Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

6186357The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Published by Delacorte Press on October 6th 2009

Pages: 384

Genre(s): YA Science Fiction, Dystopian, Action & Adventure

Rating: 2 stars

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run. description

Yup, I know. I only gave it 2 stars. And that was me being generous.

This book isn’t completely horrible, but I had a lot of problems with it. When I first started reading this, I was SO excited. I had been begging my parents to buy this book for me for weeks, and they finally did when I met a goal time at the Junior Olympics. It sounded amazing: a boy waking up in a maze with no memory of who he was or how he got there, the weird but awesome-sounding slang, and, most importantly: a girl.

So, those were my expectations for this book. My thoughts after finishing it? Read on to find out.

The Characters: All the characters felt incredibly boring and bland, especially Thomas, the main character. They all showed pretty much no personality, and I like my characters realistic, interesting, and flawed. I was obviously let down in this department. I didn’t connect with any of the characters, and the deaths of some of the characters didn’t evoke any feelings in me. This may sound harsh, but it’s true.

There was also NO character growth or development at all. Instead, the characters conveniently “remember” important information in order to move on with the plot, which really annoyed me.

Also, the characters are described as being “incredibly smart.” Well, maybe you should prove that to us, Dashner! Because as far as I could tell, these “incredibly smart” did nothing that actually appeared “smart.”

The Plot: This plot may have seemed slow-moving to some readers, and while I DID get a little bored in some parts, I was eager to finish it in order to find out how Thomas got put into the Maze in the first place. Unfortunately, the “big reveal” didn’t shock me or surprise me at all. Honestly, I was just thinking, Really Dashner? That’s the best you can come up with?

I was also really looking forward to the “scary” aspect of the plot, when, in my opinion, there was actually no scariness involved. I mean, seriously. The villains: giant mechanical blobs. And that’s supposed to freak me out? Nice try, Dashner. I like reading scary books, but this one definitely doesn’t qualify.

I was also extremely annoyed with the atrocious made-up slang. I mean, sure: it was okay at first. But when you start using terms like shuck-face and klunk every other sentence, it does get quite tiresome. Seriously, is that supposed to be cool or something?

And, most importantly: Where is the romance?!! You promised me romance!!! Just look at the synopsis: Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. You can’t just say something like that and not give us even a little romance!

The Writing Style: I didn’t enjoy the writing style in this one at all. The dialogue seemed forced and unnatural, and the action scenes felt contrived and fake. Oh, and also? Dashner uses that tiresome old writing technique called “withholding information” to move the nonexistent plot along. Literally: nothing happens. The whole plot is built around a single mystery, the meaning of the Maze, and the explanation of it really isn’t that mind blowing at all.


“If you ain’t scared… you ain’t human.”

This was the tagline that caught my attention in the first place. I was looking for an action-packed dystopian thriller novel, but I was left sorely disappointed,


“You are the shuckiest shuck faced shuck in the world!” 

I repeat: is this supposed to be cool or something???


“I promised him!” he screamed, realizing even as he did so that his voice was laced with something wrong. Almost insanity. “I promised I’d save him, take him home! I promised him!”

Ooh, emotion! Let’s have some more of this, kay?


“Just follow me and run like your life depends on it. Because it does.”

Another eye-catching quote that got me overly excited for reading this book.

Final Thought: Though I don’t exactly recommend this book, it wasn’t completely terrible. I know that I have a very unpopular opinion about this book and I may have said some harsh things in my review, but I actually was interested in the mystery behind the Maze. I did enjoy some parts of the book, like waiting in anticipation to see how it ended. Just because I didn’t enjoy the ending as much I could have doesn’t mean that I absolutely hated this book.

So….let’s talk. Did you enjoy The Maze Runner? What were your thoughts on it? I’d love to hear your opinion!


4 thoughts on “Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

  1. I didn’t enjoy this series at all. If you didn’t enjoy this one I would definitely not continue because, for me at least, they got worse as they went. I actually gave this first one 4 stars when I originally read it because I thought it set up good for the continuing novels. No. I gave the Scorch Trials 2 stars and The Death Cure 1 star.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started reading The Scorch Trials and got really bored, so I never ended up finishing the series. The only reason I wanted to finish the first book was because I wanted to figure out why Thomas was put in the Maze in the first place, so once I found out, the series kind of lost it’s meaning to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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