Book Review | The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Release Date: October 6th 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 374
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"When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade - a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there - or what's happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything - even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrols its corridors, to find out."

My Thoughts
This book absolutely blew me away! I literally could not put it down when reading, each chapter ending so that you could do nothing but continue on. I found it so refreshing to read a book after so long where I just couldn't predict what would happen next.

The plot was interesting and moved at excellent pace so there were never any times when I was loosing interest. I found the world building to be really well executed in this novel, each aspect of the glade and maze was constructed in such a way that it felt real, that this place could really exist. The main issue I tend to find with some dystopian novels is the lack of presence the world has, most tend to go with 'huge mushroom cloud explosion and now the world is in tatters' type explanation and then because of this don't necessarily give great descriptions of the surroundings, instead just assuming you think of ruined lands.

I really like the main character Thomas, especially the way that he interacted with the others in the novel. It was very realistic in the beginning with how much questions he was asking and his reactions to being ignored. Also with this aspect I liked that a lot of information was withheld from the reader. It made the story more intense as piece by piece the mystery of the maze unfolded keeping with great pace and suspense. The other characters in the book really all had great conversations, it was the right amount of sarcasm, wit and friendship that really tied them all together. You really experienced a great dynamic within the group and I think that was especially well done by not going overboard with the introduction of characters.

The only 'flaw' I could give this book, and I say that loosely, was the use of third person narrative. Personally I think that in certain cases, such as Harry Potter, it works well as the author can switch points of view to reveal more to the reader, but in the Maze Runner I just didn't think it was necessary. At first it bothered me slightly as I'm not so used to reading in that narrative but after a couple of chapters I forgot about it. (As I said VERY minor 'flaw')

Overall I thought this book was amazing and I would totally recommend it to most people who enjoy anything young adult dystopian, SciFi or Fantasy (or all of them!). I also think this would be a great book for males, especially as it has the uniqueness of having a pretty much all male set of characters. (I say this as I know many boys/men can be put off the YA genre as a lot of the books are geared towards females).