A website dedicated to books in the Young Adult genre, featuring book reviews, author interviews contests and much more!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Book Review & Contest: The Maze Runner by James Dashner


SYNOPSIS: When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

REVIEW: Thomas wakes up disoriented in a dark elevator lift with no recollection of where he came from or where he is going. The lift doors open to reveal a group of strange teenage boys. They welcome him to the Glade, an acre of land bordering a large stone maze with shifting walls and unsolved mysteries. None of the Gladers know why they were placed in The Glade, but they make sure they are safely within its protective walls after dark. Why? The large doors keep out the Grievers. Grievers are slime ridden metallic creatures who mostly come out at night and will prick you with their deadly needles. The day after Thomas arrives, a young, beautiful girl shows up unexpectedly in the lift. She collapses into a coma after revealing a cryptic message about time running out. Pretty frightening, right? This is the puzzling, suspenseful world James Dashner has created in THE MAZE RUNNER.

The Glade is an extremely creepy place with arbitrary “variables” and ever changing rules that challenge the stakes of survival. A less talented author would leave the reader incredulously shaking his head with disbelief, but Dashner's writing was so skilled, I was able to suspend any reservations I might've otherwise had about the plausibility of the experiment. Like the Gladers, I learned to accept the rules of the Glade and found myself anxious to solve the riddle of the Maze. Thomas' character evolved believably and I thought his reactions to his situation were highly relatable. He proved himself to be a smart, courageous leader among the Gladers, and an extremely likable protagonist.

One of the things I enjoyed most about THE MAZE RUNNER was the Lord of the Flies type hierarchy system that developed within the Glade. It was interesting to me to see how the boys established a pecking order of authority and delegated the work necessary to insure their survival. I also found it intriguing that though Thomas’ memories were wiped, he instinctively knew that he had to be a Runner and that he was connected to the mysterious girl disrupting the Glade with her arrival. The first time Thomas put himself in a deadly situation outside the walls of the Glade was a true nail biter and my absolute favorite part of the book.

THE MAZE RUNNER is a heart stopper and a nail biter that will keep you up in the wee hours of the night. My skin prickled with excitement reading this book and I absolutely can’t wait for the next installment in this series. From the moment Thomas wakes up in the lift, you are plunged into a heart stopping tale of mystery, with well developed characters and a fast paced, entertaining plot. Just like the Runners, whose job was to barrel through the maze searching for patterns and clues, I felt myself hurtling along with them, desperate to unlock the secrets of this frightening world. The end was my favorite part of the book. It has a twist I did NOT see coming either. Check this one out- you don’t want to miss it!

As a special bonus, I am excited to offer up TWO COPIES of this book! If you have wanted to check out THE MAZE RUNNER, here is your chance! Just leave me a comment and you will be entered to win. Bonus entry if you link/post to any social network you wish. Contest ends 12/25 and is open to all US residents. Good luck!**NOTE: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED**

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 Pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (October 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385737947
ISBN-13: 978-0385737944
Buy at Amazon, Borders, Books-a-million, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound

James Dashner is also the author of the 13th Reality series. James was born and raised in Georgia, but now lives in the Rocky Mountains with his family. After several years working in finance, he is now a full-time writer.


Nikki @ Bookizzle said...

I heard that this leaves quite the cliffhanger, which is partly the reason why I haven't picked it up yet. I don't know if I could take the suspense, haha. Great review and I definitely look forward to reading this in the new year!

Thanks for the giveaway! *fingers crossed* :)

Anonymous said...

This is one I've wanted to read for a long time now! It looks so good and I've heard it compared to The Hunger Games quite a lot. :)

Sab H. said...

I loved this book!!! I'd love to own it, enter me please!

crystalreviews AT gmail DOT com

Laura Hartness said...

This one is at the top of my wishlist of books to acquire these days. I would LOVE to read it. Thanks for the chance to enter!

Laura Hartness


Melissa said...

This book is on my WL. Please enter me.


jpetroroy said...

I've been meaning to read this for a while. Please enter me!
jpetroroy (at) gmail (dot) com

+1 I tweeted at http://twitter.com/jpetroroy/status/6376162271

Scott Romanski said...

Sounds pretty good.

lastrideusa AT yahoo DOT com

Emma said...

Amazing review. Sounds like it has the same pacing as The Hunger Games. Can't wait to read this!

brizmus said...

This book sounds creepy - I got shivers just reading your review.
Enter me to win!

