptably non-threatening and vaguely 'spunky female' comments. Mostly in response to the male characters' naff gender stereotyping about 'girls'. She's a plot device and a prop for showing what a big, amazing dudebro Thomas is, very much in the same way that the character of Chuck is used.

Language and style: utterly heinous. I genuinely cannot understand how this book is being described as well written. Examples:

"Burning blue eyes darted back and forth as she took deep breaths. Her pink lips trembled as she muttered something over and over, indecipherable...Thomas stared in wonder as her eyes rolled up into her head and she fell back to the ground."


"He guzzled his water, relishing the wet coolness as it washed down his dry throat."


"Thomas stood up to pace around the little room, fuming with an intense desire to keep his promise. "I swear, Chuck," he whispered to no one. "I swear I'll get you back home."


And my personal favourite: a hunk of cliché, gender stereotyping, bad grammar and poor writing all rolled into one:

"He was somewhere very close to sleep when a voice spoke in his head, a pretty, feminine voice that sounded as if it came from a fairy goddess trapped in his skull."

I can only beg for mercy at this point. And WTH is a 'fairy goddess'? Ohhhh, it's a made-up thing that brings together everything pretty and nice and girly and lovely because that's what the only female character has to be.

Special mention: Why Does Dasher Have To Capitalise Every Made-Up Word In The Book?

Idiolect: I'm pretty sure that when Dashner wrote this book, he filled it will swear-words and then went through with CTRL + F and replaced them all with the infuriating made-up, faux-swears that the characters use. "shuck-face", "klunk" etc. He even has one of the kids *explain* why they use the word klunk and what it means (s***). So the characters themselves are aware that they're using ridiculous, invented words, but it's never explained why. It's like Dashner expects us to accept that this is a world where the swear-words we know don't exist; otherwise, why would a group of teen boys self-censor? It would have been infinitely better to just leave the swearing out entirely.

So yeah. That about sums up my most basic feelings about this book. I'm an avid reader of both adult and YA fiction, and I'm not one for leaving a book unfinished, but The Maze Runner just about did me in. It's an incredibly bad book, and I'm considering taking the (brand new!) other books in the series down to the charity shop rather than actually putting myself through the torture of reading them.

It was *that* bad.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What is it about young adult fiction and dystopian futures? Why do the nation's teenagers relish such downcast visions of their future? I don't know the answer to that, but this sub-genre has generated some great novels in recent years. Whilst never quite reaching the heights of Unwind,The Hunger Games  or The City of Ember, the Maze Runner is an interesting addition to an ever-growing list of fictional dystopias.

The novel opens with Thomas arriving in the 'Glade'. He has no recollection of how he arrived there, whether he has any family, or what his life had been like beforehand. The Glade is populated by adolescent boys, who have arrived one per month, as part of a strange and little understood experiment. They are surrounded by huge walls, in which doors open during daylight hours. Beyond these doors is a maze.

At night the doors shut, sealing the Glade off from the horrific 'Greivers', peculiar mechanical-organic hybrids that ruthlessly hunt down and kill anybody unlucky enough to find themselves outside after dark. The entire area is a man-made construct - night and day are artificial, the climate is constant and the maze terminates at the sheer and vertiginous 'Cliff'.

Thomas's arrival immediately alters the community's dynamic. He questions why they are there and how to get out, sowing discord amongst the boys. In an attempt to find answers, he starts to explore the maze, and even takes on the dreaded Greivers.

'The Maze Runner', is an interesting novel, moving at a fair pace throughout, but it is never entirely convincing. The set-up is too artificial, and though there are some surprises along the way, the conclusion is never in much doubt. The interaction between the boys is weak; the various factions and feuds don't feel real, which is a great shame. Though the Maze is imposing, looming large in the boys' lives, I don't think the author manages to exploit its full potential.

The novel's conclusion, though in some ways predictable, does contain a number of nice surprises. Rather irritatingly, it also suggests a back story that is more intriguing than the tale told in the rest of the novel. The inevitable second volume looks set to take place in a troubled future Earth, with a premise that, if not entirely original, is certainly compelling. A series to watch, perhaps?
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on 5 January 2013
I was recommended this series by a friend, who thought they were amazing. I certainly don't disagree.

This novel begins with the main character, Thomas, showing up in a area called the glade with no memories except for his first name. The glade has fifty to sixty other boys around his age in it all with no recollection of their previous life. All of the boys are attempting to find their way out of the glade through the maze which is next to the glade. The day after he arrives, another person shows up - but this time it's a girl. Usually they get one new boy once a month on the same day so this is highly unusual. The girl then seems to be the root of more problems that start occurring and Thomas seems to recognise the girl from somewhere. It is so interesting how everything is like a jigsaw, metaphorically speaking. The fun is in how the reader guesses how it all works out. Then you discover Thomas's secret near the end. A must read, in my opinion!
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on 26 October 2014
if you thought divergent was a work of genius, you'll love Maze Runner. It is equally vacuous, mind numbing drivel. It doesn't so much have plot holes, as plot canyons. Anyone with an active imagination, and any kind of world view more complex than a 5yo child will find this book to be laughably stupid. There are some really great young adult authors out there - pullman, higson, etc. Encourage authors like them, buy not buying thoughtless drivel like this - you're better than that.
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on 24 September 2015
I'm not entirely sure how I missed the whole Maze Runner phenomenon. I read a fair amount of YA but somehow this never crossed my desk, despite having heard all the hype about it, until I saw the trailer for The Scorch Trials and was interested enough to see what it was all about.

