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 black. 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 expanse enclosed 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 they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is 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 springs up—the first girl ever to 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 be able to 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 he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.
When I was looking for a new book, I really wanted something that was not a series…well, I didn’t look very closely when I picked this book. I have been sucked into yet another series, but this time it’s written by a man and there aren’t any vampires or other supernatural folk. Perhaps this will put some of you off, but I urge you to give this book a try in spite of its lack of non-humans.
I will admit a few shortcomings before going further. The author has made up a lot of words to use instead of curse words. So if “frak” annoyed you as much as it did me in Battlestar Galactica, then you’re just going to have to suffer through it. Although, I did think there was some literary merit to it because Thomas, the new guy, thinks the Glader’s-speak is quite awkward as well, but he comes to adopt it. And you will too…well, not really, but it won’t seem quite as atrocious. The other thing is there is a love story, but it’s not the main focus…it’s almost an afterthought thrown in to lure in the females. Sorry ladies…no big strong man lovin’ in this book.
With those things said, I really enjoyed this book. It was a respite from my normal YA fare. I would put The Maze Runner in the same genre as The Hunger Games series (you must read it, check out Annie’s review here). These boys are placed in a maze month after month in which they seemingly have no chance of escaping from…until Thomas appears in the lift. Some of the Gladers seem to know Thomas from another time…a time before the maze which none of them really remember. Thomas begins to wonder what he did to deserve being dropped in the maze like a rat. Perhaps he was a killer…perhaps they had all committed horrible crimes in their former lives. But Thomas is determined to get home because home couldn’t be worse than the maze…or could it?
Dashner keeps the questions coming throughout the entire book, and just when you think the Gladers have solved the maze, BAM! He totally flips the Gladers’ world. I highly recommend this book, and while it’s not for everyone, you might want to give it a whirl.