Series Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner


I decided to review the series as a whole, instead of one book at a time. I read these over the course of a week and a half, so I finished them rather quickly. It took me a while to get to them, since my obsessiveness with sticking to my TBR schedule won’t let up. I usually don’t buy print books of series until after I’ve read the first book and enjoyed it. But my itchy hands had to click on the boxed set for sale on Amazon earlier this year. Don’t blame me, blame my fingers! I actually had to order the prequel separately, but it was worth it. Okay, lets get to the review. There will be no spoilers (hopefully), just a little rundown of each book.


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Series: The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner

Released Between: October 6, 2009 – August 14, 2012

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Source: Bought (boxed set paperbacks)

Genre: YA/Dystopia/Science-Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic 

Series Rating: 4 Stars

Purchase: Amazon

SYNOPSIS: Imagine waking up in total darkness, unsure of where of where you are and unable to remember anything about yourself except your first name. You’re in a bizarre place devoid of adults called the Glade. The Glade is an enclosed structure with a jail, a graveyard, a slaughterhouse, living quarters and gardens. And no way out. Outside the Glade is the Maze, and everyday some of the kids– the Runners– venture into the labyrinth, trying to map the ever -changing pattern of walls in an attempt to find an exit from this hellish place. So far, no one has figured it out. And not all of the Runners return from their daily exertions, victims of the maniacal Grievers, part animal, part mechanical killing machines.

Thomas is the new arrival to the Glade in this Truman-meets-Lord of the Flies tale. A motley crew of half a dozen kids is all he has to guide him in this strange world. As soon as he arrives, unusual things begin to happen, and the others grow suspicious of him. Though the maze seems somehow familiar to Thomas, he’s unable to make sense of the place, despite his extraordinary abilities as a Runner. What is this place, and does Thomas hold the key to finding a way out?


This is a really amazing series. I’m a fan of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire movies (I didn’t read the books), but I read Mockingjay, so when others started comparing the two, I thought i’d give this series a shot. I can’t compare the first two books of THG trilogy with this, but going by the movies i’d hazard to say this series is more dramatic than THG. I read The Kill Order first since it’s the prequel for the trilogy.

Mark, the MC, teams up with Alec and they try to find a cure for the plague that’s killing the survivors of the solar flares that nearly wiped out Earth. He is recalling all that happened the year before, while also living in the present. The details are truly frightening to me. I was so keen on stopping, but it kept getting to the point where I couldn’t. And while I appreciate details, I think that some of the goriness could have been left out. This is supposed to be YA after all. After reading all of the books, I realized that The Kill Order really left me with questions. I assumed that it would be better to read it first, but I was wrong. There were characters that added nothing to the other books, I’m pretty sure that they didn’t need to be mentioned at all. Yes, you get to know what happened before the Glade, but this felt like a different story. Maybe I should have just read the trilogy, then maybe I wouldn’t think it was such a waste of my reading time.

In The Maze Runner, Thomas wakes up in the Glade with memory loss, surrounded by various teenage boys. He’s asking questions but getting no answers. There are multitudes of rules to follow, yet the place doesn’t seem half bad. Soon Thomas finds out what exactly is outside of the walls protecting the Glade. He and the others start to formulate a plan to leave the Glade. Apparently no one is allowed  inside the Maze, except the Runners. Once a girl is brought in, things change exponentially. The fight for survival is all to real for Thomas and the others. The author only gives out certain information in spurts, clearly to keep the reader wanting more. I immediately jumped to the next book.

The Scorch Trials nearly had me pulling out my hair. They are created to test out the survivors of the Glade by WICKED. It is really insane!! I couldn’t, for the life of me, stop reading. By the end, I was questioning my own mind. You never know who to trust, and there are new characters that make you want to hide under a rock. Seriously, it was just that gruesome. And yet, I kept reading like the masochist that I am. There is so much action in this one, much more than The Maze Runner. If WICKED isn’t enough to give you an idea of the dangerous situations, let me tell you what it stands for. World In Catastrophe Killzone Experiment Department, is that enough to make you cringe? This book was the least of my favorite in the trilogy. Again, Dashner gives you just enough to make you keep reading. It was beyond brilliant writing, but I can’t say that I would read it again. I’ll just wait for the movie (if there is a second).

Thomas goes through a lot in The Death Cure. And the character deaths were shocking, to say the least. I thought that a lot more would be revealed about WICKED, but it wasn’t. I’m not sure what to think about this book. The Maze Runner is the only book that I liked from the whole trilogy. James Dashner clearly doesn’t do too much character development here. We learn that the flare was created to control the population. Shocker there! (sarcasm intended)! In all the dystopian books, everything is about control. Yeah, kinda had that figured Mr. Dashner.

I was going to say that it was just okay, but that is an understatement of epic proportions. It is brilliant writing on parts, but others just made me want to throw it out with my garbage. I’m not so sure this should be classified as YA. It involves teens yes, but would I want my teen reading the gruesome details of this book? Not sure. Just like The Hunger Games trilogy, I am hesitant to let my cousins read it, simply because of all the deaths and kids killing kids thing. But, it is a good series to read, so therefore the 4 stars is warranted.

4 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58

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