Int'l librarian's Reviews > The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
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's review
Aug 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: grades-7-10, action, science-fiction, dystopia
Read in August, 2011

There's some familiar "Hunger Games" elements here. And "Ender's Game." And "Maximum Ride." Teen sci-fi survival games, with lots of sinister unknowns. Whether intentional or not, Dashner is following some very successful models, and in terms of action and suspense, his maze delivers. The pace is very fast, and the world of the maze is fully realized, and easy to understand.

On the other hand, the hero, Tom, has a disturbing Harry Potter complex. "No one understands me, even though I only want to save the world. So I must suffer in my role as a majestic yet modest hero." And once again, there's an extensive new vocabulary, much of it focused on site-specific profanity. Thousands of klunks and shucks and shanks. Tame enough at least to keep a middle school stamp of approval. And given that the last words are "End of Book One," there's plenty of klunking still to come.

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