"The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why" Mark Twain
The Maze Runner is an interesting and entertaining post-apocalyptic trilogy about a group of kids (or test subjects) put through all sorts of tests and trials by WICKED, supposedly all in an effort to find a cure for a weaponized virus that has nearly wiped out humanity. And yadda yadda yadda...
Having read the entire trilogy, the first book was my favorite. As always, the book is much more detailed and interesting than the movie, although I thought the movie was good too. I don't normally listen to teenage fiction stories, but I was in the mood for a post-apocalyptic thriller so I bit. And Mark Deakins is a great narrator.
The narration was great. The writing is interesting. The kids in the book develop their own language and mannerisms to a large extent, which can take the listener a little bit to understand what is going on. The story is interesting enough to keep the pages turning, and confusing enough to keep an answer seeking reader in an endless search.
I just want to say one thing though about the series and how the story is presented. First it really seems like the author James Dashner starts writing with good ideas in his head but never takes the time to plan out an outline for the story - beginning to end. I think he just starts typing the dialogue in and hopes it leads the story somewhere meaningful. The author does this much more frequently in the next two books. But as for this one, I'd try the movie first to see if it's a series worth reading.
"Maze Runner" begins with a teenage boy waking in a moving cargo elevator. He can not remember anything about his life prior to that moment, except he knew his name was Thomas. All of his other memories had been erased. Many things brought about a faint recollection but remained just outside his grasp, like looking at images through an opaque glass. The elevator was moving up, and at the completion of this journey the doors at the top were flung open and a rope was lowered to bring him out.
Thomas found himself in an immense square courtyard surrounded by massive walls. In the middle of each of the four walls was a doorway, which he later found led into the maze. He met Alby, the leader, and second in command Newt. All the inhabitants were teenage boys, perhaps 60 total, and ranged in age from about 12 to 18. He had many questions, especially since his memories were gone, but Alby acted like answering questions were an inconvenience he didn't have time for. Newt was a little more accommodating, but for every question he answered Thomas thought of two more. As it was getting late, Thomas was told to get some sleep and he would be shown around the next day. Chuck, the previous "newby," was to find him a place to sleep.
From what Thomas was able to piece together, some of the boys had been there for as long as two years. They had runners out in the maze every day, looking for a way out. The other boys all had jobs to keep busy. Farmers, butchers, carpenters, and more, the little community was almost self sustaining. Once every month a new boy would arrive, Thomas being the latest. Once a week supplies would arrive from the creators, the name the boys gave to their keepers. At the end of each day, the runners would come back and make a map of the portion of the maze they explored. They found that the walls of the maze moved from day to day, making it more difficult to find the solution. At sunset, the walls next to each doorway would slide closed and seal the courtyard.
On his first night there, Thomas was taken to a window to look into the maze. He got his first glimpse of the grievers, a combination of animal and machine. About the size of a cow, the grievers had no discernible head or tail. They had robotic arms with tools attached which could maim or kill. The arms could be extended or retracted at will, as well as small spikes which the creature used for locomotion. If a person was stung by a griever, they would have to take a serum or face death. The serum caused what the boys called "the change" and consisted of about three days of painful withdrawal like symptoms. However, the change would bring some of the victims lost memories back. The grievers could appear at any time, but they always came out at night. Therefore, the two most important rules were 1) stay out of the maze unless you are a runner, and 2) under no circumstance get caught in the maze at night.
On Thomas's second day in the glade, as his new home was known, everything changed. The siren sounded announcing the arrival of another new member. There had never been more than one arrive per month, let alone on consecutive days. Also, this time it was a girl, another first. She was somehow familiar to Thomas, but remained just outside the grasp of his memory. These were not the only things to change. Thomas knew he was there for a reason, but again his lack of memory confounded him. Working with his new found friends, and against his enemies, Thomas must help find a way out of the maze. Time was running short and failure meant a certain death.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this dystopian view of the future. I especially liked the memory wipe and finding out things as Thomas himself was. The cause of the world's problems is very believable and actions of those pulling the strings were understandable, if not loathsome. The action flowed smoothly and the book was hard for me to put down. I would put this on par with the hunger games, although I will have to finish the other two books in the trilogy to get a more complete picture.
