The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Published in 2009 by Random House
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Suspense
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
My Rating: 4.5/5
I began reading this book after supper and finished it before I went to bed that evening. I just could not put this book down. The pacing was perfect. It was full of action with enough down time to reflect on what just happened without getting bored. There are a ton of chapters in the book, all of which are quite short, yet nearly at the end of each chapter Dashner was able to produce some sort of cliffhanger that actually worked and wasn’t cheesy.
Usually character development is what I look for the most in books. The Maze Runner did have some character development but not too much. Normally this would bother me, but the slowness of the development was part of the plot. Think about it. We learn from reading the back of the book that the protagonist knows nothing about himself except his name. It only makes sense the plot has something to do with him “finding himself” or whatever. I would have liked to see more, but as this is the first book in a trilogy, I am expecting the development of his character to get more refined later on. This was the only reason I did not give it a full 5/5.
The setting was visually descriptive and gave off a sense that the main component of the setting was order. Everything was in its place so it was easy to fill in the gaps while I was imagining the world. We can all imagine a maze, and even the compound in which they lived was easy to imagine.
Along with the descriptions, there were some intensely creepy moments. Sometimes it felt a bit like a horror because of the short, graphic descriptions of something unpleasant. I loved it. It added to the excitement and made the situation feel more realistic.
The story itself was resolved (mostly) by the end of the book, but some new information came about that has made me very excited to read the sequel. I liked how the story was mostly self contained but still gave way for the story to continue.
Questions for readers:
- Have you read this book?
- A prequel is set to be released in August 2012. Are any of you excited for that?
- What other dystopian books have you enjoyed lately?