Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner

by James Dashner
To be Published October 6th 2009 by Random House (Delacorte Press)
(Two weeks from today!)
374 pages

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights inching towards Top Picks

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. 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 expanse enclosed 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, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.

The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable.

And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind. (from Goodreads)

I was so excited when I read the premise of this book! It seemed like a great mystery along with a menacing new science fiction world -- and I was not disappointed! James Dashner has created a great world with great characters. I laughed, I was shocked, I was thoroughly entertained. Dashner writes with an expert hand and only gives you bits of the story at a time. As you read, your brain is racking for answers just like Thomas and the other Gladers.

The story is definitely one that is written for boys, but that is one of the things I love about this book. Although chick lit/romance are my favorite topics, I have always enjoyed adventure stories. I am one of those weirdos that actually liked reading Lord of the Flies. Other "boy" books I loved were The White Mountains, and Where the Red Fern Grows. I think boy books appeal to a wider audience range because girls will pick up a boyish book, but not as many guys will pick up a girly book like Twilight.

It is a long book for YA, but fantasy/sci-fi novels can get away with that because fantasy and sci-fi readers are used to long books. The only time I felt like the story was getting long was somewhere towards the end. I understood at the VERY end why the action and information I thought was not only a shock but kind of an info dump was there, but I racked my brain for a way to fix it. (I of course couldn't come up with one, but my brain kept telling me something could be altered here to keep the pace up.)

I highly recommend this book! I have had the privilege to meet James (at a writer's conference) and he is hilarious, talented and I am looking forward to seeing more in this series (yes folks, it's a 3 book series!) and more from James Dashner in the future.

Congrats James on a great novel!


Anna said...

I've heard so many great things about this book. Can't wait to read it!

Jena said...

I loved this book, I can't wait to go buy me my own copy next month!

Great review! Thanks

Aubrey (AKA Stacey) said...

Me too Jena! I'm so glad that he is a local author and doing a signing close by!

Bart's Bookshelf said...

I've heard some fantastic things about this one, I can't see me resisting it for too much longer!

Aubrey (AKA Stacey) said...

Bart you should definitely give into temptation on this one. It was such a fun read. Fans of fantasy/sci-fi, dystopic stories, and general adventures will enjoy this one!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Now that's a book with buzz.

Ratliffs said...

Fun! I bet my husband would enjoy it as well!