“The Maze Runner” by James Dashner was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down. I was immediately drawn into the story and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I’m very excited about the fact that there are three more books in this series.
The book opens up on Thomas finding himself in an elevator going up. He has no idea how he got there and when the elevator reaches the top he is pulled out by a group of boys. His introduction is rough, “Ain’t got time to be nice, Greenbean. Old life’s over, new life’s begun. Learn the rules quick, listen, don’t talk. You get me?” (The Maze Runner, pg 10). Thomas is thrust into this new world that he knows nothing about and the majority of the guys do not have the time or the patience to explain how things are. He is lucky if he has more than one question answered at a time. For the most part, all of his questions go unanswered.
One thing that is quickly determined is that Thomas’s memory is incomplete – and so are all the others in the Glade. “His memory loss was strange. He mostly remembered the workings of the world – but emptied of specifics, faces, names. Like a book completely intact but missing one word in every dozen, making it a miserable and confusing read. He didn’t even know his age.” (The Maze Runner, pg 15). I found this to be a very interesting and curious part of the book. Thomas questions why he would have some memories and not all of them and I was right there with him wondering the same thing. Although questions about the world definitely pop up, there are a lot more questions about the life that Thomas finds himself in after the elevator. The place he is in is called The Glade and it is in the center of a maze. There are walls that close at night so that the maze is inaccessible to the boys in The Glade. This goes two ways as we learn that there are some horrible things in the maze and with the walls closing at night they are protected from them.
There is a lot going on in this book and I don’t want to give anything away. I will reiterate that this is quite the page-turner. I think that James Dashner’s ability to develop characters was impressive, especially given the fact that the boys all had significant memory loss. He definitely kept things interesting.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think it was a really fun read. It starts off kind of light and then immediately develops into an exciting rollercoaster of a read. Part of the fun was being very much in the dark about what was happening just as the characters were. I enjoyed learning about the world right along side Thomas. I am really looking forward to reading the next books in the series.
Side note: the book explains a lot of what is happening whereas the movie just fast-forwards through everything. I didn’t like the movie very much because there is a lot that was just skipped over, leaving the audience that hadn’t read the book very confused. It was a poor adaptation. Save yourself the struggle and read the book!