Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

When Thomas woke up, he did not know who he was or where he was going. All he knew was that he was scared, sick and did not want to be where he was, which was in a dark box. When the box finally opened, he found himself surrounded by many boys, all looking to be in their teens. Thomas soon found out that the was in the Glade, and the boys surrounding him were Gladers. The Gladers farmed, raised animals, cleaned, and did what they had to in order to survive. Like Thomas, none of the Gladers could remember where they came from or anything beyond their first name. All they knew is that once a month one boy showed up in the box, and that they lived in the center of a giant maze.

    Thomas and the Gladers spend their time trying to figure out the maze, how to escape, and how to survive the Grievers, which are mechanical monsters that will sting or kill Gladers if they are in the maze after dark. The Gladers explore the maze by sending a select group of boys called Runners into the maze. Only a short time after arriving, Thomas is made a Runner and helps explore and discover new things about the maze. After Thomas showed up, though, things in the Glade started to change.
The day after Thomas arrived, another greenie showed up. This time, it was a girl with a message: everything is going to change. After the girl shows up, everything does change. Thomas realizes that he knows the girl, and that he has more to do with the maze than he would like to remember. Thomas knows he must help the Gladers become even more desperate to find a way through the maze and face the Creators.
    The Maze Runner is a dystopian book written in third person narrative. The story is fast paced, and keeps readers wondering why the Gladers are there, and where exactly they are. The Gladers create their own society and slang that lightens up the mood of a dark story. Dasher adds a few mysteries that are partially answered, setting up for the sequel. This book is dark and meant for an older readership. It may be difficult for a younger audience to grasp some of the concepts presented. The Maze Runner is appropriate for readers in grades 10-12 who are prepared for a book that gives very little hope.

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