The maze runner by James Dashner book review


When the lift cranks open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone – an army of boys welcomes him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a terrible maze. The Gladers have no idea why they’re there, or what’s happened to the world outside. And following the arrival of a girl with a message, they must find a way out or – or die.

There is a simple sum up for this novel; Fascinating plot, bad writing.

It’s not as harsh as I’m making it sounds, but that’s generally it. In fact, it was only the plot that kept me turning the pages. It’s an original plot idea, packed full of mystery. There is a desperate need to find out what’s happening.

Unfortunately, this is bogged down by a constant tell don’t show. I felt the Author doesn’t trust us to understand the emotions of the moment. He’s constantly telling us how Thomas feels or what Thomas thinks of Every. Single. Action. It eventually gets very frustrating and I struggled to finish the book because of this.

Thomas, our main character, goes through a multitude of emotions in seconds. One minute he’s determined to be strong the next he’s lost all hope. Honestly, it gets really annoying and makes Thomas seem really whiny.

In the beginning the story starts quickly and we’re led into it quite well, but a third of the way through it starts to slow down. It wanders aimlessly for awhile before picking up the speed.

When Dashner is writing an action scene, his writing comes to life and you can see what this novel could be. Chapter 20 is an example of this.

Yet, the moment of figuring things out, and the ending, seem rushed as if Dashner had gotten fed up and just wanted to finish the book. To be honest, it needed another draft and edit in my opinion. The story idea wasn’t used to its full worth which is a great shame.

To sum up, unique plot, (which is the only reason I finished it), bad writing, read like a draft.

Is it worth the read? No, the bad execution of writing made this an exhausting experience. (And the only making it worth being read is if the other books are good.)

Would I re-read it? No.

Would I read this Author again? Yes, because I can see glimmers of excellent writing that, coupled with plot, would be an amazing book.

Stars: 2/6


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16 thoughts on “The maze runner by James Dashner book review

    • Combustible reviews 04/10/2015 / 5:21 pm

      It was hard work. I plan on reading the second one and it’ll depend on that one if the first was worth reading!


      • A Stranger's Guide to Novels 04/10/2015 / 5:37 pm

        Hmm I like YA novels the most I think, but I am really into contemporary, fantasy and historical fiction at the moment. You?


      • Combustible reviews 04/10/2015 / 5:46 pm

        I mainly read fantasy, but enjoy sci fi and horror. Anything with a good blurb to catch my attention.

        One of my favourite Authors is Terry Pratchett.


      • A Stranger's Guide to Novels 04/10/2015 / 5:52 pm

        Pratchett…Pratchett…oh his the author who released a book last month. That last in its series I think?


      • Combustible reviews 04/10/2015 / 5:57 pm

        Yes, he died. You can read most of his Discworld series out of order, but there are a few exceptions and The shepherd’s crown is one you have to read in order.

        (Wee free men, Hat full of Sky, Wintersmith, I shall wear midnight and The Shepherd’s crown.)


      • A Stranger's Guide to Novels 04/10/2015 / 6:03 pm

        Awww okay. I was thinking of picking up one of his books a while back actually. I will have to do some research in the Discworld series definitely.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Zoë 19/11/2015 / 1:03 pm

    Yep. NOT a book that I liked at all. It was a chore to read and I am so glad that I did not continue with the rest of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Combustible reviews 19/11/2015 / 1:15 pm

      It’s a book I wouldn’t have finished if I wasn’t reviewing it!

      The second one is a little better, still a lot of Thomas having fluctuating emotions, but good enough that I’m going to read the third.

      Liked by 1 person

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