Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Review of *The Maze Runner* by James Dashner

I'm trying to think about how I'll begin this review, but I can only think of saying "I loved it like whoa!". Which is kind of helpful and unhelpful at the same time. But I can say for sure that The Maze Runner has pitched itself fitfully into a top five placing as my favourite fiction of all time. This book is so good.

And I hummed and hawed during the first 50 pages or so, thinking "this book can go either way in my esteem". And then something happened and I was reading this book faster than I was processing the words. I craved the story when I wasn't reading and burned to know what the heck was going on.

Thomas wakes up in a pitch black metal box which begins moving upwards. He knows somehow that he's forgotten everything about his life except his name. Then the box opens, he realizes he's been in an elevator-type place and a bunch of faces are peering down at him from above. He's hoisted out to meet the Gladers; boys, only boys, who have been living in The Glade for two years. None know their pasts or how they got there, or even what is beyond the world they're trapped in. Do you remember the movie The Cube? It's what The Maze Runner reminded me of at first; strangers wake up to find themselves trapped in a labyrinth that shifts and moves, trapping them and testing them. Except The Maze Runner also has particularly horrible beasties running around. The boys are safe as long as they stay in The Glade and have even managed to set up a system of governing and a decent day-to-day lifestyle. But every night they send out a team of Maze Runners who try to out-pace and out-smart the maze. No one has solved the problem after two years and then one day the Gladers receive a note, and a girl, and everything changes.

There is so much mystery in this book that I was actually frightened of how it would end. Would the ending be satisfying? It's also the first of a trilogy. And I have to say that not only does The Maze Runner end in a satisfying way for its own contained story, it also makes you desperate for the sequel. As a lady familiar to reading sequels, trilogies and series, I can say that this is very hard to do. The drive to know the answers is very strong. And I have no idea when the second book is available...Ah, Fall 2010 (from James' Blog). He also mentions that he didn't just pull the sequels out of the air, but had them planned all along as an on-going larger story arc, but also as stand-alones. The second book will be called The Scorch Trials. I really appreciate and love when I feel I can trust an author; there is a LOT of mystery in The Maze Runner but I have faith that all will be revealed and it will make sense to the story.

I also love that TMR does a few genre-defying tricks. One scene in particular; Thomas is in the maze, at night, explicitly a really bad time to be trapped outside The Glade, and he's been spotted. *shivers* So scary. The tension was beautifully crafted, and I still have this very vivid sense of the action. I think SciFi can segue neatly into Horror pretty easily, but this scene was a great example of this potential--total spookstown.

I think also that the designer did a pretty good job on the cover art. If I was left to my own imaginative devices I probably would have just been picturing David Bowie's Labyrinth and it wouldn't have been so scary. Although, reading TMR, I felt like the maze might look a little less green and a little more robotic? The hanging vine/ropes are there in the story but I don't remember wall-spikes. I also had a problem trying to picture The Glade; it looked smaller in my mind than it was described in the book. I was like, "Oh, there are gardens and a forest? *push the edges of my mind's map back significantly*".


I want to shout out an extreme thank you to Random House for making this giveaway possible!


Laura Hartness said...

Thanks for the chance to enter!

Here are my bonus entries:

Put it in my sidebar on my blog,

Tweeted about it, my Twitter name is @LHartness

When is the deadline for entries? I'd like to include that date in my sidebar mention on my blog.


Laura Hartness

Ellz said...

Please enter me in your giveaway.
Elie (Ellz Readz)

jpetroroy said...

Please enter me!

jpetroroy (at) gmail (dot) com

Lilixtreme said...

Awesome giveaway!
Tweeted about contest:

Anonymous said...

I really, really want to read this book.


Anonymous said...

I tweeted here:

Melanie said...

This sounds like an amazing read! I'd love to win.


ccqdesigns said...

Oh, I would love to read this book. I have heard so many good things about it!

rebecca dot cox at charter dot net

ccqdesigns said...
and Here's a tweet!!!

