Series: The Maze Runner #1
Also in this series: The Scorch Trials
Published by Delacorte Press on 10/6/2009
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher
My content rating: YA (Some violence, Only very tiny hints of romance)
Synopsis of The Maze Runner.
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.
Today I’m reviewing The Maze Runner, which is included in the special collector’s edition that releases today. The collector’s edition also includes The Scorch Trials, but I haven’t finished that one yet, mostly because I had trouble prying the book out of my 12-year-old son’s hands (he literally hid it from me sometimes so that I couldn’t take it from him!). My review of The Scorch Trials half of the book will be coming in the next week or two. If you’re curious what my son thought about both books, check out his review over on my other blog – Best Kids’ Reads.
I’d watched The Maze Runner movie with my kids not long ago, so I knew basically what to expect from the book. I enjoyed the movie and was looking forward to reading the original story in book form. It didn’t disappoint!
The story follows Thomas, who finds himself suddenly without his memory and stranded in a strange place filled with other teenage boys. He soon discovers that they are in a glade surrounded by a huge stone maze, which is inhabited by dangerous, seemingly half-live, half-mechanical creatures (mostly at night, but also sometimes during the day). The boys have been trying to discover the secrets of the maze so that they can escape their captivity, but it soon becomes apparent that Thomas’s appearance in the maze (and the appearance of a girl, right after him) has changed things. In fact, the boys may not have long to find their way out before they’re all dead.
What I loved:
- Grievers. The Grievers (in case you haven’t seen the movie) were hideous creatures that roamed the maze, mostly at night. The Grievers had strange, mechanical appendages like razored claws and sharp needles. If a boy got to close to a Griever and got “stung,” they would die unless they received the antidote in time, and even then they would go through something horrible that the boys of the Glade called the Changing. The Grievers played an even bigger role in the book than they did in the movie – and they seemed even more hideous in many ways. Plus, I loved the eventual discovery of the Cliff, the Grievers’ home base. Even though I thought the movie did a great job of portraying the Grievers, I thought that all of the scenes with the Grievers were a lot more intense and exciting in the book!
- Glade society. I loved the idea that the boys in the Glade had worked out their own form of society, where each person had their place and contributed to the group as a whole. I was fascinated by the descriptions of the world that the boys had created for themselves. They even formed their own government of sorts, and most kids seemed happy to abide by the decisions that the government made. While in some ways, a few of their rules seemed brutal, I could see how they would feel the need to have a sense of order in such dangerous circumstances. I could also understand why they didn’t want to take a whole lot of risks – in their world, risks often meant death!
- The mysteries. Even though I had already seen the movie, so I knew SOME of the mysteries of the Glade and the maze, there were enough differences that I still found myself wondering about quite a few mysteries in the book. It seemed like there were a lot more clues in the book to unravel – the mysterious words on the walls of the maze, the word WICKED on the beetle bugs that were watching the Glade, the antidote to being stung – and lots more. These were all elements that didn’t appear in the movie (at least not in the same way), and I found myself really intrigued, wondering how they would all fit in to the overall story.
- Little slow in the middle. There was a point in the middle of the book where things seemed to be moving a little slowly, but I honestly think that this is one case where watching the movie first actually helped me. Since I knew where the book was headed, I could see what Dashner was building toward and I still felt a sense of anticipation to get there, even in the slower parts.
- Few plot holes. There were a few minor plot holes that confused me a bit, but didn’t ruin my overall enjoyment of the book. For instance, supposedly the boys had been coming to the Glade at a regular rate – one boy a month for the past two years. So there should have only been 24 boys there (actually, less since several boys had died). But there were WAY more than that, considering the number of kids who make it out alive in the end and the supposed number of boys who had died or been left behind. I was scratching my head a little at this.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Maze Runner. I thought it had just the right amount of action and suspense for a YA dystopian. And I’m definitely eager to find out what will happen in The Scorch Trials. Watch for my review of that one coming soon! Oh, and I started to read some of the extras that are included in the book (the secret files appear between the first and second books) and they were very intriguing. My son told me to stop reading them, though, because he says they have spoilers. So, I guess I’ll go back to them after I finish the series (though the hints that I did get from the files have me really interested to find out if they mean what I think they do!!). I give this book 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Want to know more about the collector’s edition and The Scorch Trials movie?
Delacorte Press is pleased to announce the publication of THE MAZE RUNNER AND
THE SCORCH TRIALS: THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION (on sale April 14, 2015 / $19.99), which brings the first two books in James Dashner’s bestselling series together in one edition for fans and new readers to enjoy. Featuring exclusive bonus content within its 816 pages and carrying a first printing of 150,000, the collector’s edition will prepare fans and moviegoers for the second film in the franchise, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, which will be released September 18, 2015 and stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Rosa Salazar, and Giancarlo Esposito. EntertainmentWeekly.com has described The Maze Runner as a “mysterious survival saga that passionate fans describe as a fusion of Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, and Lost.”
