The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner


                Thomas was jilted awake, with no memory of anything but his name. The walls surround him and he could feel the lift taking him higher. He came out of what the boys called “the box.” He was the newbie, the greenbean. There were boys who had been in the Glade for two years. Every month they got a new boy in the box. He would have to pitch in so there would still be order. He would stay away from the doors. The Glade was enclosed by four humongous, ancient walls. Outside those walls was a maze that none of the Runners could solve. In that maze were the Grievers. No one had lasted a night in the maze after the doors closed. The Grievers were keeping them in but the maze would be their only way out.
                You have no idea how hard it was for me to write that small blurb about this book. No idea what so ever. I really wanted to like this book. I went into reading this book convinced that I would really like it. The premise was amazing. These guys have to find a way out of this unsolvable maze. There were so many questions! How did they get in the maze? Why did the walls move? What kind of experiment is this? Why all boys? I spent a lot of time waiting for these questions to be answered. Hundreds of pages waiting on the answer and I am sorely disappointed, especially since most of my questions didn’t get answered. Therein lies the major problem with this book: the kids all lost their memory and had to discover this new world but wouldn’t divulge any useful information to Thomas. Why? Because he was new. It was extremely annoying. Thomas’s struggle to understand his memory loss and his urging for answers became repetitive and did not help move this plot along at all.
                The lack of information led to all the other problems I had with this book. There was no world building because the kids were in the Glade, the Glade was surrounded by these walls and there were places they could go in the Glade. That’s it. No hint of the outside world. No idea of what’s happening. The kids weren’t even really motivated to do anything, they just wanted to keep order, so they all had jobs they had to do. There also wasn’t any real struggle within the glade. The weather was perfect. They were provided with food and other supplies every week. They could request supplies. They even had livestock they took care of! The only struggle was to get out of the maze. Sigh.
                I wish I could go on to tell you the characters were at least well developed. But alas, I can’t do that either. This novel struggled. The characters felt immature. The language they used was childish and unnecessary. There was never a moment when I felt like the characters genuinely cared for each other. I never understood their real motivations. I am just at a loss.

                This book left me unimpressed with Dashner. This novel is a prime example of an author setting up for sequels. I guess my main problem is that this doesn’t feel stand alone at all. No useful information was provided. This was all misleading, meaningless. The reader is supposed to be kept dangling so they can’t wait for the next book. I can wait. I’m not going anywhere near the second book. This could have been great. If information had been provided, characters well developed and the point of the book not veiled in secrecy it would have been a success. The redeeming quality was that it was an easy read, even if I did roll my eyes through most of it. This gets 2 out of 5 stars from me. 

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