I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting, but whatever it was, it wasn't what I read and I'm sorry to say that I was a bit disappointed by it.

Straight off, I struggled to get into the story because of the language. While I understand why it was written that way (to make the reader empathise with Thomas) it was incredibly off-putting to me as a reader and dragged on without explanation for so long that I considered just giving up several times. If my friend hadn't persuaded me that it was worth continuing with, I probably would have abandoned the story at about 20% in.

I never really got emotionally invested in the characters. They all seemed a bit flat somehow. I couldn't care enough about Thomas to really want everything to become clear for him. The only character I felt something for was Chuck, but even that wasn't enough to provide any real momentum for my feelings towards the story.

A big part of my problem with this book was that the whole premise just seemed ridiculous. I mean...who drops a bunch of kids into a maze with deadly predators just for the hell of it? And why would said kids keep running the maze after it became clear that the patterns were all repeating quite early on? It didn't occur to me until I was somewhere around 70% that it had echoes of The Hunger Games Hunger Games Trilogy (Box set), the first two books of which I absolutely loved. Once the comparison had been made, I just couldn't shake it and I'm afraid it sounded the death knell for this book for me because, in my humble opinion, The Hunger Games were better. It may be an issue of perspective or scope, but I really connected with the other series and I just couldn't with this one. It may be because there was no back story to the characters here - no family to tug on the heart strings or deprivation to make you cheer for the underdog. It's possibly also because there's no obvious villain to root against. The Creators are just too vague and nebulous and the grievers, to me, sounded like the love child of a Dalek and Jabba the Hutt, so it was hard to take them seriously.

Even when it gets to the end and you find out what the purpose of the maze was, it didn't really produce any reaction because it had been so heavily foreshadowed earlier on.

The only part of the book that really hooked me in was the Epilogue which, of course, ended on a cliff-hanger.

I appreciated that this review is quite negative, but I feel I should state here that this isn't a bad book and I know a great many people that thoroughly enjoyed it. It's certainly well-paced and well constructed, despite the plot being a little fuzzy around the edges. The fact that I didn't enjoy it is almost entirely down to personal taste. I am considering getting the second book because that final twist on the last two pages made me curious.

Would I recommend it? Yes. If you're a hardcore reader of YA that liked the Hunger Games and are looking for something in a similar vein (and you're less judgemental than me lol) you'll probably really quite enjoy this.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 September 2014
The Maze Runner is a young adult dystopian story and it's not hard to see why this story was snapped up by 20th Century Fox as it's a gripping story full of twists and turns set in a world that will no doubt make an impression on the big screen. This story starts when Thomas arrives at the Glade in the box. Thomas has absolutely no memories about his past or who he is and is very confused by his surroundings, which is to be expected given that the Glade is occupied up of a small group of teenage boys (no adults and no girls) and is enclosed within the confines of massive stone walls. Thomas soon discovers that these boys are trapped in the Glade, which is surrounded by a huge maze, full of dangerous creatures called Grievers. Everyday, the walls open, revealing the Maze and the Gladers send out 'runners' to try and figure out a way out of the Maze. The Gladers have already been trapped for two years but they still haven't found a way out. Why? Because every night, once the stone walls close, the walls of the maze change. Escape seems futile. Everyday is the same in the Glade, that is, until Thomas shows up, when everything starts to change. Ordinarily, only one new person arrives at the Glade a month, but the day after Thomas arrives, another person is delivered via the box. A girl. A girl that recognises Thomas, no less. Things are changing in the Glade and it seems like the time to finally escape has come - but only if they can figure out the code - and their escape mission will not be easy.

Although the story is written in the third person, it follows Thomas as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on - what happened to him (and the other boys), where they are and what their purpose is. I didn't connect as much with Thomas as I expected to but he is definitely a strong male lead and a great character to read about. Not all of the characters in the story like Thomas and I think that that feeling rubbed off slightly on me as there were times when I questioned whether I really trusted him. With so many character with little to no memory of who they are and where they've come from, it can be a little difficult figuring out which characters to trust and the success of this story is probably down the huge amount of suspense that the reader feels. It is not until the very end of the story that anything really becomes clear and when it does, you kinda wish you hadn't found out what's really going on.

