NCPL Teenzone's Reviews > The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
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"Nice to meet you shank. Welcome to the Glade."

Imagine waking up in a strange place, not knowing where you are, how you got there, or worse yet, how to get out. Not remembering anything about your life except for your name.

Thomas arrives in the Glade, just the same way as everyone before him. Once per month a newbie is delivered through the Box, a strange, dark elevator shaft, through which you can enter but you can't leave.

"Where am I?" Thomas asks. "Nowhere good" is the reply.

The Glade is in the middle of a Maze, and surrounded by huge stone walls that open like clockwork every morning and close tight every night at sunset. The group of boys that live in the Glade have created their own society and are working hard to survive. Every morning, a team of eight Runners enter the Maze in an effort to map every inch and find a way out. They must be back by sunset though because hideous, deadly beasts called Grievers live in the Maze and come out at night.

While Thomas's arrival in the Glade was expected, he is nothing like the normal newbie. Several of the Gladers think they remember him and say he is bad. Thomas also has a strong desire to be a Runner. And the day after he arrives, someone else is sent up through the Box. This time it is a girl, with a message.

After two years, the Gladers are beginning to suspect there may be no way out.

Why I picked up the book: It has been on my to-read pile for quite awhile since it is a Soaring Eagle nominee. It was recommended to me by a guy in my high school book club.

Why I finished it: We were looking for a book to use for our inaugural Teen One Book selection and one of our high school librarians recommended this one. Also I was invited to join CY's Teachers as Readers book club and this was their first book. Besides the obligation, I was sucked in. I wanted to know how they got there and if they would solve the maze. It kept me guessing and now I have to read the sequels (Scorch Trials & Death Cure) and the prequel (The Kill Order, to be released in August 2012)

I'd give it to: fans of Hunger Games, teens (especially boys!) and adults looking for a new series. The author himself called it a mix between "Ender's Game" and "Lord of the Flies".

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