June 20, 2011

Review "The Maze Runner"

"The Maze Runner"
James Dashner 
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1) 

Pub. Date: October 6, 2009
Pages: 279
Publisher: Delacorte Press for Young Readers

Synopsis:  Imagine waking up one day in total darkness, unsure of where you are and unable to remember anything about yourself except your first name. You're in a bizarre place devoid of adults called the Glade. The Glade is an enclosed structure with a jail, a graveyard, a slaughterhouse, living quarters, and gardens. And no way out. Outside the Glade is the Maze, and every day some of the kids -- the Runners -- venture into the labyrinth, trying to map the ever-changing pattern of walls in an attempt to find an exit from this hellish place. So far, no one has figured it out. And not all of the Runners return from their daily exertions, victims of the maniacal Grievers, part animal, part mechanical killing machines.

Thomas is the newest arrival to the Glade in this Truman-meets-Lord of the Flies tale. A motley crew of half a dozen kids is all he has to guide him in this strange world. As soon as he arrives, unusual things begin to happen, and the others grow suspicious of him. Though the Maze seems somehow familiar to Thomas, he's unable to make sense of the place, despite his extraordinary abilities as a Runner. What is this place, and does Thomas hold the key to finding a way out?

In The Maze Runner, Dashner has crafted a creative and engaging novel that's both mysterious and thought provoking.

I don't know why it took me so long to read this book... I have only heard wonderful things about "The Maze Runner", but somehow I kept overlooking it.  Thank goodness I randomly requested the audio book from the library because this is a must read for fans of "The Hunger Games".  "The Maze Runner" wasn't as good as HG, but I really don't expect many books to be able to compete with its sheer awesomeness.  From the very beginning of the book I felt just as lost as the main character, Thomas, and I was hooked.  I LOVED how none of the characters in The Glade really know what is going on- some of them have theories, but that's all they are. 

There wasn't a ton of character development, but everyone was very realistic.   I really liked how everyone had their own way of coping with being in The Glade, some characters handled the situation better than others, but I would probably be a crazy, mess if I was in their situation.  I loved how Dashner showed the characters' reactions to change.  People don't like change in life as it is, in such a high stress environment it isn't surprising how some of the characters react to some of the changes Thomas's arrival brings.  This book is violent, but I didn't think it was over done.  The violence is used to show how terrifying The Glade is.

If you like adventure and mystery then "the Maze Runner" is a must read.  The ending is fantastic and there are plenty of questions left to keep you wanting more.  “The Scorch Trials”, the second book, is available now, and the last book, “The Death Cure” is coming out in October.  Now is a great time to start this series!

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