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 enclosed by stone walls.I was pretty blindsided by this book. I knew that it was something that I would like from the description, but not that it would affect me as much as it did.
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, open. Every night they are closed tight. And that every 30 days a new boy is delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. Only 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 that are buried within his mind.
Maybe it has more to do with the fact that I was listening to it as an audiobook while I worked, but all of the emotions came off as very real to me. Thomas' fear, Ben's fear at being banished, Newt's and Alby's uncertainty, and Gally's hatred were all fitting for their situations and personalities. There was no character that I truly dreaded meeting again; everyone was well developed.
This book had an eery feeling about it that sent chills up my spine, even while in the library during the day. The Glade is a creepy and mysterious place that is compounded by the fact that the reader learns more and more about The Glade as Thomas does, having entered with him.
One issue I had with the book would have been the ending. We had this beautiful build up with cracking codes and the slow realization as to just how horrifying The Gladers' situation is, and I felt that the end was kind of a weak reflection of that. It moved so fast and ended up being too much to take in at once. A segue into the sequel, sure, but I was uncertain as to what it would bring.
The redemption, however, comes in the epilogue. When I heard it I was just about to pump my fists in the air and shout, I was so happy with it. It was a chilling ending to an equally haunting book, and I certainly hope that the next two (already out) bring just as many intriguing characters and chilling situations.
Title: The Maze Runner
Authors: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 6th, 2009