The Maze Runner by James Dashner: Book Review

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The Maze Runner

2 Stars

Thomas suddenly awakes in a box as a group of other teenage boys looks down at him, calling him unfathomable names like “shank” and “greenie.” He has no idea how he got there or where he came from. All he remembers from his past is his name.

He eventually learns that this group of 50-60 boys live in the heart of a maze. They’ve been looking for a way out for years and haven’t found it yet. They must return to the Glade every night, or else they’ll be locked out and left for the Grievers. Thomas starts to have a feeling that he knows more about the maze than he first thought. Turns out he’s right.


Ya know, dystopian novels are just not my thing, yet I keep trying. At what point do I give up? Is it good that I keep trying or is it a waste of my time? I just don’t know.

My problem with this book was that absolutely no one would tell Thomas what was going on. Granted, they don’t know a whole lot about what’s going on either, but someone could at least say, as soon as they get him out of the box, “Look, dude. You’re in the middle of a gigantic maze. None of us knows how we got here. None of us remembers anything before waking up in that box. We get supplies weekly. Don’t get caught outside the Glade after dark because these horrible monsters that we call Grievers will kill you. Yes, we’ve been looking for a way out but we haven’t found it yet. Any questions?” Instead it’s just a whole lot of, “Shut up with the questions! We’ll explain tomorrow.” And then, when tomorrow comes, it’s “Shut up with the questions! I’ll get to that in a minute.” And then they don’t get to it for days. It felt like a cheap way to build suspense. I don’t think realistically that the whole scenario would play out like that. I know, I’m talking about “realistically” in a novel that has very little to do with reality (we hope), but human nature is human nature. We generally like to tell what we know.

I really–really–hated the ending.

The narrator, Mark Deakins, did do a good job. He has a fairly impressive cast of voices to keep track of, and they all did sound different, whether in pitch or in accent.

Dystopian fans will definitely like this better than I did. I won’t be continuing the series.

Read an excerpt.

Find author James Dashner on his website, his blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Buy The Maze Runner at

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore, and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. When I first saw your two star rating I was really disappointed because I have a copy of this I've been looking forward to! But, since you don't like dystopians anyway…I think it makes sense.

    I wish you would find one that you enjoy – I love them!

  2. Well, I like dystopian so I hope I like it better than you did. Your review made me smile, though. 😉

  3. I'm way bummed to hear you didn't really like this one! It's one I'm looking forward to! But then again, if you don't really care for dystopian, that would make sense.

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