The Maze Runner by James Dashner: Book Reviewed


Thomas wakes up in a lift remembering nothing but his first name. He arrives in a glade in the middle of a vast maze, and must learn to adapt to his new life with the other boys who live there. But when a new arrival comes to the glade, the boys quickly realise that everything is about to change.


‘If you ain’t scared… you ain’t human’.

I’ve wanted to read The Maze Runner for a while, but the movie was coming out and so I knew I had to read it soon. So I picked it up expecting to fly through it in a couple of days. However, this was not the case.

The Maze Runner was not a bad book. It was quite entertaining and intriguing, and certainly had an interesting concept, but I feel like it wasn’t written and executed particularly well, resulting in it being quite a slow read, for me at least.

First let’s talk about the characters. I’d say my favourite is Newt, as he’s the most likeable, but to be honest they’re all pretty generic, and I didn’t form any strong ties with them. I didn’t really relate or connect to Thomas that much, and found him quite boring and repetitive. I think this could have been helped if it had been written in first person. I generally like most books to be written in first person, especially these kinds of action packed dystopians, as it really brings you into the moment and the characters emotions, which was something The Maze Runner was lacking.

I had a few issues with the plot, and obviously I can’t go into much detail about that since I don’t want to spoil you, but in general I just found it to be quite unbelievable. Everything more or less made some sense, but nothing seemed like it would actually happen. When a plot point was revealed, I would be left thinking, ‘Really? Is that what just happened?’. And the answers to certain problems seemed to come really easily to Thomas. He never had to go through much struggle to get what he needed.

There were some very slow parts to the story as well. I feel like James Dashner didn’t write with a lot of skill, and everything felt a bit dull and monotone, with quite a bit of pacing issues.

But I’m making this book sound terrible, which it definitely isn’t. I know some people who haven’t found the pacing such a problem, and there are a lot of people who love this book. I enjoyed it. It was fun and I was constantly interested in where the plot was going, I just didn’t feel an urge to keep reading. I found it just an average read with a bunch of issues but an overall enjoyable feel. I’m going to give The Maze Runner 3/5 stars.

I plan to pick up the sequel at some point hopefully this year, but not straight away.