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The Maze Runner (Book 1) by James Dashner
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The Maze Runner (Book 1) (original 2009; edition 2010)

by James Dashner

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,944594411 (3.82)1 / 323
Member:creighley
Title:The Maze Runner (Book 1)
Authors:James Dashner
Info:Delacorte Press (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Futuristic-fiction; Dystopia; YA

Work details

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)

  1. 440
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (smammers)
  2. 220
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (aeleone)
    aeleone: More sci-fi than Maze Runner, but the characters experience a similar situation as the boys in the maze. Plus, it's super classic.
  3. 122
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (bookworm12)
  4. 80
    Gone by Michael Grant (stephxsu)
    stephxsu: Incredible world-building and suspense-building featuring a plethora of interesting and sympathetic characters.
  5. 40
    Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (bluenotebookonline)
    bluenotebookonline: Bit more fantasy than The Maze Runner, but a similar setup (hero who's trapped) and pace.
  6. 52
    Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Waterbuggg)
    Waterbuggg: Both books are action-packed and have a similar premise and secret.
  7. 30
    Wool by Hugh Howey (KatyBee)
  8. 00
    The Last Girl by Joe Hart (LiteraryReadaholic)
  9. 00
    The Final Trade (The Dominion Trilogy) by Joe Hart (LiteraryReadaholic)
  10. 00
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (gaialover)
  11. 00
    The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen (kaledrina)
  12. 22
    Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (bluenotebookonline)
    bluenotebookonline: Also action packed, has a dystopian setting, includes quite a bit of kids vs. adults, etc. Prinz award winner.
  13. 00
    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (Anonymous user)
  14. 00
    Das Labyrinth erwacht by Rainer Wekwerth (Friederike.Geissler)
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English (586)  Spanish (4)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All (594)
Showing 1-5 of 586 (next | show all)
The Maze Runner is a YA, post-apocalyptic, dystopian story in much the same vein as The Hunger Games or Divergent. The main difference, though, is that with those stories, particularly The Hunger Games, the reader knows what the characters’ main objective is right from the start and it’s just a matter of them reaching their goals. In The Maze Runner, Thomas, the main character, has no idea who he really is or why he was sent to the Glade. Also, no one who lives there has any idea what the Maze is all about, how to solve it, or if there even is a solution. This gave the book an air of mystery and suspense throughout that kept me reading and coming back for more. A couple of times, I figured things out before the kids did, which made those parts ever so slightly predictable. I also remember coming up with questions on occasion, some of which were answered and others that I don’t think were. For this reason, if a reader really wanted to deeply scrutinize this story, they could probably come up with some things to complain about. However, I found myself quickly forgetting my ruminations not long after they occurred to me, simply because the book was so darn entertaining. I couldn’t help wanting to know what was going on, since the reader is every bit as much in the dark as Thomas is, and I couldn’t wait for him to uncover the next piece of the puzzle. Not everything is revealed by the end, so even if I wasn’t a latecomer to the series, I’d know that a sequel was in the works. And that little bit of mystery that’s left at the end makes me eager to read the next book soon.

Thomas is the main character and third-person narrator of the story. It begins with him waking up in a metal box which he quickly realizes is an elevator. Aside from his name and basic knowledge of the world around him, he has no memory of who he is, where he came from, or how he ended up in this predicament. When the Box finally stops, he has arrived in a place called the Glade, where about fifty other boys work and live. None of them remember their lives before the Glade either. They just keep going through the same motions every single day, with one of those daily activities being that some of the boys go out into the Maze surrounding the Glade, searching for a way out. Unfortunately a few of them have been there for two years and still haven’t had any success in solving the maze. Plus the stakes are raised by the horrific monsters known as Grievers who live in the Maze that have either killed or “stung” several boys who came before Thomas. Although he has no idea why, Thomas longs to become a Runner, one of the boys who run the maze every day, from the moment he arrives in the Glade.

