Author: James Dashner
Published Date: October 2009
Publisher: Random House
Price: Amazon ($9.93)
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.
The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable.
And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.
Hunger Games + Lord of Flies = An exhilarating, page-turning, jaw-dropping journey into a realm of hope, disappointment, adventure, and the search for happiness
…in other words The Maze Runner!
The Maze Runner’s integration of the scientific manipulation of the boys and their ability to create a society without adults create a unique and thrilling premise. The terror and dread of the lives of the Gladers are portrayed with much detail as Dashner creates suspense at every chapter. When Dashner introduces the girl, Teresa, carrying a deadly note with an aura of foreboding, it actually scared me and kept me up at night, imagining the terror of the incident. How the girl suddenly rises up as if she’s a puppet and declares ominously that “things will change”. Every morning, doom awaits Thomas, as he understands the horror of the Grievers and experiences it and learns how trapped he is within the maze. The suspense and the stifling fear creates a horrifying tale as you root for the Gladers and want to rip the Creators apart (Lol, ok, I’m not evil. I just can’t stand the boys suffering any more!) Also, the letter at the ending just left you there speechless and you had to retrace a few steps back in the book to get it. When I finally got what really happened, I had to shake the book to see if any secret pages came flying out.
However, I had some pet peeves while reading the book. For example, sometimes I felt that Thomas was an impatient whining boy who thought his opinions were the most important. I also thought Thomas’s hate towards Gally was baseless and wasn’t developed enough to turn the readers against Gally too. In addition, the budding romance between Teresa and Thomas didn’t fit into the suspense and the dystopian world and wasn't integrated well. Maybe, it was to juxtapose all the doom and disaster, but I had to turn my head a little and read it through my peripheral vision as I skimmed through some of the lovey-dovey parts.
I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel, The Scorch Trials, to come out and find out what is really out there in the real world and what awaits the Gladers.
This isn’t what I really imagined the maze to be like, but the trapped and menacing feelings with the spikes are created well. However, the lush green background just felt out of place with the darkness pervading in the book.
If you liked the Hunger Games or any dystopian world or just need a book to keep you up all night, The Maze Runner is for you. The suspense and the mystery keeps you pondering what is really happening as the boys are manipulated. Also, the characters and their fears are developed satisfactorily as you want to go smack the Creators some sense.