The Maze Runner by James Dashner


When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. 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, for as long as anyone can remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, for just as long, they’ve closed tight. Every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the Maze after dark. The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. 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. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the Maze is unsolvable. And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers — if only he can find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.


This story gripped me from page one. The setting was original and the characters fully drawn and recognizable. An initial Lord of the Flies type feel to this all-boy society eventually segues into the realization that something much bigger is going on that will test every single Glade inhabitant to his limits. Just as a glimmer of true understanding always eludes Thomas, flickering just beyond his grasp, so will you find yourself as reader pushing on through the pages compelled to unravel what it is that’s really happening beyond the maze. The Grievers are perfect monsters, a hideous mix of disgusting flesh and monstrous machinery. I loved the slang terms Dashner invented and knew they would be a hit with boys. My own teenaged son loved this book (which ends on a wicked cliff-hanger), and it has caught fire throughout his grade 8 classroom. We’re all eagerly awaiting book two!

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