First Line: He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.
When Thomas wakes up, he finds himself on an elevator going up and up through a seemingly endless darkness. The only thing he remembers is his first name. When the elevator doors open, he finds himself surrounded by dozens of other young boys. Thomas has arrived in the Glade, a large open-air place surrounded by high stone walls.
The other boys don't remember anything of their previous lives either. All they know is that they arrived in the Glade the same way. Once a month, a new boy arrives on the elevator. Each morning, openings appear in the stone walls and the way is open to the Maze. Each evening at sunset, the openings in the wall close for the night.
Thomas stumbles a bit as he learns the slang the other boys use, but from the beginning, he has the faintest glimmers that he knows this place. When he looks out into the Maze, he knows that he has to explore it. And the very next day when the first girl ever sent up on the elevator to the Glade arrives, every boy living there knows that, somehow, things are about to change.
At the beginning of the book, I was stumbling around as much as Thomas-- becoming acquainted with the characters, trying to get used to the annoying slang, getting a feel for this world that author James Dashner has created and put me in the middle of. It didn't take long for me to get my bearings and start becoming fascinated with this strange new land. What on earth were these young boys doing in the middle of a gigantic maze patrolled by monstrous creatures? It had to be some sort of test...but why? To what purpose?
I knew when I picked up The Maze Runner that it was the first book in a trilogy, so I was not surprised or angered by the cliffhanger ending. Multi-volume Young Adult series seem to be the order of the day.
Dashner has created a very interesting world for his characters, and it will be very interesting indeed to follow this story in the next two books. The only thing that annoyed me as I read was the slang that the boys spoke. I didn't find it difficult to decipher, and it's probably just a sign of my age, since I find the speech patterns of many tweens and teens irritating!
If you like reading about a world in which something has gone very wrong and about characters who are trying to fight their way out of it, you will enjoy The Maze Runner. It won't take long for you to realize that Thomas and the others aren't the only ones trying to solve the puzzle of the labyrinth...so are you.
Oh my gosh! This book was absolutely fantastic! Fantastic! It took me a chapter or two to really get into the swing of it, but then it sucked me in. And I really want (need!) the next one.
Great protagonist. Thomas responded well to the situation: not moping around for 1/2 the book (which would be an easy thing to do) nor did he seem wooden. Great blend of action & emotion. Plus, the plot/developments were revealed slowly so I kept wanting more. I did get annoyed with Thomas once or twice when he would run away from learning about something because I was curious, but it usually made perfect sense that he wouldn't want to know.
Definitely 5 stars.
Everyone should read this book! : )
J. K. Rowling meets Michael Grant meets William Golding meets Suzanne Collins in this thrilling new series starter that is destined to rock the bestselling charts and find its way into many people's hands. To put it even more straightforwardly THE MAZE RUNNER is brilliant, exciting, and utterly unputdownable. My heart is still pounding even days after reading it!
The two most impressive things that Dashner achieves in THE MAZE RUNNER are suspense and the suspension of disbelief. The Glade is a truly creepy world, with half-animal half-machine killers roaming the Maze after night, new arbitrary âVariablesâ changing the stakes and odds of survival for the kids, and ever more crazy things thrown into the story that, at the hands of a less skilled author, would make readers incredulous. But what Dashner accomplishes is the total separation of the Glade from reality, so that when he does throw a whole bunch of random crazy scary things in, you won't even blink an eye, except from terror. You won't question the arbitrary rules in this new world, because you won't have to, and you'll be too busy biting your nails and flipping the pages to worry!
A story cannot stand on its plot and suspense alone, but THE MAZE RUNNER also has well-developed characters as well. At first, Thomas may seem a little irritating, so frightened and questioning of authority is he. However, when he begins to take control of his emotions and emerges into a confident potential leader, we are firmly on his side and cheer him on in our own ineffectual little ways, outside of the story. Similarly, the other teenagers in the Glade become people who, even if you don't necessarily like, you can still identify and empathize with. The depth and breadth of characters makes THE MAZE RUNNER not simply a plot-driven novel, but a book that can compete with other suspenseful and complex bestsellers.
Overall, THE MAZE RUNNER is a novel you shouldn't miss. It won't appeal to everyoneâsome might find the premise too staged, while others may complain of unsympathetic charactersâbut few can deny the palpable excitement that runs through these pages. Pick this book up and see for yourself which camp you fall in: either way, I don't think it will be a waste of your time.
Another book in film adaptation limbo. Can't wait to see how they translate everything! Should be visually astounding and full of action. Safe for ages 12 and up. It is fairly violent, so keep that in mind. Make sure your kids know what is make believe!. Read the book for yourself before you pass it on, you won't regret it! I'll be reading the rest of the series!
Author does a pretty good job of creating and describing a simplified alternate world. It's a little different than "Lord of the Flies", the conflicts between the boys is not quite the center of the story. Has a 16 year old hero, who discovers !surprise! he is different than the others. Ending gets a little unbelievable, but, after all, this is science fiction. It's the first of a trilogy, supposedly.