I’ve been hearing a lot about this book on other book blogs – it’s another dystopian novel, with elements similar to both ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’. There’s also a movie coming out later this year – it has the cute little boy from Love Actually in it!!
But, getting to the story. Thomas can’t remember anything except his name. Confusion ensues when he is pulled out of a lift shaft into an unfamiliar place known as the Glade. It is a place where only teenage boys live, sent there without memories, learning to cope in this unfamiliar environment. Surprisingly, unlike ‘Lord of the Flies’, these boys have coped quite well – they have a functioning society devoted to finding escape from the Maze surrounding their little home. Each night the Maze doors close and each day, Runners venture into the Maze to find a way out. To make it more difficult, the walls in the Maze move every night too. But things get weirder when Thomas arrives – some people recognise him without knowing why, a comatose girl is sent to join them and the supplies stop coming. Suddenly it becomes even more important to escape. And quickly.
It was a good way to introduce us to the new world by giving us a character who had as much of a clue as we did but, initially, it moved very slowly. No one wanted to answer Thomas’ questions, which left me feeling incredibly frustrated as I just wanted to know more. However, it does put you into Thomas’ position very effectively.
It took me a few days to get through the fast half of the book, but after that the pace picked up considerably and I finished in a matter of hours. The action is intense, as the world the Gladers have come to know begins to change and panic sets in, making it even more urgent to find a means of escape.
Dashner captured emotion really well. I liked the very different reactions characters had to certain events, which all fit really well with their characterisation. The only problem I did have was that, at times, Thomas seemed almost superhuman, able to see ridiculously clearly when no one else could. However, I had the same problem with Katniss (from ‘The Hunger Games’) and Tris (from ‘Divergent’) and still enjoyed those series immensely.
I would highly recommend this book – a little slow at first but really really interesting. It was a story of survival in a challenging and confusing environment. While we find out why the boys were sent there, it is a spoiler. What I will say is that there is an element of experimentation and science which I always enjoy. I like authors to give us a link between our world and their futuristic dystopian one.
I’ll leave you with the movie trailer – it looks fantastic!! And I recommend you read the book first – but that has always been my personal preference!