04 March 2014

The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner

So the first in this series starts with a bang: a young boy trapped in an elevator with no clue who he is. For some reason, this image really lodged in my brain. I think the idea of being trapped in a box - a moving box - with no memory and no idea where you are headed is just horrifying. That sense of creepy persists throughout the series.

Thomas, said boy trapped in elevator, is freed from his moving cage by The Gladers, a group of boys who, like Thomas, have no memory of their life prior to the elevator. Over the years, a culture has developed, a system of governance, specific jobs and tasks, and a definite purpose. The Glade is smack dab in the middle of a maze, and the boys have been trying to find a way out. Books 2 and 3 are what happen after they get out. If you want to know more about that, read the series.

The series is much more about the action than it is the characters, a quality which works for me about 40% of the time; I am a character-loving reader. In this case, it worked. The story never stopped with craziness happening right and left, and I definitely was swept along for the ride.

Despite the lack of character development, the book does create relationships between the characters. I may not fully understand their motivations or psyche but I definitely understand their feelings for each other, no matter how convoluted those feelings are.

My only frustration while reading is not really a frustration overall - or rather it is an intentional frustration. Thomas and the other characters are consistently in the dark about what's happening, and as such, so is the reader. We are not omniscient readers, ineffectually yelling at the characters to realize the truth. We don't know the truth either, and at times, being so in the dark about the 'reality' of the situation had me wrinkling my nose in frustration. Most of the time though I sort of enjoyed discovering the truth along with Thomas, and I was definitely guessing and second guessing the details while reading.

After reading the series - which I did very very quickly - I passed them along to my mother who also enjoyed the story, a compliment for sure as my mom is a bit pickier in her YAL reading than I am, especially when the story is more middle grade than high school.


  1. This was another series I read aloud to my three boys, and we all enjoyed them, although we weren't happy with one of the character's fates in the final book. We are looking forward to seeing the Maze on film in the fall - it is such a visual book!

  2. I've been a little iffy about this series. People either seem to love it or hate it. I might try the first one and see if it hooks me.

  3. I need to just jump in and see what I think with The Maze Runner. I love a fast-paced book. I do like a little character development. At least enough to care what happens to the characters, but as long as the plot is well-developed and executed, I am usually happy.

  4. I liked the first book and its sequel, although the third book didn't wow me as much as I wish it did. It was such a fun, creative book though that I still continue to recommend this. By the way, new follower!

    1. Glad to see you here Jillian! I hope you continue to stop by!


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