The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, book one)
By James Dashner, read by Mark Deakins
Published 2009 by Random House Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Thomas wakes up in a very strange place with no memories but his first name. Surrounded by kids he doesn't know in a place with horrors that don't seem real, Thomas and the Gladers must find a way to survive. But everything changes when a girl - the first ever - arrives. And escape becomes the only option.
I might be one of the last avid YA readers to this party. I actually read Dashner's newest novel (The Eye of Minds) before I finished listening to this one. And I didn't love that one. I also don't love this one, but I did enjoy it.
This is a book I find very frustrating, and I'm sure that will be true until I finish the series. There are so many questions and unexplained pieces of this book. Additionally, right now, it seems really out there - as in, I can't imagine what kind of world this takes place in and what it all means. That being said, though, it's certainly interesting. Dashner has created a very unique world, one populated with horrors straight out of classic science fiction. I think this is probably the book's strength, though there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the world that Thomas and the Gladers inhabit. However, I found the made-up language to be a bit bothersome. I understand what Dashner is trying to do here but it just seemed a bit excessive.
I would have liked more character development, though I guess it would have been difficult in a novel where the main character can't remember anything. I would like to know more about the other boys in the Glade - I imagine some of this is forthcoming in the other books in the series.
The Maze Runner was another book that was frustrating to listen to. Much like The Hunger Games, which I also listened to instead of read, I quite frequently felt like I could be reading the book much faster than listening to it, a criticism shared by my boyfriend (who listened along with me). I will pick up book two in print, as I'm sure I can zip through it much more quickly.
Ultimately, the book is intriguing enough for me to want to know more. However, I haven't heard great things about the rest of the series, so we'll see how it goes.