“The Maze Runner” by James Dashner tells the story of Thomas, a teenage boy who wakes up trapped in a maze, surrounded by dozens of other boys, with no memory of anything but his first name.
Thomas is sixteen when he first arrives at The Glade, or at least that’s about how old the other boys estimate him to be. The Glade is a makeshift community the boys have created over the past two years, ever since the first of them began arriving. Surrounding The Glade is the Maze, a giant maze whose walls shift and change every night, leaving a solution nearly impossible to find. With no recollection of his life up until now, Thomas has no choice but to try and start a life with the other Gladers, and start pitching in to find a way out.
The day after Thomas arrives, a girl has been sent to The Glade — the first girl ever. After spending quite a while in a coma, she wakes up and it’s instantly apparent that she and Thomas aren’t strangers, though they don’t know where they know each other from. They are also able to communicate with each other telepathically.
Day after day, certain members of The Glade are sent out to run through the maze, trying to discover patters in the shifting walls, and trying to find a way out. Thomas knows he wants to become a Runner, despite the knowledge of the horrible things that lurk within the Maze. They are called Grievers, and they are a terrible combination of slimy blubber and metal objects. Sound menacing? Not particularly. But they are. They’re deadly, and thought to be unbeatable. Until Thomas does the impossible and stays out in the Maze overnight, and survives. No one has ever done that before.
After saving one of the other boys, Thomas is considered by some to be a hero, and he is then granted the opportunity to become a Runner. He begins training with another of the boys, and the two of them stumble across a possible escape. Thomas knows he needs more answers, and decides to get “stung” by a Griever voluntarily in an effort to recover some of his memories. The sacrifice proves useful, and Thomas is able to discover the way out. However, it’s much more horrific than any of them could have imagined…
Fantastic book. Exciting as heck, and never slowed down. An awesome storyline, and grabs you from the first page. Definitely leaves the reader excited for the sequel (this novel is part of a trilogy. The sequel, “The Scorch Trials,” will be available October 12, 2010). Readers of “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins will enjoy this book. You won’t be disappointed.
This book is available at the Wausau Barnes & Noble.
A synopsis and review of Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” can be found here, and one for the sequel, “Catching Fire,” here.