The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: October 6th 2009
My Rating: 5 Starfish
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 30 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. - Summary and cover image from Goodreads
Where to begin?!?!?!
I had heard about "The Maze Runner" some time ago and thought to buy it, (which I took my sweet time doing) and let me tell you... I couldn't put it down! I fell instantly in love with the world James Dashner had created. The idea of using people like rats and putting them into a maze was perfection. I had really high expectations that the book met in spades!
Writing Style: The writing was really straightforward and I liked that, but I know that a lot of people took issue with it. Instead of showing how the main character felt, it was just said. For example: "He doubled over, hunger tearing at his empty stomach", instead it was, "He was hungry, or dying of hunger". See the difference?
Plot: The plot was definitely the strong point of the book. It was original and fast-paced. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! The twists and turns came up at just the right moments. Everything was logically connected and well thought out (it made me think of "National Treasure"). It's not a predictable plot at all, but one that keeps you guessing!
Setting: I love dystopias, and this one is one of the best I've seen so far. It's set in a world slowly dying from disease, where a super creepy organization called "Wicked"(yeah, they sound trustworthy) slaughters children by tossing them in a man-made terror called The Maze for scientific reasons.
Shock Factors: Mind-boggling. That's all I have to say about that.
Thomas: Thomas struck me as kind of a guy's guy. I couldn't relate to him much, and his overall character was really strange to me. I honestly don't know what to think of him.
Newt: I love Newt's personality! He's kind of rough around the edges, but he has a sweet side too.
Minho: Minho is the sassiest character I've ever read about. I loved his big mouth and hot temper. He ended up being my favorite character. Well done Dashner, well done.
Secondary Characters: There are quite a few characters in the story, so in the interest of keeping my review from being too long, I'm going to talk about them as a whole. The characters were fleshed out and fairly complex. Most of them were pretty likeable with the exception of a small few that I had hoped would get taken by Grievers.
Strengths: Fun fact about me, I LIVE for bromances! So of course, the bromance between Thomas, Newt, and Minho was a big reason why I was so wrapped up in the book. I would definitely consider their friendship to be a strength, along with the plot twists and killer suspense.
Weaknesses: It took me several chapters before I got pulled into the story, so it might be a little slow in the beginning. But keep reading because it gets super crazy later on.
I would recommend this book to thrill-seekers and anyone looking for a satisfactory read.