Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Series: Maze Runner, #1
Summary: 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.

Review

Imagine waking up in a rickety old elevator. The only thing you remember is your name and you have no idea where you are or how you got there. When the lift finally stops, the door opens and you're surrounded by boys around the same age as you. The place you have arrived in is called the Glade. It is a Maze, with stone doors which open in the morning and close at night, keeping out the creatures called Grievers, which are creepy, bulbous things that are a mix between machine and animal. Being locked out of the Glade means certain death, for the creatures prowl at night looking for new prey. And the deaths are pretty gruesome.  Every month a new boy arrives in the Glade, just like clockwork and never, in the two years they've been there, has a girl arrived.

This is Thomas's reality. He's greeted by boys around his own age who, like him, have no idea how they got there or why. For two years they have searched the Maze for a way out with no luck. They go on day to day, searching and keeping order, never giving up. Even when the people around them are dying, they continue on, working together to survive. But then Gladers who have been stung by Grievers and have gone through the Changing begin to remember Thomas, and what they remember of him isn't good, making tensions rise. Chaos breaks loose when the very next day the Box brings yet another person into the Glade, only this time it's a girl. Not only does she look familiar to Thomas, but she brings an ominous message. Things continue to change, spinning the little world the boys have created for themselves out of control and many are blaming Thomas. If they can't figure a way out soon, it might mean the end for them all. 

The Maze Runner is like nothing I've ever read before. It's such an interesting concept and you never know what is going to happen next or how they will get out, IF they get out. There are twists and turns and everything that could go wrong does go wrong. And everything points to Thomas. Not only does everything around him look familiar, but he has an overwhelming urge to be a Maze Runner, and while some of the Gladers befriend him, others are wary and believe that he will be the cause of their demise. And let me just say that I never, EVER want to see a Griever. Not only are they incredibly scary, but they are also disgusting and hideous. They have no legs, so they have to roll on the ground; they're slimy and have swords and knives and stingers which shoot out all over their body, and let me tell you... you do NOT want to be caught by one of these things. They making whirring and clicking noises which only adds to the creepiness. And if that doesn't scare you, anyone who has been caught out in the Maze with them after the doors close has never returned.

This book was so hard to put down. I just had to know what was going to happen. Would they ever solve the Maze and escape? Why did the Gladers who went through the Changing recognize Thomas? Why did everything seem familiar to him? How did they get there?... So many questions kept running through my mind and I had to know the answer. Lucky for me, I got most of the answers by the end of the book. Unlucky for me, the ending also adds a TON more questions to be answered in the next installment. It's an intense ride and a wonderful read. If you've never read this book, I suggest picking it up. You won't be able to put it down, and when it's over, you'll be dying for more.


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-Kelly