Friday, June 29, 2012

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Thomas has no last name and no memories. He comes to consciousness in a cold, dark, metal elevator, making a slow and noisy ascent to the Glade, acreage surrounded by 100-foot-high stone walls that grind closed each night, keeping the occupants in and keeping out the nocturnal monsters known as Grievers who roam the enormous Maze outside the Glade.

In the Glade, he finds teenage boys like himself, boys who don't know why they are there, cannot remember where they came from, or who they used to be. All Thomas has is questions, and all the boys in the Glade have to offer is a rigidly controlled life of survival with strict rules. Rules for which there are harsh penalties for breaking. The biggest rule? Don't go out of the Glade after dark.

Each boy in the Glade has a job, and Thomas is supposed to spend his first weeks in the Glade rotating from occupation to occupation until he finds his niche. But, he knows right away what he wants to be. He wants to be a runner, one of the boys who leaves the Glade each morning and runs the miles of the Maze, trying to uncover the exit that will mean freedom for the boys of the Glade.

From the very first, readers of this book will be filled with questions, the same questions that Thomas has. Why do the Glade and the Maze exist? What happened to the boys' memories? What are the Grievers? Why are the boys imprisoned there? The promise of answers to those questions keep you turning the pages. The ending will have you smacking your forehead and eagerly searching for the sequel, The Scorch Trials.

Rating: 4

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