I’ve been wanting to read The Maze Runner by James Dashner for a while, heck I’ve even had the book for a year (so many books so little time!) but I finally started it about a week ago and I’m surprised at how much I liked it. Sure I had been interested from the many good reviews it has gotten, but at the same time I was pretty reserved about how a story about a boy or a few boys running around a maze could really be that enthralling.
The story surrounds Thomas, who we meet as he wakes up in darkness feeling around walls to get some sense of his surroundings. He has no memory of who he is; he only remembers that his name is Thomas. He doesn’t know how old he is, his last name and he can’t remember any relatives, friends or well… anyone actually. He can remember absolutely nothing specific about his life – he has knowledge, he knows what things are but he doesn’t know how he learnt about them, who taught him.
Thomas arrives at the Glade which is a walled community in the middle of a maze where other teenage boys have lived for 2 years now. None of the boys their have memories of their life before being in the maze either. Together, they have one aim – to get solve the maze, to get out, to get home – wherever that is.
This is a fast paced book with pretty short chapters most of which have a cliffhanger at the end, so it’s definitely one of those “just one more chapter” books.
There a lot of boys in the glade but the book focuses on the just a few of them that are involved with Thomas. These main characters are very likable but Dashner makes sure to show how each has their own faults. As for the community as a whole, even though you don’t meet the vast majority of the gladers you just know they have fostered great solidarity as a whole.
I love how Dashner has captured the whole “boys will be boys” part. The gladers swear as teenage boys around peers would, but he has kept hit clean by creating a system of slang swear words used within the glade like “shank” and “klunk”. It makes the boys personalities more realistic whilst staying in the realms of the Young Adult genre.
Overall it’s a quick read because of the fast pace, the intensity never really lets up and I really enjoyed the relationships and compassion between the characters.