The narration is awful. I couldn't even concentrate on the story line because the narrator spoke in monotone. After one hour and nineteen minutes I gave up.
He had no emotion
I didn't get far enough in the book to even like a character.
My two favorite topics are Baseball and Military History. But my favorite books of all time are Starship Troopers and Ready Player One.
While I genuinely enjoyed different aspects of this story, I couldn't get past the similarities to Hunger Games. Also, while I know the intended audience is YA, I had hoped that I could enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the writing style of, Suzanne Collins. Needless to say, I didn't. But don't let that deter you from listening to this audio book.
James Dashner does bring some originality to this work, albeit while leaving huge gaping holes in his plot, forcing the reader to ask, "where did that come from?" Of course those questions are never answered in this first installment of his series, hoping that you'll catch the fire (sorry, couldn't resist as I'm caught up in my comparison) of the story.
I am mildly intrigued to discover the aftermath, but not enough to listen or read the subsequent books. More likely I will buy the prequel to this book that Dashner is set to release in AUG 2012, and hope that gives me enough insight to satisfy my curiosity.
I felt this book was exciting and it kept me wanting to listen more. I did kind of feel a bit too much in the dark sometimes. I like how the author didn't give everything away too quickly, but sometimes I felt a bit of a disconnect when the characters came to finally came to certain conclusions. But I enjoyed it nonetheless and really enjoyed the second book!
really ejoyed this one, looking forward to getting the next in this series. I got this book cause it was on a list of books similar to the hunger games. It has a similar flavor, exceeded expectations.
The Maze Runner is a fun and entertaining read. The mysteries of the maze and the community the gladers have built is interesting and exciting to discover and just when you get comfortable with the story something develops and the next thing you know you've been listening for another hour or two.
This is a great book but it does have some mild fighting and death in it as other reviewers have pointed out. It does describe some of the fighting/gore in detaill so I wouldn't recommend it for children (8-13) but I think teenagers and older would enjoy it.
I downloaded this book because the reviews were, overall, quite good. This book is so awful it is difficult to express in words. I am on chapter 45 and I am so bored I want to die. The author offers NO answers, none. Not even hints. No foreshadowing, either. Am I seriously going have to wait until the last 30 minutes to get answers? I am only finishing it on principle now, since I already paid for it. It's not as though I expected this to be as good as the Hunger Games, but I at least expected to be entertained. I honestly can't listen to this without my mind wandering it is so unbelievable boring. Run, don't walk, from this book.
I wouldn't listen to this book again because of the ending. Everything leading up to the ending was great but the last few chapters just left me disappointed.
This is a very unique and original story that definitely tugs at your heart and riddles you brain with questions that force you to stay engaged and continue reading.
In pursuit of truth, justice, and an end to spoilers!
I really enjoyed this one, and I'm a grown-up! It's strong on plot and the pace never slows -- there's a lot of action in this book. The story came to at least part of a conclusion, but the big picture is far from done at the end of this book. Fun book, and I'll happily continue on with this series!
The made-up cuss words like "clunk" seemed clunky themselves at first, but I adjusted quickly. This is a children's book, after all. Why there was only ever one girl in the story has yet to make sense either, so we'll have to see if that's ever explained.
There are some scary parts that might be too much for younger readers. Aggressive icky things drag victims screaming to their doom or chase them around the maze from the title. The camera doesn't fade to black during those times, which will either make the story more exciting or too scary, depending on the reader. An earlier reviewer mentioned this being a little much for his 10-year-old, and I'm not surprised. Age is relative, but parents might want to keep this in mind.