+1 it's in my sidebar under the Contest List

Lilixtreme said...

I really love sci-fi and have been hearing so many good things from different bloggers that I must give this one a try!

sidebar: http://lilibethramos.blogspot.com/


Natalie said...

I've been hearing absolutely wonderful things about this book! I'm so excited to read it!

Sidebar Link


D Swizzle said...

Please enter me!


Sherry said...

This sounds awesome! Please enter me! Thanks!


Van Pham said...

Heard a lot of great review for this novel, would love to win this book :)

van p.

Ellz said...

I have heard great things about this series, please enter me. Thanks for the giveaway.

Elie (Ellz Readz)


Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful giveaway! Please enter me into the contest.

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

I finished this recently and WOW. I need to write my review.

It was a great book. I'm with you that the ending was unexpected and I cannot wait to read the follow up!

I threw the contest info on my sidebar for you! It'll be in the contest roundup post I do.

pepsivanilla said...

I can't wait to read this one, sounds so packed with action and adventure!


Mel u said...

great contest and review-please enter me

Anonymous said...

I've had my eye on this book for a while. I would love to win and read it! Please enter me :D

thebookvixen at gmail dot com

ReaganStar said...

Enter me please, I have this on my TBR list.
Happy Holidays

+1 tweeted it (twolilstarz)


Tales of Whimsy said...

Excellent. I have been wanting to read this. Please consider me.

I'm an old follower.


Emily said...

Enter me please!

whatbookisthat at blogspot dot com


Melissa (Books R Us) said...

please enter me


Melissa (Books R Us) said...




Jessica B said...

Please enter me! This looks great!

shutupjessicasreading @ gmaildotcom

Unknown said...

A friend just purchased this, seems like an interesting read! Please enter me.

Orchid said...

Ooh, sounds like an awesome book. Count me in. :)

hauntingorchid (at) aol (dot) com

Rie said...

Sounds great!

I posted on twitter http://twitter.com/rie_mcconnell/statuses/6384661888

Unknown said...

It seems really interesting! I'll totally check it out. Thanks for reviewing it for us Kim! :)

Jessy said...

I loved this book and am eagerly awaiting the next. It would be nice to own my own copy.

tweeted: http://twitter.com/Emma015/statuses/6386492011

findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Reading said...

Please count me in. Thanks for the chance.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Stacey Brucale said...

Please enter me!


in which a girl reads said...

Ooh, I really want to read this!


Karla said...

i would love to be entered.

Sylvia said...

I really really want to read The Maze Runner, I hope I win, thanks for this opportunity:)


tetewa said...

I've heard alot about this one, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

cait045 said...

I would love to read this one.


Nicole Settle said...

I'm pretty excited to read this! Thanks for the giveaway.
+1 sidebar link: http://thewhowhatwhenwherewhy.blogspot.com/


Patricia said...

Is this open for Puerto Rico? If it is, enter me please! It looks amazing :) Great review!

Katy said...

I've seen this book everywhere, and it sounds intriguing.

srfbluemama at gmail dot com

Katy said...

Just RT'ed the giveaway! http://twitter.com/afewmorepages/status/6404457382

srfbluemama at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

please count me in...thanks.


J. Lee said...

Hope I win :)

Meghan said...

Please enter me!
sidebar: http://meghansbookblog.blogspot.com
Thanks. :)

Miss Haley said...

I really want to win this one!! enter me :D


Miss Haley said...

+1 posted at twitter.com/haleymathiot


Andrea said...

I would love a chance to read this book!

+1 And I blogged about the contest here.


Raspberry said...

I just read this! I really liked it, but don't own a copy and of course would love one.
I also posted this on my sidebar at twoandahalfbooklovers.blogspot.com

Cecelia said...

I'm very much looking forward to this book - dystopian novels are my deal right now. Thanks for offering this contest!

+1 I'm adding this to my blog sidebar.


Martha Lawson said...

I'd love to win this one!! Sounds interesting.

I am a follower.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Kelsey said...

Please enter me!

-Kelsey krae991@yahoo.com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, doll. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Jessica said...

I'm so excited to read this book!

+ linked on sidebar


Unknown said...

OMG i really want to read that book its in my christmas list!

Merry Xmas

Becca said...

This sounds great. I'd love to read it. Please enter me!

I blogged about it here:


terin said...

I have been looking for something new and gripping. Consider me entered. :D

baileythebookworm said...

