The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 1st 2009
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (4/5 stars)
Synopsis: 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.
Review: The Maze Runner was really slow in the beginning. I was craved for more action and answers. But as the story progressed, the book became action-packed and filled with twists. The Glade slang was a bit hard to understand at first, but after a while, I got use to it. From the start, Thomas was a realistic character. What sets him apart from the other Gladers is his determination and selflessness. He was willing to save two people he did not know, even though he knew the consequences. The other characters who were very likable were Newt, Minho and Chuck (even though he got on my nerves sometimes), they were all wonderfully developed. Then there are the Grievers, as described in the book, a horrific mix of animal and machine. They were quite easily explained and able to be understand. Dashner’s fictional world was also easy to comprehend. In the Glade, survival is the most important. Once the girl shows up, things become weird. The boys have no choice but to figure out what is going on, why they were put there and most importantly how to escape the maze.
I loved Dashner’s take on dystopian, I can tell that The Maze Runner’s trilogy will be a hit and I will not be surprised if a movie will be made. I felt it was as though the characters were alive and real. It was evident that there was careful plotting done, as hints are left throughout the book, and slowly coming to place at the end.
The ending was not exactly a cliffhanger but it does make you want the second book. Right now I am tempted to bribe a dozen people just to get my hands on the second book, just kidding! There are so many unanswered questions but ending does satisfy me a little bit as some things were explained. At the end I was scared for characters, I didn’t want them to die, that it was literally a race to the finish to find out if they would survive and what was out in the real world.
Overall, The Maze Runner was richly woven and will be loved by fans of Suzanne Collins and Michael Grant. A very addictive read!