Title: Maze Runner.
Author: James Dashner.
Series: Yes, #1.
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Published Date: 10/6/09
"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 thirty 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."
Barnes and Noble
The Maze Runner was one of my amazing finds at my favorite used bookstore, a box set, with all three books, still wrapped in plastic and in pristine condition (and the best part is they were only half the original price!!). After inspecting the covers and doing a bit of research, I learned that these books are the UK covers (I mean, how cool is that?), and I have to admit, I'm almost liking these ones better than the US covers!
When Thomas is stuck in a dark box, he can't recall where he was or why he was there, and thinking for a bit longer, he can't remember anything. Not his age, not his life, nothing but his name. Sitting in this dark place, Thomas is scared and worried about what was going to happen next.
Until he is lifted up in the small elevator, into what he learned is called "The Glades". When arriving, Thomas is greeted by a large group of boys, who seem to be in the exact same situation. Not knowing their own ages or the reason as to why they were there. Already expecting a newcomer to arrive, because they did every month, the boys help Thomas out the hole.
The Glades was the place where these boys were residing. Having everything they need to survive, food, shelter, and protective walls that kept them safe from the creatures that lived and roamed the night, outside of the Glades. The only way out of the Glades was to solve the maze located outside of the walls (yes, the same place those dangerous creatures live!), but after almost two years, no one had been able to figure it out.
After only being there only a week, Thomas seems to have thrown off the Gladers' everyday schedule. Instead of following the newcomer ritual, Thomas wants to become a runner; someone who spends the entire day out in the maze, and everyday trying to solve the puzzle.
But when only a few days passed and the same elevator that brought Thomas into the Glades, comes up again, but this time...with a unconscious girl! After almost two years, the Gladers have received a new BOY every single month, never have they once been delivered a girl (especially one that's unconscious!)
Thomas and the girl's arrival changed everything in the Glades! When the doors, that closed every night at the same time, that keeps them safe from the outside, don't close one night, and when the sun isn't in the sky anymore time is running out for the Gladers..time is running out for them to solve the maze...
The Maze Runner was confusing at the beginning, and it was supposed to be. The reader learns everything about the Glades, and the maze, at the same Thomas does; which I really liked! The story was never dull or boring, and the reader was always engaged and learning something new and interesting. I haven't read very many YA novels where a boy was the main character, but I enjoyed the change. And surprisingly I didn't mind that there wasn't too much romance (which I usually thrive for!).
I could have never guessed the ending, and my jaw was on the floor when I finished the book! I couldn't believe what was really going on this entire time, and what the "Glades" truly was! The Maze Runner did leave off with a cliffhanger, but still filled the reader in enough to keep us content until we start the second book. It was the good kind of cliffhanger, one where your excited to see what happens next, not the kind where your angry that it ended in the middle of the action!
The Maze Runner is definitively a series that I'm eager to continue and finish!