The first book in James Dasher's trilogy, The Maze Runner, opens with a boy who finds himself in a dark elevator, not remembering anything of his life except his name - Thomas. When the doors open, he is met by a community of boys who live in the Glade, a large expanse of land surrounded on all sides by a wall that opens each morning and closes each night, as they have for the past two years. Outside those doors is a maze that holds grave dangers as well as the answers to how the group of boys will find their way out of the Glade. Who searches the maze to find its secrets? The Maze Runners. Somehow Thomas knows he is supposed to be a runner. There are other echoes in his memory that he wants to unlock, he needs to unlock in order to get out of this place. They need to escape, but to where?
Thomas's arrival in the Glade sets off a series of unusual events, which caused a domino effect of action and suspense. The Maze Runner is a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games. This group of boys carve out their own society, and figure out a chain of command, establish skills in order to sustain their lives in the Glade. All the while, they have no idea why they are there, who sent them, why and, probably most importantly, what is beyond the maze?
I can not say that this is a "boy book" because I do believe girls will enjoy it just as much, although I do feel this is one of the few books I have read in recent memory that boys would love. I will say that I could notput this book down, regardless of my age or gender. It kept me on the edge of my seat, made my heart beat outside my chest, and had me wanting more when I turned the last page.
If you loved The Hunger Games, you won't be able to put down The Maze Runner!
The second book in the trilogy, The Scorch Trials is due for release on October 12, 2010.
FTC Statement: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.
About the Book: The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 6, 2009)