The Maze Runner by James Dashner – I AM IN TWO MINDS

the maze runnerTitle: The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner

Genre: YA sci-fi/dystopian

Length: 374 pages

Published by: Scholastic Australia

Source: received for review


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.


I loved some parts of this book. But then I really didn’t like some others.

The thing that kept me reading this book was the mystery of the Maze – why was it there? Why were they being tested? That kept me flipping pages, and there are a great number of twisty bits that kept me interested. In saying that, though, I was disappointed on a lot of accounts.

1) The characters.

I didn’t care much about the characters – Thomas seemed really flat to me, as did some of the others. The only character I really liked was Chuck – he was adorable.

2) The writing.

The writing was quite dense and I skimmed quite a lot of it – there’s a lot of over-describing (I thought) and just nothing special.

3) The ending.

I’ll be honest. It didn’t blow my mind. Plus, some of that awesome set-up was basically just wasted. This kind of premise – a Maze, all these boys who are here for some strange reason – deserves a better explanation. Or that was what I felt anyway. So I was disappointed by the ending.

THAT SAID, it was an enjoyable read.

It was an addictive read. I couldn’t stop – I needed answers! And because of that, I’ll probably read the other two books in the series, even if they aren’t as good as the first. The concept of the Maze is really clever and I was intrigued throughout.

Ultimately, I thought the movie was better (I LOVED the movie. You can see my review here).

Rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties


If you’ve read the book AND seen the movie, which one did you like better?

33 thoughts on “The Maze Runner by James Dashner – I AM IN TWO MINDS

  1. I pretty much felt the same way, though I was disappointed the movie changed things that were in the book. I’ll read the sequels and the prequel, but mostly because my son loved this series so much. I’ve only ever seen him tear up at 2 movies: Les Mis and when Chuck dies in Maze Runner. He knew it was coming, but still.

  2. I loved this trilogy but agree with you, it’s not character driven. For me the magic happens with the plot-the Maze and then what happens beyond 🙂 I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I really want to!

  3. Thanks for such a wonderful and honest review, Em! This has been on my TBR for quite some time now, and as the movie was recently released, I’ve wanted to read it more than usual lately. However, hearing that the writing is quite dense and the characters flat, I’m not rushing to read it any time soon.

  4. I AM SAD. But I understand. I’m quite ready to party in my very quiet I-love-the-Maze-Runner-a-lot fandom aloooooone. I gave it 5-stars and I was very, very into the entire thing. It does annoy me that we get ZERO answers though. I just finished book #2 and still. No answers. nada. They barely dangle an answer in front of you before they toss seventy new questions at your brain. I find I have to concentrate really hard. But the description was a bit meh at times. Not very fresh or vivid, I thought. I WANT TO SEE THE MOVIE SO BAD.

    • I AM SAD TOO. Butttttt you know I’m more of a contemporary person 😛 Ugh. What is it with first books and lack of answers??? I mean obviously they want us to keep reading, but still, it’s infuriating! I will end up reading the sequels, though, lol. Can’t help it 😛 THE MOVIE IS REALLY GOOD. Although you might not like it because they changed a lot…I hope you like it 😛

  5. I loved The Maze Runner — both the book and the movie. I was so addicted to the book that I stayed up all night just to finish it. I don’t normally do this, I value sleep too much. But it went downhill for me as I continued with The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure.They were good enough, I guess (but were very, very tragic) but Maze Runner was my favorite among the three.

  6. I read this a while ago and was unimpressed as well. It was addictive–I totally agree–but that ending urgh. And the made up language left me clutching my brain =___= I never continued on with the series but hopefully it turns out better O_O I wanted to desperately catch the movie but TIME so I’ll wait for it to pass and snatch it up on dvd. All this raving is just making me so curious!

  7. Oh my gosh this review is SO ACCURATE. You’ve just mentioned everything I did in my review when I read the book last year… just in a more articulate way. 😛 I couldn’t find myself caring for any of the characters. And the writing was just so boring. The ending made me roll my eyes — why can our questioned NEVER be answered in the first book? is there some writing law against it?! I mean I understand about leaving these unanswered for sequels, but the ending was just too confusing for me. But I did love the concept (MAZES ARE AWESOME) so I know I’ll go watch the movie. And if I ever get the chance I’ll probably read the sequels.

    • LOL I doubt it’s more articulate – I didn’t even realise how short this review was O_O Yeah, so agree about the characters and boring writing. It just…lacked something? Yes, Kara, there IS a writing law against answers. It’s called the Make Your Audience Want To Read Your Sequels, Even If You Make Some People Made law 😛 works very well.

  8. Yes! I 100% agree with your review! I loved Chuck but couldn’t care about the other characters. I didn’t like the writing style (a lot of TELLING) and I thought the ending was a copout. And I’m not interested in reading the sequels but I thought the movie was infinitely better, it had me on the edge of my seat.

  9. omg ditto to everything you said. Yes the story is so intriguing and has so much potential, yes the characters are one dimensional and I’m 3 chapters away from finishing the last book in the series and I still have no idea what is going on. Aside from that, Happy reading! 🙂

  10. I loved the first book the most, as the mystery of maze was the thing that kept me going through pages, but as soon as I discovered who and why built it, my excitement poofed and never returned till the end of the series -_- I completely agree with your review! And movie was great, especially the cast, characters looking exactly how I imagined them to be.

  11. Now that you’ve read the book, what did you think about the movie? I was captivated with the secrets of the maze too, but yes those long winded explanations -_- I felt like it was really hard to get through. The characters weren’t memorable at all to me either! Great review Emily!

  12. Well, I’m almost done with the book, and I’ve seen the movie. I was interested in finding out what the maze was, but like you said, the characters were uninteresting. My friend, after watching the movie, asked me who was my favorite, and I found myself unable to answer, even with the book.

  13. I haven’t seen the movie yet (shame on me) but I really liked the book (looks like I was one of the few). I loved all the things that people seem to hate 🙂 Ha ha no regrets 🙂

  14. Ohh, I’m so sorry you didn’t like this one just that little bit more Em. I LOVED it! But then again, dystopians and me have an all consuming love affair and there hasn’t been many that I haven’t loved actually. I agree about Thomas though, he was reliable, but incredibly boring really. Just accepted his fate and took it in his stride, when you’d expect that questions would be asked and tensions in the Glade would start to arise. It was a little TOO convenient. I haven’t seen the movie yet though, I’ll just buy it when it comes out on Blu Ray.

    Awesome review Em, loved your wrap up ❤

    • HAHA. I have a love affair with contemporary YA. Although there aren’t TOO many actual love affairs…that’s more NA 😉 I like some dystopians, but I think I’m more picky with them now. But yeah, I wish Thomas had been more interesting.

      I’m intrigued to see what you think of the movie 😉

  15. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves, BTCYA and Winter Again | The Loony Teen Writer

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