Series: Maze Runner #1
Hardback: 374 Pages
Publication: October 6, 2009 by Delacorte Books for Younger Readers
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.
The Glade is a place of unknowns. None of the boys has any memory of his old life; they don't remember any details about themselves except their names. The boys have made a life for themselves in this place, and their only hope is trying to solve the maze that surrounds the walls. The Maze is a dangerous place, filled with terrifying half monsters and half machine, Grievers, who exist solely to sting the boys with a deadly poison. The plot is mysterious and full of surprises. I constantly found myself wondering how the boys got there, whether they would be able to get out, and what will happen to them.
I love how all the Gladers formed a society to survive the everyday fear of not knowing why they are there or how they can possibly get out. Then, with Thomas's arrival, things begin to change. He is determined to discover the solve the secrets to the maze and goes to great lengths to find the way out. He gives the boys hope. Even with no answers, he unites the boys, and they keep working together to find a way out.
What made it hard to start the book is the slang. Dashner uses unique words, like klunk, greenie, shuck, slopper, and all sorts of other words, which were confusing at first. It's just like the feeling I got with Thomas at first. He is confused and doesn't understand what Dashner is saying. Thomas is an easily relatable character. The way that Dashner portrays him makes it easy to feel his emotions and identify yourself with him.
It is through unexpected intervention that Thomas remembers the solution to the maze and why the boys have never been able to get out. The ending was very suspenseful, and I look forward to further adventures with this bunch!