Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA dystopian fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from publisher
First line: He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner is a mind-blowing dystopian novel. I sped through the last hundred pages, reading as fast as I could to find out how it ended. And then the ending was astonishing, and now I can’t stand the fact that I have to wait a whole year for book two in the trilogy.
In The Maze Runner, Thomas wakes up on an elevator. He knows his name is Thomas, but that’s all he knows – his memory has been wiped. The elevator opens in to a place called the Glade, a square piece of property that exists at the center of a huge maze of stone walls. The Glade has four doors in the walls that surround it; the doors open onto the maze during the day and shut every night. Every thirty days, another teenage boy is delivered to the Glade. The boys are trying to solve the maze, a feat that seems impossible, because every night, the walls in the maze move.
Thomas has no memory of life before the maze, but for some reason the Glade feels familiar to him. He also knows that he’s supposed to be a Runner, one of the boys charged with exploring the Maze each day while the doors are open – and before the Grievers come out.
James Dashner has created a unique vision of the future, one that is as terrifying as it is mystifying. This world is full of interesting characters: Thomas, our hero who can’t follow the rules when it means leaving someone to die; Alby, the leader of the Gladers, who is more afraid of going back to the real world than staying in the Glade; Chuck, who just wants to go home to a family who loves him; Newt, the one who believes Thomas may be the answer to it all.
The Maze Runner is a very visual book – the images of the Maze, the Glade, the Homestead are all well-drawn. The Grievers are disgusting and horrifying. This book would make a fantastic film. I absolutely can’t wait to read the second – and third – installments in this trilogy.