Maximum Review- The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner

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Book(s): The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure by James Dashner

Books #1- #3

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Pages: 374, 360, 325

Source/Format: Bought || Paperbacks

Hey Everyone! I wanted to review the Maze Runner Series because I just finished it, plus with the first movie already out, and the next two on their ways I felt it was important that everyone knew what they were getting themselves into. Be sure to read the books before you watch the movie! (The books are better, I promise.)

Ps. Get ready for a super long post!

The Maze Runner

What It’s About: 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. (From Goodreads)

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The Plot

The idea of a bunch of teenagers living alone in an unfamiliar place is creepy, but also very fun! Watching the plot move along and seeing them beginning to question what they are doing there, why there are there, and who put them there is a great story to follow.

The Characters

I love Thomas in this book. He is so curious, brave, and honestly exhibits traits that I myself wish that I possessed myself. He as the main character is the driving force behind not only the future of the Glade, but what goes on within the rest of the trilogy.

The secondary characters in this book made the reading experience so much better. My favorite character is for sure Chuck. He is just so cute and sweet, and obviously comes to care about Thomas so much. I think Teresa was a really strong part of why I enjoyed this book. I loved how she was the mastermind behind many of the big decisions and plans that Thomas makes. Minho is also a great character and continues to be one of my favorites though the rest of the trilogy.

The Setting

The first thing I noticed when I started reading this book was that I felt like it was written to be made into a movie. Dashner’s writing is so visual. You can really get a good sense for the Maze, the Glade, the characters. I love when books put a clear image in my head of what was going on, this book totally did that for me.

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The Pace

The thing that I struggled the most with when reading the Maze Runner was that I thought the pace was too slow. That does NOT mean that I thought it was unbearable. I would just have these moments where I would be on page 200 and think wow stuff has happened so far, but not as much as I would have expected in 200 pages. Most likely, this is just due to the fact that the chapters are super short (about 4-6 pages!).

The Movie

I know this is a review of the book, but I have to talk about the movie. I was super excited to see the movie and it pushed me to read the first book as soon as the movie came out so that I could watch it. When I did get around to watching the movie I was so disappointed. The only thing that I think was well done was the casting. Dylan O’Brien was an awesome pick for Thomas, and I think he did a good job with what he was give. The biggest problem I had was the fact that there was zero character development. I understand that there is a challenge when adapting books where plot points need to be taken out,  but so much of it was drastically changed and that took so much away from the initial storyline.

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Thomas is real smart

The movie was really bad 

Please read the book first 

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The Scorch Trials

What It’s AboutSolving the Maze was supposed to be the end. 
Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.
There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.
The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.
Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. 
There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive. ( From Goodreads)

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The Setting

I really appreciated the setting in the second book being completely different then the Maze and Glade in the first book. I thought it was really interesting to see the Gladers have to adapt to a different climate and set of elements. I had a hard time picturing the Scorch in its entirety, but I have a general understanding of the setting.

The Idea of it

When I finished the first book I literally ran out the door to buy the next two. I was so excited about the continuation of the trials. I loved the general idea, but upon reflection I was not as in-love with the sequel as I though I would be. Still, I was pretty happy with this book in total.

The Pace

Opposite from the first book, I loved the pace of the second book. This might just be because there was not as much introductory information, since we were already introduced to most of the characters and WICKED in general. I felt that there was a lot that happened during this book and it was spaced out well.

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The Characters

Honestly every single character in this book annoyed me. I hated how Thomas was being annoying about anything that happened with Teresa. I hated everything that Teresa did. I really could not get into the groove with new characters like Brenda and Jorge. The characters overall were a bust for me.

The Confusing Plot Points

Anything that had to do with Teresa honestly confused me. Was she faking? Was she really being controlled by WICKED? Were her and Aris really together? All of this drove me nuts and I hated it all so much.

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The Scorch is so dry

The Characters were way to blah

I hate Teresa

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The Death Cure

What It’s AboutIt’s the end of the line.
WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends—the Gladers. But it’s finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test.
Will anyone survive?
What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a word of what they say.
The truth will be terrifying.
Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.
The time for lies is over.  (From Goodreads)

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Who would have though? A character that I found fairly boring in the first two books turns out to be my favorite by the end of the 3rd. I LOVED the sub-plot of Newt’s story of getting the Flare. I really felt what was going on. I know that sounds strange, but all of it was so heart wrenching. At some points I had to stop reading. I loved that this storyline brought something to the book that I thought was missing.

The Characters

Ok, I am not actually sure if I really liked the characters, but I appreciated them. I liked the way they wrapped up their storylines all together. There were points where I was disappointed, sad, happy, confused, a nice solid mix, unlike The Scorch Trials where I was constantly pissed off. I think I came to appreciate Brenda more in this book, which I guess is a plus ( I still don’t really like her).

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The Setting

After the way the first book was written, I had super high expectations for the rest of the trilogy, and writing style I think they fell flat in comparison. I had SUCH a hard time visualizing anywhere in this book. It might just be the fact that the Maze and the Glade were super consistent and familiar by the end of the Maze Runner, but I felt that the lack of visualization in this book made it less enjoyable and harder to follow.

The Ending

I am not going to spoil anything, do not worry! I like that the book came to a solid close, but there were so many other points in this book where the ending would have been so much more interesting and less predicable! Imagine if the book ended 4 or 5 chapters earlier? That would have been so awesome and unexpected! I defiantly enjoyed the twists and turns at the end of the book though!

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Who really is WICKED?

Goodbye to our dear old friends

Predictable end.

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Overall I enjoyed the trilogy and am glad that I decided to finally read it! What did you think of these books? What about the first movie? Are you excited for the next two movies to come out?

Let me know what you think!


One thought on “Maximum Review- The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner

  1. Pingback: 2014 End of Year Book Survey | Maximum Reads

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