Over 10 million copies of the Maze Runner series have been sold in all formats, and Dashner fans continue to multiply as they are introduced to his heart-pounding stories, which appeal to readers of all ages. In addition to the original novels, this edition includes “The Maze Runner Files,” which was originally published as an eBook short. Now accessible to all readers in print format, “The Maze Runner Files” features top-secret information, overheard conversations, emails between WICKED employees, memos meant to be destroyed after reading, and a selection of the Gladers’ suppressed memories, all of which help fans unlock some of the mysteries behind the Maze, the Gladers, and the people who put them there. This edition also includes an exclusive fan sticker.
The year 2015 will be another exciting one for Dashner fans, with multiple books being published. The movie tie-in edition of The Scorch Trials will be released on August 4, 2015, along with a hardcover box set of all four novels in the series (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and The Kill Order) on the same date. The film adaptation of The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) will release on September 18, 2015, and the final novel in the Mortality Doctrine series, The Game of Lives, will be published on November 17, 2015. All titles are supported by a major marketing and publicity campaign that includes an author tour in November. Follow James Dashner on Twitter (@JamesDashner), Facebook, and Instagram, and visit his website at JamesDashner.com.
James Dashner is a New York Times bestselling author and the winner of numerous awards for his novels. In addition to the critically acclaimed Maze Runner series, Dashner is the author of the Mortality Doctrine series, the Thirteenth Reality series, and two books in the Infinity Ring series. He lives in Utah with his family.
THE MAZE RUNNER AND THE SCORCH TRIALS: THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION
By James Dashner
Delacorte Press trade paperback / On sale April 14, 2015 / 978-0-553-53824-3 / 816 pages / $19.99 / $23.99 Can. / Ages 12 & up
Delacorte Press is an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
About the Author
James was born and raised in Georgia but now lives in the Rocky Mountains with his family. He has four kids, which some might think is too many but he thinks is just right. Once upon a time, James studied accounting and worked in the field of finance, but has been writing full time for several years. (He doesn’t miss numbers. At all.)
In his free time, James loves to read, watch movies and (good) TV shows, snow ski, and read. (Reading was mentioned twice on purpose.) Most of all, he’s thankful that he gets to make a living writing stories and considers himself pretty much the luckiest guy on the planet.
Huh. I never even thought about the number of boys there and how it didn’t really add up with the 1 a month information. Good call Nicole! I haven’t read this but I did thoroughly enjoy the movie and am looking forward to seeing what happens in The Scorch Trials:)
I didn’t notice it in the movie either, but in the book it stuck out more to me because, at the end, they say that half the boys died – and yet 20 kids made it out of the maze (plus some had stayed behind). I was scratching my head at that math.
Thank you Jenny! I’ve always thought I was the only one not to realise there was too many boys until it was pointed out to me. And even then it was a long time after I read the books and someone said something about it in the movie lol.
I didn’t notice it in the movie, but it stuck out more to me in the book!
I haven’t read any of these, or seen the movie, but that’s good you liked both. It’s always nice when you can enjoy a book after seeing the movie!
Yes, I pretty much always try to read the book before I watch the movie, but it didn’t work out that way for this one – so I was glad that I still enjoyed both!
I still need to read this book! I saw the movie so I feel like I need to get some time between that and reading so I can forget a few things 🙂 Lol.
I understand that – I thought I should hold off on it too, but I actually felt like there were enough differences between the two that it added another layer of mystery for me – trying to figure out how the new things fit into the bigger picture that I already knew.
This has definitely been my favorite in the series thus far! I still need to finish Death Cure! Will you be continuing with the series? 🙂
Yes, I’ll definitely finish it. Like I said, I only haven’t read The Scorch Trials yet because I couldn’t get it away from my son for long enough! He’s already moved on to the third book now, though, so I can get back to it! 🙂
Those few issues seem minor in the whole story, because it does sound like a great read. The whole maze thing seems like a good concept! Great review!
Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
I definitely thought it was a great read overall, and my son LOVED it!!
My daughter loved this series. I have yet to read it, but the movie I thought was really good 🙂
Great review. I thought it moved a bit slow. I enjoyed the last half much more than the beginning. I have not seen the movie yet though.
Yeah, I actually think this might have been one case where seeing the movie first actually helped me enjoy the book more. That seems crazy, but I felt like the slow parts didn’t seem as slow because I understood where they were headed. Weird, right?
It seems to me (granted I read the series early last year) but I believe when they began the project they started with something of the sort of 30 boys? I also was thinking they had been in the maze more of 3 years, so I could be wrong!! Loved your review!! I adored this series, Newt is my man!!
[…] Scorch Trials by James Dashner Series: The Maze Runner #2 Also in this series: The Maze Runner Published by Delacorte Press on 4/4/15 Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Young Adult […]