Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Book:  The Maze Runner
Author:  James Dashner
Publisher:  Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Date:  2009
Source:  Purchased on my Nook
My grade:  B+

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 Review

I really, really liked this book.  Many people kept recommending it to me and I have wanted to read it for a while.  Luckily, the teen fiction club that I sponsor at school decided to read this one for January, so I had to move it up in the TBR pile.  Hooray!

One of the things I love about dystopian novels is that the premises, while similar, are also very unique.  Even though there is a big, bad government entity,  there is so much variation in what happens.  The Maze Runner is no exception.

I’m not going to lie.  I sort of thought that this was going to be like the Arnold Schwartzenegger movie, The Running Man.  It was nothing like that.  The maze running is a totally different concept and the Glade is a really neat setting for the whole book.

So here’s the plot:  There is this created environment called the Glade.  Once a month, a new boy shows up there with no memory of his life before.  The boys must do everything on their own to survive.  The Glade is surrounded by stone walls that close every night to keep out the Grievers, these horrible half-robot, half-worm monsters that will kill them.  There is also a maze surrounding the walls and every night, the passages of the maze change.  There are maze runners who spend all day, every day, running the maze trying to find a way out.

When the protagonist, Thomas, shows up, everyone assumes it’s just like normal.  But the very next day, a girl shows up in the Box, with a note that says everything is changing.  So of course, all hell breaks loose.

The plot was amazing.  I also liked the characters.  The boys were very interesting.  Of course, Thomas was a wonderful protagonist, but there were other boys that were great characters as well.  I really liked Newt and Chuck was just a little sweetheart.  His whole story just about broke my heart.  I have read reviews that compared this book to Lord of the Flies.  Now, it’s been a long time since I read that one, but I recall the boys being a lot more vicious than they are in The Maze Runner.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  They are more than willing to stick to the rules when someone violates the rules, but they don’t really resort to the sort of gang/tribal mentality that is going on in Lord of the Flies.

It was fascinating to see how the boys figured out everything.  The ending was sort of what I expected, but it was still very engaging until the very end.  I am excited about reading the next 2 in the series, although I have been told that they are not as good.  I hope that person is wrong!

My grade for this book is a B+.  I really liked this book.  There’s a lot of dystopian floating around these days, but this book is definitely worth your time.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this novel and it's second one. Also, even though most people don't agree with me I also loved the third :D