Imagine your memories were wiped and you were dropped into a maze with other kids and some weird killing machines. Welcome to Maze Runner. Thomas has absolutely no recollection of where he came from, who he is, or how he ended up in the Maze, but he feels connected to things around the maze. When Teresa arrives at the Maze, which is only boys, with a mystery message, the boys realize life within the maze is about to change drastically.
Thomas is our protagonist and he wakes up in the Glade with no memories like the rest but he is super curious. He knows one thing and that is that he wants to be a runner and he proves he should be with skills of bravery and having his wits about him. Teresa is the first girl to be brought to the Glade and she has no memory either but she did leave herself clues about her past and this makes everyone suspicious of her.
A novel from my childhood, I remember reading The Maze Runner during elementary school. During this time, many of my friends, including me, praised this book. As a whole, it was a book and series that we enjoyed and talked about. Reading it again, I do have to agree. It is a fun read with some interesting ideas and events.
For negatives, there honestly aren’t too many. One thing I didn’t enjoy as much was the pacing. There were a lot of moments where the plot seemed to slow down a lot for me. At the same time, there were some instances where a certain event was rushed as well. However, this is a small gripe, and it didn’t hinder my enjoyment all that much. Besides the flow, I wish we go a bit more with the characters and some of the backstory. Granted, this one is hard to fix since it would break the whole mystery of the Maze and the whole story.
Now besides those aspects, I enjoyed everything else. For one, I really enjoyed the concept of the novel. 50-ish boys are trapped inside a giant maze that hasn’t been solved in two years is an interesting plot line. Besides being an interesting plot line, it also seems pretty realistic based on the rules this world has in place. I appreciate all the roles the many characters have, and I enjoyed reading about day-to-day life in the Glade. Besides the setting, I enjoyed the interactions all the characters have with each other. Their conversations and reactions seem very realistic. Through their interactions, valuable thoughts and problems are brought up, which strengthened the mystery of the whole novel.
Overall, this novel was as good as I remember. The plot surrounding the boys and the Maze was an interesting idea. I enjoyed the interactions between characters, but I wish I knew more about them as a person. Besides a small hiccup in pacing, the book is pretty good. Give it a try if you haven’t read it already.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment is Thomas’ first night in the Maze. The whole event was tense and stressful, but there was a nice balance of adventure and unknown. I enjoyed reading about Thomas’ resourcefulness and his abilities when he’s left to think for his survival.
Maze Runner is the first installment in the series, and it revolves around a pretty unique idea. I thought it was a really interesting movie, and the characters were awesome. The whole memory-loss, death-trap, big-brother plot worked really well. My only issue with it has to be the beginning. It takes so long for the ball to really start rolling. The pacing is darn near awful in the first 100ish pages, and it wastes quite a bit of time. The plot could have been shortened and sped up a ton to create more room for other things along the way. It doesn’t help that I thought the ending felt a little bit rushed. I loved the plot, but the execution could have been better.
The way this novel is set up we see a ton of characters slip in and out, and some that stick around the entire time. For a group of characters with no memories, I thought James Dashner did a great job of fleshing them out. He also did a wonderful job of filling a ton of roles. We have purely comedic characters, characters that die to explain certain bad things, characters that have short fuses, and characters that you can’t help but feel emotionally attached to. They fill out a darn slow beginning plot and keep the potential of the plot alive through the start.
This is a really good book with a couple of flaws. Yea I would have loved a faster beginning and a slower ending, but this is still a fun read with the right amount of science fiction. With a total of 4 books and 3 movies, this is a great series to get into if you haven’t already!
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment has to be when Thomas first becomes a runner. It’s the most in-depth look into the maze we get, and I thought it was super interesting to finally understand the trap our characters found themselves in.
The Maze Runner book series was always a series I enjoyed but one that on the whole did not leave a huge impact on me but upon reading this first book again it is better than I remember. I always did remember that I considered the first one to be my favourite and when I started this one I remember why, it’s the mystery aspect. Anyone who knows me knows that mystery stories are one of my favourite genres and it’s always a plus if a story has a mystery element in it. Here we have so many mysteries to unravel like, who is Thomas, what is the Glade, what is Wicked, who is Teresa, and what is the deal with the maze. That constant feeling of uneasiness and curiosity is what makes the story the best element in this novel. The characters are also pretty good, though a little standard with Thomas being the brave and hotheaded protagonist, Teresa the character who uses logic, Chuck the best friend of the protagonist who is a source of comedy, and Minho who is the mentor who teaches the protagonist. The Glade is an interesting setting for a book and it fits well with the young adult dystopian genre. The way the story unfolds and the twists are what really make this novel hard to put down.
All in all, this is a solid book that sets up a lot for the sequels but does a good job creating a compelling mystery with some likeable characters that are easy to root for. I definitely recommend this for returning and first-time readers.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
When Thomas and Minho get trapped in the maze because it is our first time in there and the tension is really high.