Dashner has created a unique and terrifying world which will probably haunt me in my dreams tonight. It's very Hunger Games-esque as you've got a group of young kids fighting for survival against what they assume is a system adults created to test them. (Why they are being tested, they have no idea). The difference is however, these kids are working as a group to try to survive so themes of friendship and how a society should function are important. Although all the main characters are children, if their age was never mentioned, I could very well believe that this was a tale for adults. This is classified as a YA novel, however, there is nothing remotely 'childish' about this book. This is a serious tale of survival and I have to be honest, Dashner's imagination frightens me.

There isn't much romance in this story but you can see that there is something developing between Thomas and Teresa, the only girl in the camp. There are some nice moments between these two but this definitely isn't one of the main plot points though I look forward to this blossoming in the future books. I am a big fan of romance in YA books, but in this case, I didn't really care that there wasn't all that much of it because there was so much going on in terms of friendships and the developing ties between different characters.

All in all, The Maze Runner is definitely up there with top YA titles such as The Hunger Games and The 5th Wave and if you haven't read it yet, then you absolutely must pick up a copy before the film comes out next month. The cliffhanger at the end of The Maze Runner makes sure that readers will want to pick up the next book and I cannot wait to see how the plot develops from here. I absolutely tore through this book and finished it in no time, desperate to find out what was going on. Dashner has now been added to my list of favourite authors and I would give this story 5 stars simply for the terrifying world that Dashner has created.
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on 7 January 2014
Very rarely do I put a book down but after getting halfway through this I just couldn't face picking it back up again. The characters are cardboard cut-outs, the plot is one deus ex machina after another and the writing is stilted and awkward.

The story begins well enough with our main character Thomas taking a lift into "the Glade" - a kind of safe enclosure where boys work together in different jobs and is its own kind of society. Like Thomas, these boys have no memories of their life before and spend a lot of their energy trying to solve the maze beyond the boundaries of the Glade (annoyingly capitalised like so many words in this book). And this is where the problems begin.

If these boys can't remember a life before and are currently safe and happy, why waste time and risk lives on a maze they're not even sure can be solved? It could be one large-scale experiment with no exit but after two years these boys are still relentlessly searching for a way out while being chased by slug-like creatures called "Grievers". Of course, our protagonist is just that special that he is able to solve the mysteries of this maze in what must be a few days and despite being one of the most arrogant and unlikable characters I've had the misfortune of reading about, he is worshipped among the boys.

Predictably anyone who does not like Thomas is evil and he treats everyone else like they are below him. His supposed "friendship" with Chuck is ridiculous when we can hear his internal monologue and it is not flattering, leading us to see that he only uses Chuck when no one else can put up with his endless whining. He contributes nothing to the Gladers' society and even thinks that kind of work is below him, instead demanding to become a maze runner because ... the plot demands it I guess? He begins to remember things at the most convenient times and the plot bends to his will which is a clear sign of a Gary Stu.

The rest of the characters are so flat I can't distinguish between them when they speak with perhaps the exception of Minho, who starts the novel refreshingly sarcastic and doesn't listen to any of Thomas' demands. Unfortunately he becomes one of Thomas' biggest sycophants and at this point I just ended up feeling disgusted. Not only that, the only female character in this entire book spends at least half of it in a coma and the scene she is introduced makes me feel extremely uncomfortable but the author plays off the rape-y jokes as a "boys will be boys" scenario and I can't even begin to explain how much this angers me. When the characters speak, the use of made up slang started off as something I found quite creative but its overuse just becomes irritating and it makes it impossible to understand half of what they are trying to say.

The turning point for me was when Thomas made one of the most ridiculous decisions he could have made and I nearly threw the book away. I endeavoured to read on for a few more chapters before I just had to put it down and forget about it. I could see this book working better as movie as we won't be in Thomas' head but it is not one I will be going to see and I wouldn't recommend this series to anyone.
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on 16 January 2012
3.5 stars

An interesting read all in all. Took me a while to get into it but once things really started to pick up, I was enthralled. The story moves along at a nice pace and there is plenty of action and mystique to keep younger viewers captivated.

Although I enjoyed this novel and want to read the sequel 'The Scorch Trials', there were a few things that I didn't particularly enjoy. The main protagonist, Thomas, annoyed me beyond me belief due to his superiority complex and how he very conveniently becomes the `saviour' of the Gladers after two years of them being unable to solve the Maze and he has only been there a day or two. Also seems rather too convenient how Thomas keeps `remembering' so many vital details essential to the Gladers survival, seemed rather lazy on the author's part that this happened instead of allowing the Gladers to explore these avenues themselves. Also, his relationship with Chuck seemed very forced and I did not envision it as being genuine in the slightest.

The Maze itself also didn't really represent anything particularly quizzical or scary for the reader due to the same adjectives used to describe it throughout the book. Similarly, the Grievers did not seem very monstrous to me. Due to the lack of description made by Dashner I just couldn't picture them at all whenever they appeared: describing something as a ball of blubber with knives and needles sticking out of it does not make for a good mental vision and certainly does not instil any horror in the reader.

Other than these few problems, I did enjoy reading this and I look forward to reading the sequel.
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