Book Club Pick: February 2017
Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Series: Maze Runner series
Country: United States of America
Publisher: Delcorte Press
First Published: 2009
When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas can remember is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible maze.
Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there, or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out.
The Maze Runner is the first novel in a series set in a dark post-apocalyptic world.
Our central character is sixteen-year-old Thomas. When he wakes inside an metal elevator car, he has no memory of how he got there or who he is, except for his name.
Thomas learns that he is part of community of around 50 teenage boys known as the ‘Gladers’. The boys live in an artificially created environment that is managed by an unseen and unknown group simply known as the Creators, that communicate through deliveries via the elevator car.
The ultimate goal of the community is to solve a maze built beyond huge grey stone walls that are over a hundred feet high. Each night the entrance to the maze closes protecting the boys from the Grievers, a horrific monster that is a mix of metal and flesh that can bite, sting and kill.
Each boy in the community has his own role that he does in order to keep the society functioning. The Runners run through the maze mapping it out. A position Thomas feels himself drawn to.
Everything changes on Thomas’ second day when a mysterious girl, Teresa, arrives in the elevator car. The Gladers were not expecting another delivery for another month – the pattern in the Glade. Teresa is the first girl to arrive and she will be the last delivery – no more Gladers, food or supplies.
Thomas also feels that he has connection to her. Teresa and Thomas are somehow connected to the mystery of the Glade. Will they be able to work with the other boys and help everyone escape the maze?
The novel is written in third person, but the narrative strongly favours Thomas’ point of view.
The Maze Runner is followed by The Scorch Trials (2010) and The Death Cure (2011), and two prequel novels The Kill Order (2012) and The Fever Code (2016).
A feature film was released in 2014, directed by Wes Ball and starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, and Patricia Clarkson.
The Maze Runner series will be popular with readers of dystopian fiction.
Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library