The Maze Runner - James Dashner
The concept of this book was interesting. Thomas wakes up to find himself trapped in a maze with about 50 or 60 other teen aged boys. He has no idea how he got there, what he’s doing there and has no memory of his life up to this point.

The boys seem mature in many aspects, they are able to care for themselves in their own little community, stay organized each doing their own jobs with no adults to keep them in line. They have their own rules and consequences for breaking the rules. It’s impressive until they open their mouths. It felt like every other word was either greenie, shank, shuck, klunk or slinthead. Their slang grew old real quick.

Thomas has absolutely no clue what’s going on but don’t expect any answers from the other Gladers because they can’t be bothered to give him any. These kids are supposed to be incredibly smart but it seemed like every time Thomas would suggest something, climbing the vines for example, he would be told something along the lines of, “Don’t you think we tried that already? It can’t be done!” Thomas then proceeds to try it and shockingly, it can be done! Honestly, were they even really trying?

The giant maze changes every day so they have runners that go into the maze to scout and gather information and draw maps to help them figure it out. Getting caught in the maze once the walls close each evening is pretty much a death sentence. At night the Grievers come out. Giant robot/spiders that kill Gladers. The Grievers would be far more scary if I could properly imagine what they look like. I found it difficult to “see” them because they weren’t described with enough detail. I have an excellent imagination and I can fill in the blanks easy enough but I want what I imagine to be as close to what the author has in mind as possible and I wasn’t confident that I was in the ball park in this instance. Watching the movie I thought, “Oh, so that’s what they’re supposed to look like.”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate this book and I very much dislike writing bad reviews. This is not a bad review. I think Mr. Dashner did an excellent job convincing me that I was reading a story from a teenage boy’s perspective. I liked the action and the mystery surrounding the maze and it certainly didn’t take me long to finish reading. I feel like I may have outgrown this book though. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more when I was a teenager. I think the movie did a good job of editing out the parts that didn’t work for me in the book. I will pass on reading the next books in the series but I am still curious as to what happens next so I will probably check out the movies when they come out.

I recommend this book for teens. If you are in your 20s and up you might want to pass or check out the movie instead.

-SW