The Maze Runner by James Dashner
It goes without saying these days, if there’s a good YA novel, it is destined to become a film franchise. The latest offering is The Maze Runner, a fast paced action/adventure novel from James Dashner. As the film is going to be out today, I picked up a copy to see what all the fuss would be about. I was, from page 1, swept up and strapped in to a roller-coaster of action and intrigue. This was another book I had serious trouble putting down and spent 20% of my time hoping someone would bring it up in conversation just so I could talk about it more… The Maze Runner is awesome.
Thomas has no memory of his life before he is awoken in a metal cage, heading up to a mysterious place called The Glade, a small community of boys at the center of a bizarre, dangerous and constantly moving Maze. They don’t know what their purpose is, other than to escape the Maze, and keep their community safe from the horrors outside. Whether these boys are victims or criminals it is unknown – are they the last survivors, are they in a new form of prison, are they destined to die at the hands of the Grievers? All Thomas has to go on is an odd feeling that he has been in the Maze before and that it is his purpose to become a Runner.
Then, a mysterious girl is delivered to Glade, bringing a note that she will be the last and that everything will change… Dun Dun Dun!!
It is dramatic and gripping, with explosive action, plenty of questions raised and an unreliable narrator to keep you guessing to the very end! I found that the books gives you clues at the same time as Thomas figures things out. There is no info-dump explaining the origin or structure of the maze or of the Creators behind it who are sending kids into the Glade with no memories. I think it is this (and a strong resistance to Wikipedia the ending) that gives the book so much page-turning angst and mystery. The Maze Runner is brilliantly written, with a fantastic voice and imaginative, hair raising plot.
The Maze Runner is a great book for boys and great for fans of the Hunger Games. I did get a very Hunger Games-y vibe from the first half of the book (Glade is to Arena as Creator is to Capitol sort of thing) but that was swiftly left behind as the intense action takes over. The Maze changes every day and the boys scramble to piece together the messages and find their way out, before it’s too late…
The Maze Runner premiers in cinemas today!