Anonymous said...

would love a chance to enter!

sensitivemuse at gmail dot com

Gina said...

Great contest! Thanks for making the entry easy-peasy for all and offering such a great (or so I've heard) book! Count me in!

x2 - off to tweet now!


Zia said...

I would love to read this book.


Rhiannon Hart said...

The Cube! I do remember watching that film. Kinda liked it.

I tweeted this contest (If you're on twitter I'm @rhiannonlhart)

rhi.hart at

(By the way I'm in Australia so I hope I'm still eligible.)

Unknown said...

I would love a copy I found your giveaway through a tweet from J. Kaye.

I was wondering when your contest ends and who is eligible - US/Canada/UK/Worldwide?

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Would LOVE a copy!

X2 my sister's son would love a copy of this book as well so she should be stopping by at some point since I told her! ;o)

Dani. said...

This book looks amazing.
Everything about it screams "Read Me! Read Me!" and boy do I want to:)

X2: Tweeted-


Mitz said...

I would love to have this book. Reviews have been great and you seem pretty excited about yourself so it must be good.

Leslie @ This is the Refrain said...

Thanks for the contest!

x2 for a tweet! (lulu_bella)

regularrumination @ gmail . com

~The Book Pixie said...

OMG! I've heard so much about this book and would love to win it!


~Briana :D

pepsivanilla said...

Thanks for the giveaway :)


rainstorm said...

kimi kaio @ (no spaces)

Donna Gambale said...

I really want to read this one! Great review.

x2 - sidebar link to First Novels Club blog

firstnovelsclub [at] gmail [dot] com


Kelsey said...

This sounds amazing!! Great review.

kelseythebookscout at gmail dot com

Nicole Settle said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I really want to read this!

Sara said...

I'd love to be entered!

Sara @ The Hiding Spot

Sara said...


Linked to sidebar of blog!

Sara @ The Hiding Spot

Unknown said...

Great contest! I'm excited to read this.

Also tweeted about it! x2

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Awesome review! I actually wasn't too into reading this one, but you make it sound awesome. And double thanks for the contest! :)

x2 sidebar:


James Dashner said...

Thank you for this awesome review! I'm so glad you liked it!!!

Lizzy said...

Glad you liked it, I can't wait to read it!

Enter me, please. I've been seeing a bunch of great reviews.


Anonymous said...

Please enter me! I would love to win this book :D

x2 [sidebar link on my bloggie]

thebookvixen at

Debbie F said...

Just found this giveaway and blog from J. Kaye on Facebook! I'm now a follower and would love a chance to win this book. thanks!
dcf_beth at verizon dot net.

Debbie F said...

Just found this giveaway and blog from J. Kaye on Facebook! I'm now a follower and would love a chance to win this book. thanks!
dcf_beth at verizon dot net.

in which a girl reads said...

Wow. After this review, I HAVE to read this book!

choco (In Which a Girl Reads)

X2 (added to sidebar at

Llehn said...

I've been eyeing this book for a while now! Fingers crossed!


Cecelia said...

Put my name in for this one - it sounds and look fabulous! Thanks!


brizmus said...

Enter me!
It's in my sidebar , and I tweeted it


brizmus said...

oh, and when's it ending? I put it for November 18 just because I like the number 18, and I didn't know.
This book really looks rad!

Brodie said...

Ohh, great review! I cannot wait to read this book! I've heard such awesome things about it, please enter me if this is open internationally :)

Thank you!

Brodie said...

x2 Oh and I also tweeted here -

Thank you!

Literature Crazy said...

I'd love to win.


This contest will be featured in the Weblog Love on Wednesdays post scheduled for 11/11/09.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I would love to win this.
Please please enter me :)


I'm an old follower :D

Anonymous said...

M! guees, a lot of people trying to get this book!! i remember you told me about it! well trying my luck again! :-P
the dystopia week is looking beautiful!!! great books and better reviews! and interviews :-)
thanks M!


Unknown said...

