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Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
ISBN: 9780307582911
Publisher: Random House
Released: October 06, 2009
Series: The Maze Runner #1
Duration: 10 hours, 50 minutes
Source: Audiobook from my public library

"When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind."
First Lines:

"He began his new life, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.
Metal ground against metal; a lurching shudder shook the floor beneath him."
Page 1 

Yep, I'm probably the last person on the planet to read this book. Well, listen to it. I've heard so many rave reviews, that I figured it was probably time. And I have to agree... it's the perfect boy adventure story.

Thomas doesn't remember anything from his life before The Glade. All he knows is that someone is controlling their movements and they have to figure out a way to escape. But he's no ordinary Glader. Some of the boys remember him. And he gets attacked by one of them - saying he remembers him from before. Things are changing - and not for the better. They have to get out before they're all killed by the monsters in the Maze. Thomas just knows that somewhere in his mind is the key to getting them all to safety.

I went into this book knowing it was going to be good. Didn't really know what it was going to be about, but knew I had to read it (listen to it). And I'm so glad that I did! It's now a story that I can't get out of my head. The whole concept of the Glad and knowing that you were sent there by people. People who are now watching you. Waiting to see what you do. It's a creepy concept. But the boys who have been sent there have formed themselves into a working society. They have people who take care of each aspect of life. And they have the runners - the ones who are trying to find a way out. It's a little Lord of the Flies with the boys governing other boys without any sort of adult authority. But that's sort of where the similarities end.

Unfortunately, there's a big, scary threat... the Grievers. Each night they come out into the maze and will kill you if you're caught out there after the walls close each night. And if they do sting you (instead of straight up killing you), then you will go through the Change. None of the boys really understand what the change is, but they know it's scary. And you will get back some memories. But you will never be the same.

The ending is more epic than I ever imagined. There's a huge battle that leaves you breathless and concerned about every character in the story. Thomas grows close with several of the characters and it's very interesting to see how he interacts with each of them. He becomes the central part of the escape. He becomes the one people are scared of. He becomes the one that they can all learn from. Watching that transformation of naive newbie to the end is quite the transformation.

Although everyone on the planet has already read this book, I am definitely recommending it. If you've been putting it off like I have, you should go ahead and get on it. The audiobook was really well done and that is probably the perfect way to get drawn into the story. The reader does a great job with the different boy voices and has a wonderful tempo with the intensity of the story. He really pulls you in without knowing you were being pulled in. I'm definitely on the edge of my seat wondering what happens in the next book - which I'm off to look for now. Again, this is a must read!!
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