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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Maze Runner
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...
Published 1 month ago by kirsty

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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great
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...
Published on 17 Sep 2010 by Quicksilver


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Maze Runner, 21 Nov 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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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great, 17 Sep 2010
By 
Quicksilver (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Maze Runner (Paperback)
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Maze Runner even with its flaws was an enjoyable book, 26 Oct 2014
It was hard to go into this book without being influenced by the hype, and I failed miserably but it meant I had both high and low expectations. It’s had such a mixed range of reviews and I think I understand where they’re all coming from now because even though on the most part I enjoyed it, there were plenty of parts I didn’t.

For example while the plot was very mysterious and had a very large set-up intended to keep the reader in the dark I didn’t find myself surprised by the outcome, except the reasoning behind the “flare” which is something you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about unless you’ve already read it. The place was quite slow which allowed time to “get to know” all the different characters and their situation. It was incredible seeing how they had managed to come together creating their own little world in the Glade, with designated jobs to keep it sustainable.

A lot was down to luck or even convenience to the plot, particularly the way Thomas remembered things just when he needed them etc. I never connected to Thomas the way I love to in novels, and it wasn’t simply because he was a boy but the fact that his “heroic” actions seemed to be more stupid than anything else and the other characters agreed! Chuck was easily my favourite character, and it’s only one of the reasons I wanted a different ending.

I think it will lead on nicely to the next book, and I’m definitely intrigued to read on. The Maze Runner even with its flaws was an enjoyable book and despite the fact that it isn’t the best dystopian out there (and also reminded me of The Lord of the Flies which I hated having to read for school) I’m excited for more.

Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/
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62 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly dreadful - a chore from start to underwhelming finish, 29 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Maze Runner (Paperback)
[SOME SPOILERS!]

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."

So...many...adjectives...and...stereotypes...

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

OhmyGodplease.

"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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun that left me wanting more., 27 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Maze Runner (Kindle Edition)
This is a really good book. I got it just to fill some time before a pre-ordered book arrives. However, I’m undecided as to whether the pre-ordered one might just have to wait until I’ve read The Maze Runner’s two sequels and it’s prequel.

The general plot is that a teenager named Thomas wakes up in a strange square shaped environment called the glade, with no clue as to where he is, how he got there, who put him there or why. It turns out that loads of other boys are there too, suffering from the same problem. Surviving reasonably well by receiving supplies from a mystery source they have managed to set up a community with various jobs allocated such as farming, butchering, cooking and, dum dum dummm dum, maze running. The whole area is surrounded by an enormous maze that opens up each morning and closes at night. The maze runners go out in an attempt to find a way out of the maze. There’s some nasty things out there though.

Strange things start to happen after Thomas’s arrival, one of them being the arrival of a girl the day after Thomas. Who is she and why has a girl been sent when all previous arrivals have been boys?

Whilst it’s not the greatest story ever told and yet it somehow managed to hook me in by slowly revealing hints as to why they are being held in the glade and how they might be able to escape. Tensions mounting, fights breaking out, trust gained and lost, fear kicking in, and desperation all lead to plenty of chapter end cliff hangers which make you want to read ‘just one more chapter’. The last section of the book is a breathless rush of action with some surprises thrown in and an ending that left me wanting more, partly because it was such a fun story and partly because I want to know the answers to some questions that that haven’t been answered yet.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't even finish it, 7 Jan 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enough twists and turns to get lost in, 15 Oct 2014
By 
simon211175 (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Maze Runner (Kindle Edition)
I'd seen this book around before it was made in to a "major film", but I have to admit it was only after watching the film's trailer that I decided it would be worth a crack. Before that, I just thought it sounded too similar to The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy). As good as those books are - and they really are - I wasn't convinced I wanted to read more of the same but with slightly different settings.

But alas, here we are. And I was wrong.

Hard to believe I know, but it's there in writing. This book kept me interested right to the last words, and not once while reading was I wondering when Katniss would make an appearance to save the day. So yeah, this isn't the same.

What we do have however, is a very well written start to a series of four (I think) books, where the maze is only the start of the trouble. When I started this, I had no idea there were more after this. Now I realise I need to fit three more books into my already packed TBR list. Such is life.

Whilst reading however, I was drawn into similarities between this book, The Annihilation of Foreverland, and Idlewild (Idlewild Trilogy 1). Both of those are truly excellent reads, and if you do read this, you'll want to be reading them also.

Overall, I would wholeheartedly recommend reading this book, and I will be looking forward to reading book 2 soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply addictive, 16 Dec 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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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Read Pullman , Higson, etc before being reduced to reading this utter tosh, 26 Oct 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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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner? More like chapter turner..., 20 Jan 2013
By 
marky77 (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I loved this book. The fact that it has a mini-cliffhanger at the end of almost every chapter meant I found it very difficult to put down as it had that "just-one-more-chapter" feel to it. I kept telling myself I would just read one more chapter...and then I would finish it and immediately start the next one and so on...

Thomas wakes up as as the lift he is in opens with no memory of who or where he is. He is met by a group of boys who introduce them selves as "Gladers" and discovers that they are alone and living in the center of an enormous maze. None of them have any memory of events before the maze.

Since mystery is a big part of the book it is difficult to say much more about the plot without giving away any twists/ it is probably going into this one knowing as little as possible.

This is an excellent young adult thriller that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. Original and addictive. Highly recommended.
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The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
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