Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: October 6th 2009
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction
Purchase: The Book Depository | Amazon
❝ 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.
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.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
Remember. Survive. Run.❞
There is something about this book, this series even, that has left me completely mesmerized. I’ve seen people compare it to the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent. Such a comparison does not do the book justice though, because it’s completely original and exciting in its own right.
There is some really impressive and unique world-building in this book. The Glade is a huge maze with massive doors that close in an open area that has everything a group of people would need to survive: buildings, cattle, a place to grow crops. The doors close at night to protect the group from the dangers outside, in the maze. There is no way out.
The survival aspect of the book reminded me of Lord of the Flies. It’s not a rip-off at all, but both books gave me the same feeling of wanting to desperately know what happens next. Both Dashner and Golding are excellent writers when it comes to portraying the will to survive, the solidarity and rivalry, the desperation, the tension, the fear. This is a big part of the reason why I finished The Maze Runner in just a few days.
Furthermore, I loved all of the characters. Not only was there ethnic diversity, there was diversity in characteristics too. While Thomas and Minho are really brave, Chuck is a bit cowardly but really sweet. Gally is the bad guy of the Glade while Newt is overly loyal and the sweetest of the bunch.
The only problem I had, was with the narrative. The story is told from Thomas’ point of view, but he just arrived in The Glade and has practically no idea what is going on. I had a lot of a questions whilst reading and it took really long for them to be answered. That sometimes made the book a frustrating read.
The last part of the book totally made up for that though because it offered so much clarity, alongside action and excitement. Furthermore, the ending was perfect. It wasn’t a completely open ending, yet it kept me curious enough to want to read the next book in the series. All in all, a very good read, that fans of dystopian novels will most likely love.