After a week away from Knight Reader, I’m rested and ready to get back to my favorite thing in the world–reading and telling people about young adult literature. My latest read has been on my shelf for a while, and I finally got to it. At first, I didn’t think I was going to like this book. I don’t really know why. Boy, am I glad I kept reading! The pace picked up fast, and I was soon dreaming about the book each night. This book is The Maze Runner by James Dashner, the first book in an edgy new dystopian trilogy.
The only thing Thomas can remember is his first name. He has no idea where he came from, who his parents are, or even what year it is. He simply knows his name and that he’s waking up in a lift with a bunch of people staring at him. All of these people are boys around his age. None of them seem to remember anything other than their first names either. They just know that they now live in the Glade and that they’re trying to find a way out of the maze beyond the Glade’s walls.
Each week, food and supplies mysteriously arrive from the lift. Once a month, a new boy arrives in the lift. No one ever leaves. They’ve tried to find a way out, but the only escape is death. Each day, the boys do the jobs best suited to them. Some boys are farmers, some care for the animals, some cook, some do the jobs no one else wants to do. Thomas tries a lot of these jobs to figure out where he fits, but there’s one job he knows he was born to do. He wants to be a maze runner. These young men spend their days in the maze, mapping out the changes from day to day, and trying to find a way out. Thomas doesn’t know why, but he is sure he was sent to the Glade to solve the maze…and he may just get his chance.
When a new person arrives in the lift just the day after Thomas, life in the Glade takes a turn for the unexpected. First, there have never been two people arriving in the same month, much less just a day apart. Second, the new arrival is a girl…and unlike all of the boys, she seems to remember parts of her life before appearing in the Glade. Most of all, she remembers Thomas. How are these two connected? Why were they sent to the Glade? Who sent them?
Things are changing in the Glade. Thomas knows he must find a way to escape. He knows that he is the key, but what will he have to do to get out? How can Thomas access the memories that will help him to discover the truth? Is there a way out, or are the Gladers doomed to die in this prison? Why are they here? Who sent them? What is the purpose of putting all of these young people together in this environment? The answers are just out of reach, but Thomas knows he must discover what’s going on…no matter what.
I have not even touched on half of the weird stuff that goes on in The Maze Runner. You’ll have to discover the weirdness for yourself. This book is really cool, but I was horrified at the same time, especially after reading the creepy epilogue. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book, The Scorch Trials.
For more information on James Dashner and The Maze Runner, visit http://www.jamesdashner.com/.