The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner (2009)
YA Fiction | Sci-Fi
“If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.
Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.
Everything is going to change.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
Remember. Survive. Run.” -Goodreads
pooled ink Review:
Yes. This is a dystopian/sci-fi book that I can get on board with. It’s full of mystery, suspense, action, and glimpses into human survival. This book is intriguing as it unravels its secrets slowly, piece by piece as the characters move forward spurred on by the arrival of Thomas and his strange ties to the masterminds that put them in this maze. Nothing seems obvious yet it all remains believable because just like Thomas the reader knows nothing else and is thus left with a choice: join the ride with a grain of salt or give up.
Dashner writes his sci-fi book with a thrilling pace. Admittedly there are sections that could be seen as dull or stretched out but personally I find that that simply adds a touch of realism to the timeline of events. Thomas doesn’t show up and save the world in a day because that’s a level of ridiculous that very few can swallow. No, it takes time to figure out a maze, a puzzle, a riddle…especially when all you know for sure is your own name.
The world created is fascinating but crumbling and the story dances around the line of ethics. Ethical? Unethical? Well, it’s all based on perspective now isn’t it? That’s the challenge Thomas and his friends are faced with beginning in the maze and to be wrestled with throughout the series. Perhaps it is all for the greater good but can you make the sacrifice? Is it worth it to you? I know that this will make very little sense until you’ve read the book but books that explore ethical philosophies always pull me in and if that’s you then this is just an extra incentive for you to crack open a copy of this book. More immediately though this book is filled with monsters, experiments, friendship, and survival. You never know what to believe because every time you begin to settle into reality it shatters.
The Maze Runner is the first installment of a YA Sci-Fi trilogy that begins with a lost group of boys stuck in a terrifying maze and drags them forward into the mind-bending, plot-twisting decisions their world demands from them. All for the greater good of course.
Recommendation for similar books: Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Chained by Susanne Valenti
P.S. The movie adaptation is incredibly awesome (particularly for those who do feel that some sections drag on a bit) so I highly recommend both the book and the movie! Enjoy.
Originally rated on Goodreads on August 08, 2013.
Meet James Dashner!
James is the author of THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy and THE 13TH REALITY series. He also published a series (beginning with A DOOR IN THE WOODS) with a small publisher several years ago. He lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains.