Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they've closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up - the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
©2009 James Dashner; (P)2009 Listening Library
Being 38 years old, I'm not exactly the author's primary target audience, nonetheless, I found this book a very fun listen. I found myself sitting in my car for quite some time just to hear a bit more before having to go into work or into a store. The story flows well, without any real dragging portions. I did find myself predicting the story line a tad bit on several occasions, but Dashner usually threw in a bit of a twist that kept me on the edge of my seat. This is definitely a book that will have you coming back for part two when it is released.
I listened to this book on a long car trip with my wife and two kids (boy 12 and girl 10). We felt the story started quickly enough, and within 30 minutes all of us were into it (except my wife --- more on that later). There were parts of the story that were too intense for my daughter, who asked us to turn it off a couple of times because she was getting scared. She is a very mature 10 year old, so I would say 10 is the absolute low end of ages for which this book might be appropriate. In retrospect, I wish I had picked another book for her.
The performance was good. The reading was lively enough to keep us interested for a long book. His voices for the characters were also nice, except that his voice for the one female character sounded more like baby talk than a 16 year old girl. Additionally, sometimes the perfomer's voice didn't match the excitement in the story. Overall, though, the performance didn't detract from the book.
While overall we liked this book very much, parts of the book seemed to drag on without advancing the plot quite enough, and the ending was not quite up to the same quality as the rest of the book. Except for that, it would've been 5 stars.
As an aside, my wife didn't listen to the first 2.5 hours of the book. After a 2 minute catch up from my son, she was able to jump right in to the book after that time without really missing anything.
It started out a little slow. Thomas was confused, the gladers were confused, I was confused. A lot of questions that no one would answer -- and that was a little frustrating. However, once the clues started to emerge and Thomas began getting bits and pieces of his memory back, my curiosity was on fire. I had a hard time putting my MP3 player down. I went everywhere with it, listening to the Maze Runner, hoping the mystery would reveal itself. These poor kids never got a break. That means I never got a break. And when it was all over, I was exhausted. That is the sign of a successful storyline. I immediately downloaded the Scorch Trials. I hope there's a 3rd book soon.
I average three books a week, but as I cannot afford to purchase that many books I frequently re-read those I already have. If you are here looking for reviews, I typically only review those books I feel particularly strongly about or have some insight that hasn't yet been posted in a review.
This is definitely an older young adult book, theres quite a bit of violence, death, etc. The violence is mostly heroic though, not senseless - except in one situation where one of the bad guys commits an outright murder. It reminds me somewhat of the Animorphs books I read as a kid, they also had an incredible amount of violence, and the protagonists were even younger than in this book, but it (and this) didn't glorify the violence at all - it was just a tragic necessity.
As to the plot, it looks promising. About half way through I decided the best way to describe it was "Like Ender's Game on a bad LSD trip." It also has a bit of a "Lord of the Flies" feel to it however. There are a few things that are somewhat dissatisfying, but not terribly so. I did get a little frustrated by how nobody seems to want to answer any of the main character's questions (he has to pry every scrap of information from them) - but on reflection this does strike me as how a clique-ish group of kids would act towards a newcomer.
Give it a read, and if you are buying it for a kid read it through yourself first if your worried about the violence (also, the violence is the only thing that might not be age-appropriate).
I'm an avid reader and listener of fantasy, sci fi, and anything else that is well written.
I was an "exceptionally intelligent" teenager. I imagine my teenage self reading this novel and being grouped in with the characters in this story. I think I would have been horribly insulted. The author must think that all kids are idiots. Yes, teenagers make bad decisions. But they are capable of learning from their mistakes, and figuring out puzzles without someone having to spell it out for them in great detail. He says these kids are smart, but they can't solve problems that kids half their age could easily tackle, if they were "exceptionally intelligent."
Add on top of that a terribly annoying overuse of made up swear words (I shucking hated that clunk so much that it made me want to go kiss a griever, dude!), a dull protagonist that was basically unsympathetic for most of the novel, teenage kids that frequently act more like 8 year-olds, characters that inexplicably blame each other for things entirely outside their control, change their minds frequently and radically within a single scene, and just generally don't act like real people, and a series of horrifying violent events that the characters only seem to care about for moments, and you have an extremely frustrating novel.
I forced myself to listen to the end (after all, I spent a credit, right, and surely the author was going to make sense of it all in the conclusion, or at least have the protagonist progress in some way), but I certainly won't waste my time or credits on the sequel.
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.
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 young-adult-ness of the writing is pretty painfully obvious and really served to distract me from the narrative. It seems the intended audience is more 11-13 rather than teens, per se.(and yeah, I'm 36 but have loved YA in the past, see below) At first I thought it was just the narrator's fault for sounding so didactic, but I eventually came around to the fact that it's also the prose. "there were so many secrets. they all had secrets. I wanted to ask all the secrets, to know their answers, but no one was talking" this is (bad paraphrase, but I heard this sentiment repeated 15 times in the first part of the book. I really wanted this to take me where "Hunger Games" did. and it really didn't.
Well, I love the ideas in this story, but sometimes I think the author just doesn't trust young readers to come to reasonable conclusions, so he has to spell it out. And I mean really spell it out. The ideas were good enough for me to get past the narrative when it got really bad. Unfortunately for me, I like the ideas enough to probably read the second book as well. But maybe I will get it from the library instead of buying it this time around.
I enjoy fiction including Sci Fi and fantasy (lots of epic fantasy.) I'm also a big fan of some of the spy genre like the Bourne series and some Tom Clancy.
Someone who does not want to think or feel wrapped up in a plot or interesting characters.
No, never judge a book by its cover.
I wouldn't say so, no. Many of the characters were exactly the same and there was very little depth in their creation. The plot just sort of plods along and feels like the characters are just a means to an end.
You could take your pick and it wouldn't change the story. Any character in this book could easily be replaced by another character in this book.
I feel like this book was written in an attempt to make something like the Hunger Games but it fell horribly short. The style of writing is as basic as possible, the plot is weak, and it feels very forced. The author's way of building suspense is simply to have a character refuse to answer a question until it's convenient to the plot and then every character turns into a singing lark. It's abysmal. I would not recommend this book to a friend. I managed to finish it but couldn't wait for it to be over.
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