Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Publisher/Year: Random House children’s Books, 8/24/10
Length: 400 pages
Series: Maze Runner #1
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. 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, open expanse surrounded 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 the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
It’s been a while since i’ve read this story and i felt that i owed it to myself to check it out again. Falling into the somewhat Dystopian genre, James Dashner takes us to a place that’s so unepected and so confusing and anxiety ridden that you have no choice but to sit back and read through the whole thing in one sitting.
The Plot: we are introduced to The Glades through the eyes of Thomas who has no memory of anything yet he seems to have a basic understanding of what things are (i.e. he knows what the names of things are but he doens’t know why he knows them and who might have taught him). As a matter of fact, everyone in the Glades is in the exact same place. so back to Thomas – the story opens up with him waking up from who knows what in an elevator type thing called The Box, being raised to the surface of the Glades but not knowing at all what’s going on. He hears people talking above him in words that aren’t familiar to him, and that adds to the anxiety.
So when Thomas comes to the surface, he meets a mini-society of boys – all who again have no memory of anything before the Glades and they are trying to survive in this environment where ironically enough, everything is provided to them (through The Box) and the sun is always shining etc. Ideallic in a weird sort of way. until you think about one more thing. They are ‘trapped’ in The Glades by a series of Walls that close every night. Outside these wall lies a huge MAZE that the boys are hoping leads to an exit – a way to get out and get home. Although things seem relatively managed and orderly in the Glades – it’s not quite that perfect. Everyone wants to get back to whatever they left behind, and they feel like they are being held captive….and the only way out they feel is through the Maze – yet every night the maze changes so there’s no clear cut way to get out. And to top that off, there are these horrible creatures called Grievers’ that come into the Maze at night and kill whatever is in their path.
So – prior to Thomas’ arrival at The Glades, things had been happening in a regular manner. 1x each month (the same day) 1 more person would arrive through the Box. Each week, the same time, supplies would come through the Box. That’s all until Thomas arrives. The next day, another person comes up in the Box, and that’s not the only loop – it’s also A GIRL. girls have NEVER come to the Glades before. Also, although Thomas has no memory of things before the Glades, he feels familiar for some reason, and the girl seems familiar – yet he has NO IDEA WHY.
The Maze Runner takes us through the lives of the Gladers and how Thomas lives his time there. He feels deep down that he should be one of the Maze Runners – one of the guys looking for an exit and doesn’t know why or if he can do it. Lots of suspense, lots of intrigue and lots of nail biting with all the curves that are thrown in.
Check it out – 5 stars out of 5 and i don’t give a perfect score often!