What I’m Reading: The Maze Runner Trilogy

From the Goodreads summary:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.
“Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.”
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.
“Everything is going to change.”
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
Remember. Survive. Run.

This book series was recommended to me by Stefani @ Caught Read Handed. In fact, reading it was what pushed her to start her fabulous blog (seriously, go check it out – it’s awesome!).

I put the first book, The Maze Runner, on my Summer TBR, and said that the rest of the series might push its way onto the list. Well, it didn’t just push – it shoved, quite possibly knocking some of the other books into the fall. 😉

James Dashner’s trilogy reminds me of both The Hunger Games trilogy and Ender’s Game. I don’t mean that it’s necessarily derivative, just that if you like either, or both, of those series, you’ll like The Maze Runner. It’s got many of the same elements –  dystopian world, sci-fi tech and medicine, and children fighting for survival.

The first half of The Maze Runner is a lot of world building and, quite frankly, info dumping, but it’s all so fascinating that it moves quickly. In the second half the action ratchets up, and then barely lets up for the next 2-1/2 books! The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure read as one continuous book, and I highly recommend binge reading them! 😛

As quickly as the actions moves, the character development is, at times, painfully slow. The MC, Thomas, starts the book with no personal memories, so we are joining him on a quest to discover who he really is.

     Chuck continued talking, taking a completely unexpected turn. “Thomas, I’m kinda messed up, man. It’s weird to feel sad and homesick, but have no idea what you wish you could go back to, ya know? All I know is I don’t want to be here. I want to go back to my family. Whatever’s there, whatever I was taken from. I wanna remember.”
Thomas was a little surprised. He’d never heard Chuck say something so deep and so true. “I know what you mean,” he murmured.
– The Maze Runner

Some things I really liked:

  • An ethnically diverse cast of characters (although it did strike me as odd that the Asian and Hispanic characters were referred to in those terms, but the African-American characters were merely described as dark skinned).
  • The characters’ names were fun to analyze.
  • The “love-triangle” was a minor plot, and actually added to the story as a whole.
  • The various monsters were very original and scary. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Greivers in the upcoming film.
  • The boys’ made-up slang. It was grating at first, but once I got used to it, I found myself using it (in my head, otherwise people might think I was nuts 😉 ).
  • Minho, my new book boyfriend (well, he would be, if I was 20 years younger and single). He is a classic Smirker, as defined by my new blog friend Erin @ Raised Reading, and I love him!
  • The cover artwork, which, as far as I can tell, are the original American covers, are beautiful artist renditions of actual places in the book! I’m thrilled that the publisher gave us great covers!

One thing that really bugged:

  • At one point they use wax paper to trace something – this is a major plot point. The book mentions that Frypan, the cook, doesn’t want to give them the wax paper because he uses it for baking. Mr. Dashner, sir, wax paper is used to wrap things – you can’t bake with it! If you put wax paper in the oven, the wax will melt. Also, it’s extremely difficult to use as tracing paper because the wax makes it slippery. I believe what you meant was PARCHMENT paper.

The Maze Runner trilogy is an action packed, twisting, turning, thrill ride! There is also a prequel, The Kill Order, which I’m saving for the fall. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the series:

Fear seemed to hover in the air like a blizzard of black snow.
– The Maze Runner

21 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Maze Runner Trilogy

  1. Raised A Reader says:

    Yay for a new Smirker, haha! I tried out the Maze Runner a while back, but like you said it’s a lot of exposition at first, so I put it down. I think I just need to really plow through and then I’ll be hooked.


    • Selah at A Bibliophile's Style says:

      Something I’ve discovered recently is that I have a high tolerance for exposition, in comparison to many other readers. In fact, I usually find it fascinating. 🙂 There really is a lot more action in the back half of The Maze Runner, and the other 2 books are nearly constant action.


      • Raised A Reader says:

        Hmm, interesting. It’s not that I hate exposition. It’s just that I don’t like it in large quantities in the beginning of the story. I can usually handle it more toward the middle. But I do love action, haha, so maybe I’ll just quickly flip through the first half and then get running with the rest of the series.


  2. mtsedwards says:

    I do tell my reluctant readers that Maze Runner is Hunger Games for boys. Glad you and I are on the same wavelength here. And once the movie comes out, of course, I’ll have no problem shilling it, I bet. I agree with most of your points and Minho is an amazing character but I did feel the action was entirely too relentless by book #3? But maybe that’s just me…


  3. Gracey the Giant says:

    I didn’t love this series. I was definitely hooked after the first book and read them all rather quickly, but for me, this series was definitely less successful than The Hunger Games. Of course, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve read it so I can’t articulate why, but in the end, I only thought it was okay.

    I loved reading your thoughts on it though; thank you for sharing!


    • Selah at A Bibliophile's Style says:

      I agree that The Maze Runner is not as successful as The Hunger Games. THG trilogy are some of my favorite books ever, so most distopians don’t hold up to them. These were a solid offering that I really enjoyed, but I doubt I’ll re-read. I am glad I bought them, as I’m sure my son will love them in 5-6 years. 😉


  4. Caught Read Handed says:

    YAY! I’m so glad you liked it so much! Also, Minho. YES. Love, love, love him. I really liked the slang as well, and I found myself using it in my head as well. Haha. Also, the characters’ names were a fun thing for me too. I like the idea behind them. 🙂
    I need it to be September NOW.


  5. Stephanie says:

    I’m still chuckling about the Wax Paper/Parchment paper debacle! That would have irritated me too! Also I’m not sure exactly what makes a character a “smirker” but the image that produces makes me envision a sardonic smart aleck and I love those types of characters!


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