Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

This review will contain minor spoilers, but will be marked before and after for those of you yet to read the book! 😉

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Pages: 375
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Series: The Maze Runner, #1
Genre(s): Dystopian, Sci-fi
Synopsis from Goodreads:

“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.

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.

How have I not read this book before now?! That’s what I’ve been asking myself ever since I started reading The Maze Runner. Can I just say how awesome I thought it was?!

I was told to go into this one with low expectations, which I admit made me nervous. But even with everyone’s warnings, I couldn’t really change my level of excitement and expectations. They were already there after hearing about the book numerous times, and of course watching the various movie trailers that have been released for the upcoming film. Oh and Dylan O’brien is playing Thomas. So yeah, there’s that.

Get back to the book, Emily…

But oh my goodness, I had a blast reading this one. It was intense, adventurous and filled with excitement. The fact that it was told from a male’s POV was refreshing because I don’t read many books told solely from a guy’s perspective. I really enjoyed the interactions between the Gladers. And of course the whole idea for The Maze Runner was so unique for a sci-fi/dystopian book. It wasn’t like anything else I’ve read in the genre.


 What I thought made The Maze Runner different than all the rest was the fact that it was more of a survival story. Sure, there is a corrupt government or group (not sure yet), but for pretty much the whole book the Gladers are just trying to survive, not battle the Creators or try to stop them.


I found The Maze Runner a difficult book to give a rating. I enjoyed it immensely, but there were just a few things that I wasn’t a huge fan of. The Glader “slang” kind of got on my nerves. It seemed to me like a way in which the author allowed the characters to use bad language without really using bad language. For example “shank” and “shuck,” as alternatives to other words you can probably figure out. But other than that, I found the book to be a solid read.

One thing that I heard prior to reading was that there was no romance. I was nervous about that going in. Now, I’m a romance girl, but I didn’t miss it at all. I don’t think you will either.

All in all, The Maze Runner was action-packed and adventurous, filled with a little sarcastic humor, making it a wonderful read!

14 thoughts on “Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed the Maze Runner. I understand how you feel, the book was great, but it wasn’t perfect. I’m so excited for the movie! I think this is one movie that could easily be better than the book.

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed this book too! I read it in French actually so the ‘slang’ book…I don’t know who he is lol. But, anyway, the thing I think could have just disappeared from the book, IMO, is the romance, even if it was light. 😛

  3. I’m glad you liked The Maze Runner better than I did! I remember finding the slang way too annoying… I’m still doubting whether to read The Scorch Trials or not. 😉

      1. I have The Scorch Trials on my TBR shelf, but I’m not sure whether to pick it up… I’ve heard that the sequel isn’t as good as The Maze Runner.

  4. I didn’t read the minor spoilers because I’m still unsure if I want to finish the book; I just couldn’t get into it! Maybe cuz my intentions were wrong (Dylan O’Brien’s beautifully chiseled face and hot bod). I always like to read the book before watching the movie though!

    1. Sorry to hear you couldn’t really get into it. I can see how that could be the case. But I totally understand your intentions to read… I did it for pretty much the same reason – so I can watch the movie for two hours of Dylan O’brien’s face. Not ashamed one bit! 😉

  5. I read The Maze Runner years ago, and I really like it! The whole book was so action-packed like you said, and then you get to the ending and it’s like WOAH! But for me what was so sad is that I began to read the rest of the series, but couldn’t get past more than a few books. I really think this series goes downhill, and I think that the change of setting might be one of the biggest factors. **MINOR SPOILERS*** like you said in your own spoilers, there is a corrupt government/group that you find out about later on, but I never found them that interesting and they were always very ambiguous.

    1. I’ve heard that the series goes downhill after The Maze Runner, too. 😦 What I really liked about the book was the Maze setting itself, so I understand what you’re saying about the change in setting. I wasn’t into learning about the people that put them there, really more so their relationships and survival in the Maze and The Glade.

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