“The Maze Runner” was a truly original story of young boys struggling to survive in a large maze where they are all imprisoned. Each month, a metal box delivers a new boy to a large glade where he joins the dozens of other boys already there. The glade is surrounded by eight different mazes and high stone walls that close each night to protect the boys from the dangerous creatures that appear at night and attack the boys. The book starts when Thomas arrives at the Maze, who instantly feels that the maze is familiar.
After learning that several of the boys run through the maze each day searching for a way out, Thomas decides he also wants to be a maze runner. Only a few days after arriving, Thomas is caught in the maze after dark when he tries to help two other boys who are too injured to make it into the glade before the doors close. Thomas saves one of the injured boys and manages to outsmart the creatures chasing him in the maze during the night. The next morning, Thomas earns the respect of all the boys, as he is the first person to survive being in the maze at night. But other boys are wary of Thomas and belive he might have more to do with the maze then he is letting one.
When a girl arrives in a the box the day after Thomas does, the boys are confused since a girl has never been to the glade before, and kids never arrive back to back. Thomas and the girl, Teresa, quickly learn they can communicate telepathically, and realize they have memories about the maze and its creators that lead them to belive that they were involved in putting these boys here and in creating the maze. Thomas is convinced that the “game” is ending, and leads the boys in a daring escape from the maze. Fighting creatures, breaking codes, and jumping off cliffs culminate in an even more confusing world.
Though technically classified as a Young Adult book, the writing was mature and intricate. The story moved quickly and was propelled by the boys, whose characters were well developed and interesting. At times, I was reminded of “Lord of the Flies” because the young characters are required to take on adult responsibility. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, and would recommend this book to those who enjoy fictional, quirky, scientific themed books.