Friday, March 30, 2012

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

This is book 1 of a young adult series.

The book begins with Thomas waking up in a dark metal box that seemed to be moving up. Aside from his name, he couldn't remember a thing about himself personally. He's understandably freaked out and a bit angry as well. Once the box stops moving, the ceiling is pried open by a group of boys. The boys all seem to range in ages from 13-19. Thomas is hoisted out of the box and his nightmare continues.

Thomas encounters a couple boys who seem rather disagreeable as well as a couple who seem genuinely nice. He had a thousand questions and no one will answer them which intensifies Thomas' anger. Thomas soon learns that many of his questions can't be answered. Where he is is a place they call The Glade. The Glade is at the center of The Maze. Why they are there, no one knows. Why supplies show up every week, a new kid shows up once a month - no one knows. Why are there bio-mechanical killing creatures called Grievers in the maze especially at night? No one knows. Thomas really wants to know.

Thomas goes through the tour of the Glade and starts taking turns at the different jobs available. He continues to ask questions and some are answered and some are not. After only two or three days in the Glade, Thomas breaks the number one rule in an attempt to help save two other kids. He steps into the Maze as the doors are locking the kids into the safety of the Glade at night. He and two others, one seriously injured, are trapped with the Grievers for the night. No one has ever survived a night in the Maze.

When Thomas and the other two survive their night in the Maze and appear at the door to the Glade shortly after sunrise, everyone is freaked out and now suspicious of Thomas. Some think he is some sort of spy sent by the "creators". Later that day, a girl appears in the box with a dire warning and then she drops into a coma of sorts. This new turn of events heightens the tension in the Glade as well as the negative feelings toward Thomas.

Soon, Thomas, the girl and the other Gladers are racing to solve the Maze or the puzzle of the Maze to get out and get home. The big question is, once they escape, will the world they find be a better place than the Glade or much, much worse?

This series seems as dark as The Hunger Games. The violence is less about kids killing kids and was more about kids getting killed as part of the puzzle. The book was okay but the plot and the characters didn't draw me in as much as The Hunger Games did. If I didn't have about 30 books to read, I would probably read the rest of these but I have too many other books I am interested in so I think I'll stop here.

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