While Suzanne Collins had kids fighting kids to the death in The Hunger Games, James Dashner had kids fighting for their lives in a world they did not understand in Maze Runner.
Thomas has no idea how he got here… or where he came from. When he awakens in the lift he is surrounded by other kids about his early-teen age all curious about him and welcoming him to the Glade.
As Thomas tried to make sense of things he realizes about all he does recall is his name. The Glade, he learns, is a protective area that surrounds the Maze… and the Maze is dangerous. The Glade is surrounded by a protective stone wall that opens on its own accord during the day and closes at dusk. You do not want to be outside the Glade and caught in the Maze when the doors close.
Just as Thomas is trying to process the details of this new and scary home that apparently delivers a new boy (only boys) every 30 days by the same life that Thomas arrives in…. things change.
The next day the lift delivers another person – 29 days earlier then it ever has before and this time…
it is a girl.
And she comes with a message “this is the last one.”
As everyone scrambles to figure out what all this means, Thomas has this eerie feeling that he knows this girl from somewhere in his past. He also gets the feeling that id he shared this information with the boys he has met so far in the Glade it would not serve him well.
As days progress ans things continue to change in the Glade everyone starts looking at Thomas as for two years things have been exactly the same and now, with his arrival things have become different. For starters – no one goes out in the Maze overnight and lives to tell the story, but one night, Thomas finds himself outside the stones walls, no way to get back in until morning…
and Thomas learns quickly why no one goes into the Maze overnight as there are creatures that want nothing more than to end his life and everyone else inside The Glade.
Ever since I went to the Book Expo last year and met James Dashner I knew I wanted to read him. When an author comes across as witty and funny as he does, you want to know if they write in the same manner.
For the record… he does.
Maze Runner evoked images of Hunger Games. While Maze Runner is not kids fighting each other for survival it is kids fighting an unknown force, and I felt that same sense of awe and anticipation as I wondered what would happen next and who would be the victor.
While I really enjoyed the story line and how right from the start you are filled with questions… “How did Thomas get the Glade? Where was he before he arrived? Why are everyone’s memories wiped when they arrive? Are people families looking for these boys? What really is the Maze?” I have to say that the characters were not as developed as I typically like. I like to get a real feeling for who they are and while Thomas did come close, the rest felt more gingerbread man flat and I could not work up and extended emotions for them as I would have liked.
While the book has been on my shelf for years, shortness of time pushed me forward into listening to this one on audio. Mark Deakin did an excellent job with narration.
I can not say I absolutely loved the book, I did however like it very much and think it would make an interesting movie. Set to be a movie in 2014, this is one I would want to see.
Highly engaging (and addicting) I am looking forward to the second book in the trilogy, The Scorch Trials.