When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.
Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.
Everything is going to change.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
Remember. Survive. Run.
*May Contain Spoilers*
James Dashner creates a world where neither the characters nor the reader know for sure what's going on in his novel, The Maze Runner. In a post-apocalyptic world, a group of teenage boys find themselves in a constantly moving maze with only one motivation: survival. Dashner immediately pulls readers into this world where fear is a constant companion and the past has been mentally erased, giving them the same equipment the characters receive and daring them to live.
Thomas is the main character of this novel, dare I say, the series. He is the final male to show up in the maze. And though readers will connect with him, it isn't the easiest of tasks due to the fact that he has no memory of who he was or where he came from before awakening in the maze entrance. Thomas is a do-er. He's motivated to escape and his focus is always on what he can do. Thomas is brave, courageous, and seems to have no fear at times. Readers will connect with him through the loyalty he shows his fellow Gladers (the ones that are nice, that is). Though he does hold back information from the rest of the group and this allows for readers to question his trustworthiness. I think readers will definitely connect with Thomas more and more as the series continues, but this first book seemed to only build and solidify a foundation for a future character-reader bond.
The plot of The Maze Runner is quite simple - escape the maze. Though this is definitely a 'sounds easier than it is' story line and the maze offers up constant lethal surprises. After Thomas arrives at the maze, a girl arrives the following day with the message that this will be the last person sent to them. Not only that, but an ominous note that everything will change spooks the Gladers. They know that they're running out of time and they have to find a way out before the monsters kill every last one of them. The writing style of Dashner is unique and fits the story perfectly. He never gives the reader too much information, keeps the chapters short so we keep turning pages, and always appeals to our curious nature. I loved the odd language the characters share, the silly names, and the hot headed nature of the teenage boys. The novel seemed much more realistic with these enjoyable quirks. Oh and the twist at the end! I had to re-read the epilogue to make sure I understood. Tricky, tricky. Didn't see that coming, but book two is looking very entertaining.
Rating: 2.5/5 Cups