The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Length: 371 pages
Published: October 2009

The Maze Runner is the first instalment in a Dystopian/Sci-Fi Trilogy by James Dashner. The story centres around Thomas and his strange and unexpected arrival at The Glade, a grassy encampment housed in the middle of a great maze. Thomas has no memories - only half-memories. For example, he can remember that a sofa is a sofa, but he doesn't remember sitting on one or seeing one in a home. He is welcomed (albeit a little harshly) into The Glade by a group of thirty or so other teenage boys - all whom had been turfed into The Glade before him, and who carried the same memory loss. The main gist of the tale: the boys of The Glade have to find a way to escape the maze. Naturally there are a few plot twists along the way, but that it the general theme.
Okay, so the writing. Not great. I was honestly in despair during reading, sometimes considering just putting the book down and leaving it well alone. The word choice is sloppy and repetitive and the sentences are confusing, as if the words had been put in the wrong order. The use of clichés was unnerving and the general poor writing bored me to tears. Dialogue is definitely this author's strong suit. The conversations between the boys flowed naturally in my opinion, and the use of slang words made everything more realistic, as I could totally expect that from a gang of teenage boys. It was confusing for me at first, but once I got the gist of what the words meant it was enjoyable. The Maze and The Glade are also very cool - the layout and simply the idea of it leaves me in awe, I think it's genius. However, the characters are also an issue for me. Their unacceptance of Thomas at first was bearable, but after Thomas constantly asking questions only for doors to be metaphorically slammed in his face, I grew frustrated. I felt as if the reader was given multiple opportunities to find out answers of this unusual world and yet we never got any, until about 150-or-so pages in. Minho, Alby and Newt are interesting characters, although I did get muddled up between them at times as they aren't given any decent personality traits. Thomas, our main character, also suffers from this. I just don't like him. At times, I kind of hated him. He was so arrogant and pushy and I didn't feel like his thoughts and feelings were sincere. His relationship with Teresa (a plot twist) seemed fake and rushed, despite their backstory. I had more than a few issues about the two of them, but I don't want to give any plot points away so I'm not going to go into detail.
Overall, I'm disappointed with this book. The plot kept me reading, but I can't imagine I'll pick up either of the next two books in the series. The middle section of this book was its own salvation, as the beginning was awkward and the ending was very rushed. This book held great promise due to its genius idea and plot, but the writing and poor character development let it down. I know it could have been better.
I gave this book 2/5 stars. The other three stars could have been earned through better writing and better character development.
If you liked The Maze Runner, I'd recommend Seed by Lisa Heathfield.


  1. Oh dear, I have this book on my to-read list! Interesting points that you made, I'm a little wary of reading it now aha!

    1. I know, I was after it for such a long time before reading! It was okay, but I don't think I'll read it again x

  2. I've been wanting to read this for ages, now I'm not so sure!
    Water Painted Dreams xo

    1. I just know it could have been so much better! x

  3. You're REALLY good at writing book reviews! They're so on point, and you seem to understand how it is to you from every aspect. I read this book and wasn't too sad when I didn't get to read the other books in the series, I felt like it was okay but that was it. I wasn't sure what I felt about it but I feel like you put it in words! Really great, maybe you should write <3 Lovely blog btw!


    1. Aw, thank you so so much! & I do a bit of story writing, I mostly write short stories! Thank you! x


Thank you for commenting! Please feel free to leave your links - I'm always on the look out for new blogs to read xo