Sign me up! Looks like an intriguing read.

baileythebookworm at gmail dot com :)

Melody said...

I tried to play the game on Random House's website but it's hard.


Eleni said...

Come pick up your award! http://lafemmereaders.blogspot.com/2009/12/blog-monster-award.html

Sue said...

I would LOVE to have this. Thanks for the giveaway!

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

justpeachy36 said...


Looks like a great book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

nfmgirl said...

This book sounds fascinating! Please count me in. Thank you!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...


nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Dawn M. said...

Ooo, I've been wanting to read this one. Count me in, please! :0)

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Carol M said...

This sounds good! I would love to win it!
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Jamie said...

Thanks for the great review!! I want to read this book really bad it sounds good.

I tweeted http://twitter.com/Jamie_Birdwell/status/6496624327

jbbird [at] duo-county [dot] com

KT Grant said...

Very different type of book, also I've heard great things about the book!

Gina said...

First off, let me say that I LOVE your blog layout! So much fun. That said....
Oh, what a FANTASTIC contest! I've been wanting to read this one...so many good things have been said about it. I wonder what the twist could be....with the promise of more to come in the series, I seriously want to know! Count me in!

+1 - linking on sidebar under contests! (http://insatiablereaders.blogspot.com)

Thanks....and happy reading!


Carrie said...

I love your review of TMR! I just bought it and plan to read it before Christmas so I can see if it is ok to buy for my nephew. He is 11, but most books in his age group are too "young" for him. He is in a hard age group where tings are either too mature or too immature for him.


Unknown said...

I've been eying this one!!!


Thanks for the giveaway!

Misty said...

This really sounds pretty good. Enjoyed your review.

misty_labean yahoo com

Sarah said...

Thanks for the review! Would love to have a copy.


Emily said...

Please enter me :)


Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

oOH Kim! I'd love a chance to win one of the copies =)

I posted a link to this on my sidebar : http://creativitygone.blogspot.com

Thanks so much!

misthakes AT gmail DOT com

christine(booktumbling) said...

Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

I also tweeted:

christine(booktumbling) said...

Thank you for great giveaway!


I also tweeted:

Anonymous said...


This book looks like a great read! Adding it to my library list--but would be cool to win it too.

circulating said...

I checked out the Mazerunner from the library. After reading it, I would love to have a copy to give to my grandgirl to have of her very own. THANKS...!!

Euphoria13 said...

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time!Please enter me in this contest!

+1 i tweeted about this contest



Anonymous said...

this looks like a great book =3


wilbarr said...

Sounds good.

pagebar09 at gmail.com

Unknown said...

Enjoyed your review. I haven't read one of his books yet, but they sound very interesting.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Bookish in a Box said...

I've had this on my wish list for a while and would love a chance to read it.

whatinabox (at) gmail (dot) com

Sidebar: http://budgetinabox.blogspot.com/ (under "Book Giveaways")

blah. blah. blah. said...

heard great things about this book .
great review

please enter me


Genevieve said...

I've heard that this book is Awesome! I really want to read it. : )

And I linked this contest on my sidebar:


Kim said...

I loved the Hunger Games and have been looking forward to this book!

I added the contest to my sidebar:


Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book!!

Tweet! Tweet!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Jess Capelle said...

oooh- I've been wanting to read this for a while!

*crosses fingers*

jessicacapelle at gmail dot com

Jen U. said...

Would love to win this!
~Jen Unsell

Unknown said...

Sounds pretty awesome! :)



Sarah said...

Great contest Kim! Count me in!

And I linked the contest to my sidebar, here

two_of_hearts_101 at yahoo dot com

Laura Hartness said...

Hey, guess what? I won The Maze Runner from Alessandra's "Out of the Blue" blog. So you may take me out of this contest. If I'm allowed, I'd love to donate my entries to Nikki @Bookizzle, who also entered the contest near the beginning of the month. Even if it's not allowed, I figured it couldn't hurt to ask!

Merry Christmas!

Laura Hartness
The Calico Critic

dsandyboy said...

Count me in.


FrankSandy said...

Please enter me. walkerd@primus.ca

Dahlia (TheBookShopaholic) said...

This looks amazing. Enter me!

+1 tweeted: http://twitter.com/bookshopaholic/status/7013907619


CherylS22 said...

I'm really in the mood for a good nail-biter. Please count me in!

Happy Holidays!
megalon22 at yahoo dot com