Please enter me for the book

kolists [at] gmail (dt) com

Unknown said...

Please enter me to win

kolists a/t gmail d\t com

Unknown said...

I would love to enter! =)


Lawral the Librarian said...

This sounds awesome! I'd love to win a copy!


Sylvia said...

I love dystopian books and I'm sure this one would be wonderful too! I would love to win:) Thanks a lot!

vvb32 reads said...

me, me, me ;-D

vvb32 at

Holly said...

hey, i'm holly :)

i also linked this contest on my blogs sidebar:


Briana said...

OMG! I really want to read this! Enter me please!


Anna said...

I want to read this book so bad!

Posted about it here:


Stormi said...

Would love to read this book



Lindsay Frost said...

I would LOVE to win this!!
Thankyou!! :D:D:D:D

-Lindsay :D:D:D

Priya said...

Please enter me! I've been dying to read this book.


YA Book Queen said...

Please enter me!

Jessica B said...

Thanks for the chance to win! My email is:

shutupjessicasreading @ gmaildotcom

My name:
Jessica Secret

audrey said...

Ooh, great review! Got me interested in sci-fi and that's not very easy to do :P


ps-if this contest isn't open to Canada, ignore this post :P

Bookie00 said...

Really wanna win!

x2 on facebook =)

Kari Olson said...

flamingo1325 at gmail dot com

x2 for sidebar on my blog

Nikki @ Bookizzle said...

I'd love to be entered!

Jordan Perryman said...

This books looks so amazing and I can't wait to read it!

Ivana said...

Please, count me in, I've heard great things about it!
I posted the contest in my sidebar. Thanks for the great contest!
ivanaquick at gmail dot com

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

This looks so wonderful! Please include me in this giveaway... I have twittered about it!


journey through books @ gmail dot com

Andrea said...

I would love to read this book...please enter me!

x2 And I blogged about the contest here.


InfinitePlaylist said...

I'd like to win :)

infiniteplaylist (at) gmail (dot) com

Reading said...

Please count me in. Thanks for the giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Hailey Miller said...

This sounds like an absolutely awesome book! Please enter me.

+1 Posted about this contest with a link on my sidebar at


Michelle said...

oh, thanks so much for the review. It looks wonderful. Please enter me for the contest.


mmillet at gmail dot com

cait045 said...

I have not read James Dashner's new book but I would really like too.


Anonymous said...

My husband would love this book!
lraphaelbogaert at yahoo DOT com

Just posted a tweet about it too.

TheOutspokenYam said...

I'd love to be entered1 Thank you.

TheOutspokenYam said...

And I tweeted here

Meghan said...

Please enter me!
added to my sidebar:
Thanks. =)

Darlene said...

Please enter me, Darlene

Amy said...

Would love to win!

Andrea [Buried In Books] said...


Andrea [Buried In Books] said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Milka said...

Please count me in!


Lost in a Book said...

Ah! This book looks so good and my library doesn't have it! I'd love to be entered!

I posted the link to my sidebar at


Michelle said...

Wonderful review! Thanks!

I'd love to be entered for the contest

mmillet at gmail dot com

Kelsey said...

Please enter me into this contest! Thanks for the opportunity.


Unknown said...

please enter me in this contest if its open internationally

rubs.escalona [at]

Jamie said...

Please enter me this sounds great!!

jbbird AT duo-county DOT com

Karla said...

please enter me ive heard great reviews for this book.


Kara said...

Cool contest. It would be amazing if I won this because I FINALLY turn 18 on Nov. 18!

The Library Lurker said...

Wow, great great great contest! I really want to read this book!

Chewinggum said...

I'm so bored! I seriously need a book as such! Thank you so much for organizing this contest, at least it makes me looking forword to tomorrow even though I won't be getting that book.
X2 via blog at and informing my friend who is also a bookaholic.

Anonymous said...

I want to read this book so bad! Thanks for hosting this contest :)


Jamie said...

Love to be entered....Stacy


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