By: Melanie | December 9, 2014 | (48) Comments

Review + Giveaway: The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner by James Dashner
Series: ,
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Genres: Action, Dystopia, YA
Pages: 371
Source: Bought it, Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

The movie has been out for a while now, and if you want to read my review of the movie, click here.

For me, The Maze Runner failed to keep me interested. Here are my reasons. FYI, there are spoilers so if you haven’t read the book/ watched the movie, please just skip this and read my last paragraph.

1. The main character’s a Gary Stu. So when Thomas arrives at The Glade, pretty much everything starts happening. He’s the first one to ever kill an oh-so-scary Griever, a girl shows up right after he arrives, he get’s be a Runner when not many others can, and he can suddenly remember flashbacks. The maze starts acting funny after Thomas arrives and so on. I mean, I get it, we have special main characters quite a lot. But the way his “specialness” came off to me in this book felt annoying and just very frustrating. Only when Thomas came, the boys started getting answers to their questions. I was getting sick of Thomas this and Thomas that. Like please. Just stop.

2. The plot bored my eyeballs out. It moved at a pace slower than a sloth for no good reason. It’s not like the pacing was slow to develop the characters or the plot, it was just slow. Terribly slow.

3. There’s too much information withholding. We didn’t get any answers until towards the end, and by then, it was just too late. I was bored and I couldn’t care less about why the Maze was always changing, and why no one could remember anything but their names, and why they were there.

4. All the supporting characters merged together. I couldn’t tell apart Alby from Newt half the time and I could only really distinguish Gally and Minho from the lot because Gally was apparently one of the mean dudes and Minho’s one of the Runners. I couldn’t care less about Chuck, either. None of the characters ever grew onto me, they were pretty two dimensional and lacked character.

To sum up, I was really disappointed with The Maze Runner. I cannot even blame the hype, because the book itself just didn’t have anything good to offer.


I actually bought a copy of this book myself then Scholastic Australia sent me a copy a while ago so I am offering my movie tie-in copy for giveaway.

Le Rules

1. No cheating! You will be disqualified if you cheat.

2. This giveaway is AUS + NZ only

3. YA Midnight Reads is not responsible for any lost books in the mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1.5 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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48 Responses to Review + Giveaway: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

  1. Christy says:

    How funny, I just finished watching the movie. Like literally, 5 minutes ago. And then I saw your post. I didn’t read the book though. The movie was ok, but not great. I liked Chuck and some of the other secondary characters though. I do kind of want to read the 2nd book just to see what happens.
    Christy recently posted…The Mesmerized by Rhiannon FraterMy Profile

  2. Amelia K says:

    It’s a shame that this one wasn’t your cup of tea, Melanie! I read Dashner’s series about a year ago and I’m totally in love with this series. I do agree that Thomas was a bit of a Gary Stu to begin with 😐 Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  3. I’m not interested in the movie or the book. 😛 I tried the book once, but I didn’t really care for it. 😛
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Bookish Babble: I’m going to watch The 100My Profile

  4. So many people I know who’ve read the book have felt the same. I actually think the movie surpasses the book in so many ways, because it condenses it all and cuts out the snooze-fest parts (also, Dylan O’Brien <3)
    Allie @ Little Birdie recently posted…Authors I Found Under Rocks in 2014 {Top Ten Tuesday}My Profile

  5. I don’t see any redeeming qualities for this book/series. I feel like I’m just going to give myself an unnecessary headache if I read this.

    Thanks for the honesty, Melanie.
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday [12]: Best Discoveries of 2014My Profile

  6. Oh yikes this sounds dreadful…. I enjoyed the movie although I did find the characters to be a bit flat and the things that happened highly implausible. Lovely review, Mel <33
    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books recently posted…ARC Review ~ Zodiac by Romina RussellMy Profile

  7. I find it so funny that you say the supporting characters merge together!
    I read this a long time back and to me, it was amazing. But of course, I was like 3 years younger and a heck of a lot less critical. So who knows what I would think about it now!
    Olgia @ Orange Owls and Books recently posted…Top Ten New Authors of 2014My Profile

  8. Kelly says:

    What’s a Gary Stu? Is this another thing like shipping something? I’m so not cool, one of you poppets need to translate for me. I really enjoyed this one, loved it actually. But then again, I’m really biased when it comes to dystopians. I seem to love them all! But completely agree with the pacing, my goodness it was so bloody sloooooooooow. And Thomas just seemed to be the hero of EVERYTHING! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but because most people seemed to enjoy it, I’ll probably hate it. I’m just that bizzaro reverse person that likes everything that everyone else hated.

    That’s just how I roll.

    Awesome review poppet <3 Will you be continuing on with the series?
    Kelly recently posted…All The Bright Places by Jennifer NivenMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Gary Stu is the guy name for a Mary Stu. Basically that perfect and totally special character in a book, in this case, it was Thomas. 😛

      I really am curious to see what happens next, but I’m not sure if it’s worth my time 😐 maybe one day in the future!

  9. Hilary says:

    Hmm, that’s too bad. I also heard a lot of great things about the first book but I also heard that enthusiasm and interest began to dissipate following the second book.