I really liked Thomas. He’s a smart kid who helps the Gladers figure out some things they might not have without him. He has a curious nature that serves him well in many ways, although it can be frustrating for him (and me too :-)) when the Keepers, the boys who are in charge of each area of the Glade, refuse to answer his questions. Thomas is also very intuitive about a number of things, which when added to his intelligence and curiosity, makes him a mentally well-rounded character. On top of that, he’s quite brave, daring to do things that the others are afraid to attempt. He’s also a natural born leader, stepping up to the plate on more than one occasion to kind of take charge – I say “kind of” only because he’s not an official Keeper – but ultimately, he’s the person who finally helps them solve the puzzle that’s been plaguing them for so long. I also like that Thomas is an emotionally balanced character. He’s tough and strong when he needs to be, but he shows emotion when it’s appropriate to do so rather than trying to hide his feelings. I also like how protective he is of Teresa when she becomes the first girl to enter the Glade. Overall, Thomas is a great friend and an all-around stand-up guy.

Thomas may be the main hero of the story, but there are plenty of supporting characters he meets along the way who play important roles, too. There’s Alby and Newt, who are both Keepers, but who are also the de facto co-leaders of the Gladers. Alby can be a bit abrasive at times, which doesn’t endear him to Thomas, but unlike some of the others, he can be reasonable. Newt is a little more of a peace-keeper who Thomas looks to for guidance and who sees the potential in Thomas. Chuck becomes Thomas’ younger shadow and their easy friendship makes them seem more like brothers. Gally, one of the Keepers, is confrontational from the start. He was “stung” by a Griever, which changed him, but most seem to agree that he wasn’t particularly easy to get along with even before that. There’s Minho, the Keeper of the Runners, who has no trouble believing in Thomas after Thomas saves his life. And then there’s Teresa, who not only shakes things up by being the first girl in the Glade, but after she arrives, everything about the Glade starts to change, leaving several Gladers thinking that she had something to do with it.

From a parental perspective, I feel that the book is fine for its intended audience. Although a few of the boys make some slightly objectifying comments about Teresa after she arrives, nothing untoward happens. Although Thomas has feelings for her that seem to be reciprocated, there’s no sensuality of any kind, not even kissing. The language issue is somewhat murky. While there are no genuine bad words from American English, the author does use a couple of moderate British profanities (bloody and bugger) as well as a few slang and euphemistic words (eg. shuck and klunk) that stand in for real bad words. These are peppered throughout and the Gladers sometimes use them as insults toward each other, but since they aren’t actual profanities, I’m inclined to mostly give them a pass. Savvy young people will probably figure out the meanings anyway, but they might go over the heads of younger readers. That leaves only the violence, which I would say is on par with The Hunger Games or Divergent, as a possible detractor. The kids engage in a couple of bloody battles with the Grievers, and what the Griever venom does to a person when they get “stung,” can be pretty grotesque. Thomas learns of the boys who previously died in the Glade, one of whom was sliced in half. Along the way, some characters we meet also die, including ones that readers will likely come to care about. Overall, though, it’s not too bad, definitely no worse than a PG-13 movie, so I’d say that it’s perfectly acceptable for a teenage audience, and I might possibly even say it’s OK for middle-school aged kids with some mild reservations and a recommendation of parental or educator guidance.

IMHO, The Maze Runner was an excellent story that’s bound to get kids reading with its fast-paced action and adventure, as well as keep them reading with its mystery and suspense. With its male-centric perspective, I think it would especially appeal to boys, but I’m sure many girls will like it, too, since I did. I was particularly impressed with the diversity of the characters, who come from different races and backgrounds (what little we know of them anyway). I think there are also some lessons to be gleaned from the way the Gladers must pull together and work as a team, as well as a couple of characters’ selfless sacrifices. They also exhibited persistence in not giving up on solving the Maze, even though no one had been able to figure it out in two long years, and in spite of the frustrations of not knowing exactly who they were or why they were there. So, overall, The Maze Runner was a great story that’s left me eager to dive into The Scorch Trials to see just how deep this rabbit hole goes. ( )
  mom2lnb | Jun 27, 2017 |
This book is about a boy named Thomas and they are trying to escape a maze. Their is a deadly virus outside the maze but they are immune to it. So the people at wicked are testing them trying to cure the disease. So they put them in maze without their memory. They have to face many challenges to get out of the maze. They have to get to know the maze and they have to watch out for the grievers. They have to risk their life to get out of the maze.

