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 30 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 feels like I waited YEARS to read this book. In reality, it has been only a couple of months – I saw a trailer for The Maze Runner‘s film adaptation when I was in the theater for Divergent back in March.
This book was published in two thousand and nine. I’ve known about it for a few years. I thought it looked cool. But I wasn’t that interested in reading it until I saw the movie trailer. Since then, I’ve spent the past few weeks anxiously checking the library shelves to see if a copy was available yet. Finally, one was! Whee! I read it in two days because THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. Following are some of my thoughts on it.
The story is so suspenseful!
This review is spoiler-free because… most of mine are, now, but more importantly it’s spoiler-free because I want anyone who hasn’t read it to do so. And it’s just not as much fun if you know about the BIG REVEAL at the end.
And when I say “at the end,” I do mean at the end. Not two-thirds of the way through. Not three-quarters through. At the end. James Dashner created a hellish world, told a fast-paced story, and kept up the suspense until the last possible moment. The Maze is a huge mystery for almost all of the story and yet the story is so good that I didn’t grow bored, didn’t go, “Just hurry up already! Tell me why those kids are there!”
There was room for a romance, but the author (thankfully) didn’t include it.
So, that girl shows up. In a lot of books, especially YA books, especially YA dystopian books, this would automatically result in LOTS OF SNOGGING. Well, it didn’t here. I have no idea what happens in books two and three, but in The Maze Runner Thomas and the girl are simply friends. Yay!
Aside: Part of me wonders if this has anything to do with Thomas being a guy. I can’t think of any YA dystopian stories with female protagonists who don’t fall in love with at least one person. Whether or not James Dashner did this intentionally due to Thomas’ gender, it’s certainly food for thought.
Is it bad that I kind of want to visit the Maze?
I don’t want to live there, of course. Agh. No way. But it would be fascinating to wander through for a time, wouldn’t it? Provided that you wouldn’t get eaten or anything? It’s just so surreal, this idea of kids living like rats in a maze.
I love the cover!
Just… wow. It’s creepy and beautiful and mysterious. Very simple, but probably one of my favorites now.
The Maze Runner is one of my favorite dystopian stories. Ever.
It combines many aspects of my other favorites – but without feeling like a copy. Its pacing and violence are similar to that of The Hunger Games. I also like how both stories are about ruthless games played by children. You just can’t stop reading, even when you want to, even late at night when you know you should have been asleep long ago.
The Maze Runner also reminds me of Lord of the Flies, a book I read for school – and complained about. A lot. Eventually I grew to appreciate that book, and I appreciate its echos in this much newer story. In The Maze Runner, OVERALL the kids get along fairly well, with an organized government and job system, but I did like the tensions between certain members.
…and anyway sometimes their government IS a bit nasty. I hated the Banishment scene.
The Maze Runner is, without a doubt, one of the best books I have read so far this year. It’s horrifying, compelling, and very well written. I can certainly understand why it will be adapted into a movie. I can’t wait to read The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and The Kill Order!
Have you read The Maze Runner? What did you think of it?