    There has to be a good balance between being special and OMG-HE’S-THE-PROTAGONIST-AND-SO-WE-MUST-LAUNCH-ALL-THE-HEROICS-ONTO-THOMAS.
    Hilary recently posted…Review: The Theory of EverythingMy Profile

  10. Wow. I was curious about this one because of all the hype, but I think after reading your review I might pass. It does have several things that you mentioned that would frustrate me. Thanks for the helpful review.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Tell Me Something Tuesday #81: Cookie ExchangeMy Profile

  11. Siiri says:

    LOL! Tbh I initially liked the book, but it got boring really fast and while I loved the movie (some of it has to do with Dylan O’Brien and the rest of the brilliant cast), I have dnf-d the book twice halfway through O.O This is not my series in book form. I agre a ton that Thomas was like this speshul snowflake that everyone wanted a piece of or felt like he could solve all the problems etc while he was just annoying as hell (especially when it came to Theresa) and yessssssss to a slow pacing! It was really, really slow. I didn’t love any character except for Minho tbh, but he wasn’t in the book all that much in those places I read. Whatever, I still love the movie 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t love this one 😀
    Siiri recently posted…Blog Tour & Giveaway: Amour Amour by Krista and Becca RitchieMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH DYLAN O’BRIEN ;D Yeah, I liked Minho, mainly coz I actually knew who he was–all the other characters just merged together lel

  12. YES, YES, YES! I completely agree with everything you’ve said here Mel! 😀 I think the author tries to withhold information to create suspense, but it just ends up being annoying instead, you know? And ugh…it so annoyed me that these boys hadn’t solved the maze for 2 years, yet Thomas comes in and they solve it in a month. *snorts* Thanks for sharing Mel, and fabulous post! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…New Design & NameMy Profile

  13. Mary Claire says:

    I haven’t read or seen this one, but I’ve heard mixed things from many people. To bad, because the concept looked like it would’ve been amazing if someone had executed it with quality writing and better characters/plot.

    Good review, Mel! Your reviews are always really honest, and that’s just ONE of the things that makes them so great.
    Mary Claire recently posted…Review: Dangerous Girls by Abigail HaasMy Profile

  14. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I never noticed Thomas’ important-ness, but you’re right. I guess I’m just used to that in main characters. Yes, I wanted answers too, but he holds them out and dangles them in front of me, but it made me keep reading and not be able to put the book down. I also thought the characters were the weakest part of the book, which is why I have hope for the movie. I wish I’d stopped after the Maze Runner though, it all went downhill after that. (I didn’t like Death Cure)
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014My Profile

  15. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one Mel 🙂 I haven’t read the book, but I went to go and see the movie and quite enjoyed it – perhaps this could be one of those cases when the movie was actually better? In any case, I’m still curious to see how different the two are.
    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors in 2014My Profile

  16. Narelle Rock says:

    I would really love to read this book before I watch the movie.

  17. Lexa Cain says:

    Someone gave me this one, and I started it, but put it down after a little while. It reminded me of a Lord of the Flies/Running Man mash-up and I just didn’t feel I could identify with the characters or thought the plot was realistic. I see you felt the same. “Gary Stu” – Hahaha! That’s clever! 🙂
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Walking Shadow & IWSG FreebieMy Profile

  18. I FELT EXACTLY THE SAME. Which is why I liked the movie a whooooole lot better (I mean, how good was the casting???). And the whole mind-reading thing was just…meh.
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…The contemporary YA Books I’m looking forward to in 2015My Profile

  19. Melissa Tosh says:

    Wow, great giveaway. I haven’t read The Maze runner or seen the movie yet but hopefully i get around to it.

  20. Ellen B says:

    These are all really good points. (I didn’t like the book either). For me, another thing was the description of the Grievers. I laughed out loud while reading that part, and that’s not a good thing. I think I was supposed to be terrified. Also agree with you about how we get answers far too late in the book. The hook is really good, but the delivery falls apart.
    Ellen B recently posted…Stolen Songbird ReviewMy Profile

  21. Rashika says:

    Aww! I am sorry you didn’t like the book as much as you liked the movie, Mel! 🙁 I read the book ages ago and back then I loved it! Although if you don’t like this book, I’d say skip the rest of the books because they kind of get worse from here. Or more appropriately, book 3 was basically a waste of paper.. at least I think it was.

    I have to agree with some of the things you said though. If I were to read the book now, I am pretty sure I’d feel the same way. Especially in terms of Thomas. If you think he is a Gary Stu now, Oh he gets SO MUCH WORSE. *shudders*

    Also I’ve never really heard the term Gary Stu before but I AM TOTALLY GOING TO USE IT 😛

    Lovely review, Mel! 🙂
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: The Thickety – The Whispering Trees by J.A. WhiteMy Profile

  22. melissa cushing says:

    I would love to win this and read to review! Thanks so much for sharing! I will read before I watch the movie!

  23. I think I needed to be patient with this book because it took me AGES to get into it. I did end up liking it and gave it about a 3.5, but I agree that it was sooo slow and all of the characters just merged into one another. Lovely review Mel!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Elites by Natasha Ngan Review: An Underwhelming DystopianMy Profile

  24. Sara says:

    Oh yet another book I love! I seriously am obsessed with this book series! Can’t wait till I watch the movie!

  25. Valerie says:

    Awww I’m sad you didn’t like it! Personally I don’t know if I’ll like the Maze Runner or not, but I have yet to read OR watch the movie SO MAYBE??? I don’t know. I probably won’t hate hate it haha.

    I keep pushing it off though for the future, so I probably won’t even get to it until next next year 😛
    Valerie recently posted…The Innocent Smiley Turns One! (and plus giveaway)My Profile

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  27. I don’t plan on seeing the movie, and I din’t plan on reading the book, but the hype sort have interested me a bit. I’m interested enough to read it if I won it, though I’m not sure I would like it but I’m curious to find out. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Rochelle Sharpe recently posted…Writing Tip Wednesday: How to keep writing through the school holidays.My Profile

  28. *clappy hands* Thanks for the giveaway Mel Bels! 🙂 It’s so nice to have a giveaway that’s actually open to New Zealand entries! I swear the world forgets us Kiwis exist sometimes. *rolls eyes*
    Ella @ Once Upon a Bookish Time recently posted…‘Bout This Blogger TagMy Profile

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