Genre: Young Adult

The Maze Runner by James Dashner is a dystopian young adult science fiction novel. This story follows a young protagonist named Thomas. At the very beginning, he is forced into a world that he doesn’t fully understand, and he must discover who he used to be before his memory was taken away.

The narrative begins with Thomas riding up in a dark elevator with no recollection of his past. When the elevator is opened, he meets a large group of boys called Gladers. These boys live in an open, grassy area known as The Glade. This area is enclosed by giant stone walls, and beyond those walls is a maze that goes on for miles. The boys have built their own community within The Glade, and every boy has a job to perform each day. Their main goal is to solve the maze and escape. Thomas is only there a short time before another person arrives in the elevator. This surprises everyone because this person turns out to be a girl with a shocking message. After the girl arrives, the real problems begin.

The Maze Runner is another book that is obviously part of a trilogy because of information being left out about why the maze was built and why these young boys are in it. It’s understandable that the second book will give more information about the maze and the boys, but the first book should have done this. It’s possible for a story to give all the details of the world and the plot without making the reader buy a second book to complete the story.

There was little characterization within the novel. Thomas never grew as a character; he only gained his memories back. He did receive a bit of back story when the girl arrived, but it was mainly about trying to figure out his past. Some boys did seem to be a cliché at times: the cowardly/loyal friend, the untrusting/evil guy in the group, and the knowledgeable mentor that teaches the protagonist. On the other hand, the story does a good job at keeping the reader’s attention. Even though at the end of each chapter there was a “dun dun dun” moment, I did want to continue reading. The novel is fitting for being a young adult book because it will make the young readers want to keep reading.

The Maze Runner ended in the middle of all the action. Most of the juicy details are briefly discussed at the end of the book before the story is cut off. A lot of the plot is left unexplained and leaves the reader a bit bewildered by what actually happened in those last few chapters. I’m not a fan of having to buy a second book that will finish explaining the plot that the first book should have clarified; however, I did enjoy this book for the interesting plot, and I most likely will get a copy (from the library) of the second book in the trilogy to find out what happens next.

My Rating: ★★★