The Maze Runner

Published on August 18, 2010 by

I finally got around to reading The Maze Runner by my friend James Dashner. I heard him read the first chapter or two several years ago at CONduit, long before he found a publisher for it, but I had a feeling it would get published.

Here’s the basic premise: A young man in an elevator can remember nothing except his own name, Thomas. When the elevator finally stops, he comes out in an area populated only by a bunch of boys of various ages. They live in a safe haven in the middle of a deadly maze. Each of them, like Thomas, arrived a month apart through the elevator, remembering nothing but their own names.

But something’s different about Thomas’s arrival. The next day, the elevator brings someone new: a young woman that Thomas feels like he should remember – and a note saying she will be the last one, ever.

The Maze Runner is fast-paced and full of mysteries and action. It’s aimed at a middle grade audience, but I found it very enjoyable.

It’s also the first of a trilogy, and my one quibble with the book is something that may be resolved satisfactorily in the next two (which I look forward to reading):

***** MINOR SPOILER WARNING *****

I don’t see how the trial posed by the maze, and the way it was solved, would really be useful to the adults, no matter what their purposes are.  Since Thomas used knowledge from before his amnesia to figure out the solution to the maze, it was a form of cheating – and the adults intentionally allowed it.  So what was the point of the maze test at all?  Unlike Ender’s Game, where the adults messed with the games to make it harder for Ender in order to train him for what they wanted, here they seemed to make it easier. And that took away some of the excitement.

Filed under: General

2 comments on “The Maze Runner”

  1. Funny that you should post this today Eric, I just finished reading The Maze Runner last night at 3:00 am. While I enjoyed it a lot, potential readers should be warned that it is very violent and the pseudo-swear words are often close enough to real English swear words that some readers may find it offensive.

    The comparisons to Ender\’s Game I think are unavoidable, but unlike Ender, the purposes of the adults, and the plausibility of their method of achieving that end,cannot be evaluated until the sequels are available.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Carlajo says:

    I couldn\’t put the dang thing down, but you\’re right, that bugged me a bit, too. And the death of…okay, really spoiler. Sorry. I\’m not sure my nerves can take another dose, but I\’ll definitely be reading the sequels.