The Maze Runner by James Dashner

In September, there was a sudden barrage of advertisements for a new movie coming out; the Scorch Trials. This had sparked my interest, because I had already seen the Maze Runner, and I was excited to see the sequel, but as a general rule I read the books first. Except I could only faintly remember the details of the Maze Runner and I wanted to read the Scorch Trials before I watched the movie, so true to form I started reading the novel.


This book definitely comes under the action genre- where we plunge straight into the plot, no explanations, and find ourselves being as confused and bewildered as some of the characters. There are confusing rules that make no sense, and then there are things which you know must have significance, but you have no idea why.

Although this isn’t strictly a mystery The Maze Runner could be one too; similar to the Hunger Games trilogy in some respects, teenagers are stuck in a confined area, but instead of fighting each other, they are working together to find a way out of a complex maze that confines them. The Maze Runner will compel you to solve the maze before a bunch of eclectic and unusual characters called Runners do. Like Thomas, the protagonist, you will soon get used to the queer lingo that has evolved in the Maze and is habitually used by everyone.

Thomas is an utterly reckless, yet likeable character, who has information hidden somewhere in his mind, just beyond reach, which could save the Glade. The Glade is an encampment at the centre of the maze which surrounds them. The maze is the only way to freedom for the Gladers, but escape seems far from attainable when a girl arrives at the Glade. And on that note, although the large majority of the characters are male, due to the nature of the Glade, The Maze Runner can appeal to anyone with a taste for thrillers, as well as action with a tinge of horror.

The Maze Runner makes you ask yourself questions. And not just because ambiguous hints about the novel that are dropped like a trail throughout, almost giving everything away, so that you are always left guessing, pondering, questioning, what could this mean? And who really are the ‘bad guys’ in this book, the antagonists? Is it the Grievers, who murder the unfortunate people who cross their paths, or is it bigger than that? Do the Grievers lack control over their bloodthirsty ways- are they being commanded by the people who put them in the maze? Nothing is clear until the last few pages, and even then lots of questions still remain unanswered, but because of those that are it is definitely worth the wait!

Quite gory, the Maze Runner isn’t for the faint-hearted, and the ending offers us a glimpse of what our world could be like, not today or tomorrow, but in several hundred years, if we don’t start caring for our planet. I haven’t watched the Scorch Trials yet, and most likely never will, but I will definitely search bookshelves for the novel.


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