I really liked this book because it had a lot of action. It also never had a dull moment. So if you like fast paced books then read this. The people that like action will like this book believe me. It always keeping you on the edge of your seat. I gave it 4 stars because it was a really good book. You will like it I promise. ( )
  Perata | Jun 1, 2017 |
So there's a movie. Based on a book. And the trailer looked intriguing. So I read the book. Decidedly weird. The first half was one of the slowest frenetic jumbles I've read in a while. Slow in a way that a director can probably condense to 10 minutes tops. Frenetic in that lots of stuff happens, but nothing really...that slow part. Cute gimmick on the author's part...parceling out inchorent tidbits. And bizarre slang...never something I like...but after a while one gets inured.

This is fodder for a 20 minute movie that can be stretched with lots of CGI. But it was engaging enough to get to the "Are you kidding me?" ending. Haven't decided if the cliffhanger warrants reading the next. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
I believe this is now my fourth young adult/teen dystopian novel. Some novels strive to give you details through flashbacks and such, others for you to discover. I prefer the former, but Maze Runner is feeling more like the latter. As I read, I fought the urge to compare this to the Hunger Games, Divergent, and 5th Wave.

A lot of the first half of the book is set up. Kinda expected, but lengthy for my taste. Action was limited, even though the tension was ratcheting.

It annoyed me that I made it more than half way through the book and they've detailed how ONE replacement word got selected. Klunk is another word for Poo, which is better than the actual word it could be. But they use Shank, Shuck, and a few others interchangeably and don't really explain why. They just do. And MC Thomas uses them almost from the beginning too. He's never really taught their swears.

Knew the twist was coming. When they find the Griever Hole, that's like showing a gun in the first act. It has to factor into the plot somehow. Though to be honest, the more the book goes on, the more Thomas bugs me, the more the "Above Average" kids seem rather dumb. I suspect Chuck really was Thomas's little brother. That would explain a few things.

Somehow, I expected the ending. Decent overall book, though not something I'd rate top of the pile. Not sure I am ready for book 2 just yet... ( )
  gilroy | May 16, 2017 |
Genre: Science Fiction
Summary: In this book a boy named Thomas wakes up in a strange maze with only males living at the center of it. Then one day a girl shows up with a note saying she is the last one. Scary grievers lived inside the maze, so the boys didn't try very hard to get out. Until one day, the grievers came into where the boys (and 1 girl) lived. At this point, the group all had to find their way out of the maze. Thomas leads the group and they eventually make it out, only to realize that they aren't yet safe. This is science fiction because grievers are made up, and the world is not falling apart with a deadly disease. It was a story about a dystopia set in a very science ridden world.
Use in classroom: I think this book would be too scary to read outloud, but would be a good book to recommend to boys in the classroom.
Age appropriateness: Intermediate ( )
  mdalbeck15 | Apr 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 586 (next | show all)
 
The story reads like a maze with erroneous turns, dead ends, and a plot that should work but falls short.
added by Katya0133 | editLibrary Media Connection, Constance G. Pappas (Nov 1, 2009)
 
James Dashner has created a thrilling dystopian novel.
 
The Maze Runner has a great hook, and fans of dystopian literature, particularly older fans of Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember (Random, 2003), will likely enjoy this title and ask for the inevitable sequel.
added by Katya0133 | editSchool Library Journal, Kristin Anderson (Oct 1, 2009)
 
With a fast-paced narrative steadily answering the myriad questions that arise and an ever-increasing air of tension, Dashner's suspenseful adventure will keep readers guessing until the very end.
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (Sep 21, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Dashnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deakins, MarkReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Straub, PhilipCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Lynette. This book was a three-year journey,
and you never doubted.
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He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.
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Teen must run through maze
To figure out his past and
Survive scary plot.
(legallypuzzled)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385737955, Paperback)

The first book in the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series—The Maze Runner is a modern classic, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:02 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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