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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
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...
Published 20 months ago by Sue Wilson

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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly dreadful - a chore from start to underwhelming finish
[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,...
Published 5 months ago by Lorrie


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 5 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Maze Runner (Kindle Edition)
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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27 of 30 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 Brilliant start to the trilogy, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: The Maze Runner (Kindle Edition)
This is going to be done from memory as I read this book over a year ago now and never wrote a review at the time. What's spurred me on is that I've recently finished the trilogy and now feel that I should review all three books.

This is the first book in the trilogy and introduces us to Thomas and WICKED (although by the end there still so many unanswered questions about this organisation). The book starts with Thomas in 'The Box' where he is being transported somewhere unknown and with no memories at all. All he knows is that he is called Thomas. He ends up in a place called The Glade with a group of boys called the Gladers. It's here that we meet Minho, Newt, Gally, Alby, Frypan and Chuck among others and we start to find out about life in the maze. Not long after Thomas arrives in the Glade, they get another new arrival, which is strange as they don't normally arrive so quickly. Stranger still is that fact that it's a girl who calls out Thomas' name before lapsing into unconsciousness. Attached to Theresa is note that says that she will be the last one. Later we find out that Thomas and Theresa can communicate via telepathy and that they may already know each other. The book then becomes a journey for the Gladers trying to escape the maze.

It took me a while to get into this book as I, like Thomas, had absolutely no idea what was going on! Obviously this turned to be very clever and as Thomas found things out we, as readers also got more of an insight into life in the Glade and why they were there and what they need to do to escape through the Maze. Once I got used to this and being in the dark for so long I really started to enjoy this book. Thomas was a very likeable hero and it was made quite clear that he was someone quite special and sent into the Glade/Maze in order to progress things along to their needed conclusion.

One thing that I couldn't imagine was what the Grievers actually looked like. The description was so ultra detailed that I got very confused over what they looked like. I could only picture a cow shaped creature with blades protruding from various parts of them and covered in some sort of jelly like substance and then being able to shoot out needles from other parts. And they could climb walls! For me it was like information overload and the only issue that I had with the book.

This was a very original idea and story and executed brilliantly. It was also left very open for us to think about what would happen to them next as you could see that the end was merely just another beginning. I cannot wait to see how this translates into a film and very excited to see Dylan O'Brian as Thomas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not as good as I hoped, but still a good book., 30 May 2014
This review is from: The Maze Runner (Kindle Edition)
So I've been wanting to read this book for a long time now, and when I heard that Dylan O'brien was going to be starting in the film version, I knew I had found the motivation to read it that I've been looking for. (I'm kinda in love with the dork haha).

The book starts of with Thomas arriving, without his memory or any clue as to how or why he is there. We learn pretty early on that for 2 years, everything has gone pretty smoothly and like clockwork, apart from being forced to run through a maze to find escape of course. Anyway like I said, everything has run like clockwork for 2 years. Once a month they get a new person arrive, once a week they get supplies at the same time every week. They don't ask questions anymore as their job is survival and finding a way out. That is until another new person arrives the day after Thomas, that would be strange enough if it wasn't for the fact that person is a girl. Since Thomas arrives he has the uneasy feeling like his been there before, but with nothing to back it up he puts it down to nothing other than deja vu, only as time goes on some of the other boys start saying they know him, that he has something to do with The Creators. Why should he believe them though? they are just delusional kids who have gone through the changing, something that happens after being stung by a griever right? only the girl who arrived on spoke one word before slipping into a coma, his name.

It's plain to see early on that Thomas has a bigger part to play than he knows, and while he is still trying to earn his stripes around the community its getting harder and harder to ignore. Faced with a massive maze that's constantly changing, life is pretty hard and when it seems like time is running out, desperation levels reach an all time high.

My thoughts?
Like I said, this is a book I have been waiting a long time to read. And at first it didn't disappoint. I loved the characters, Thomas as a whole was a good character, a bit whiny for my liking but I guess if I woke up somewhere and didn't know how the hell I got there or who I was before I would be the same. Some of the sub character were also really interesting. My favourite out of the lot would have to have been Chuck and Minho. Chuck was a very shy boy of around 12 or 13 who was the first to befriend Thomas, he didn't have many friends and was the newbie until Thomas arrived, he didn't always make an impact in the book but was loyal from start to finish. Minho on the other hand was a Runner (the people who search the maze each day), something Thomas decided from day one he would be. And even though he never said much he was yet again someone who was loyal from the second he met Thomas, and I liked that. Teresa (the only girl) was on the other hand one character I couldn't get on with, but having only read the first book so far I'm trying to reserve my judgement. All in all the character in general were ok and I'd like to get to know them a bit more.

One thing I will say I didn't like about the book was the swearing. Now they weren't swearing really, they had made up words to represent them, but said at least one of them in almost ever sentence and I just found it very pointless. It was as if it was James Dashner's way of making it kid friendly without completely taking the words away, if that makes any sense at all?. It reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games too, and at times was hard to fallow. But for the start of the series I suppose it could have been worse. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Electrifying and compelling, 25 Aug 2014
By 
Kieran Fanning (Meath, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Maze Runner (Kindle Edition)
In this novel Dashner has created a unique and unusual scenario and thrown a bunch of teenagers into the middle of it. The reader too, is also landed into the middle of his terrifying maze. We become one of the Gladers - unsure of what's going on, and desperate to find out. In many respects, it reminded me of the hit US TV series, "Lost". For years we followed the exploits of the island's characters in a bid to find out what the hell was going on. And just like the TV series, Dashner concludes each short chapter with a hook which compels us to turn the page. However, unlike "Lost", when we reach the end of "The Maze Runner" we are left satisfied with the explanation and don't feel like we were duped by the author or that he was making it up as he went along.
A highly original concept which makes for electrifying and compelling reading.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book I Have Ever Read, 21 Sep 2013
When my friends told me about this book, I was sceptical, thinking it would be a repeat of The Hunger Games. It was not. Although I loved the Hunger Games trilogy, this is head and shoulders above it. The description is unbelievable and the storyline is never boring. At the end of each chapter, it ends on a cliff hanger making it impossible to put down. I ended up finishing it in under a week and it usually takes me at least 3 weeks to finish other books of the same length. I cannot praise it highly enough.
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17 of 20 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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16 of 19 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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read, 16 Jan 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun that left me wanting more., 27 Aug 2014
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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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The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
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