by James Dashner
The Short Story
Thomas wakes up in a maze with several other teenage boys. No one knows who they are, how they got there, or what they're supposed to be doing. But once he shows up life in the maze begins to change. The group must find answers before it's too late. Like the movie Inception, I had no idea what was going on in the beginning. Except I still wasn't sure at the end, either. So it's kind of exactly like Inception.
Come for the...
action, suspense, and mystery. This is a story about bizarre things happening in a very bizarre setting. I was frustrated with the beginning because I didn't understand what was going on, and no one who knew more would fill Thomas (and the reader) in. But not knowing just increased the feeling of mystery and confusion. Once I accepted that I wasn't going to get answers I started to enjoy what was happening.
And a lot happens. The maze is dangerous, the grievers are dangerous, and the boys themselves are dangerous. There's a scene where a boy is punished for breaking the rules, and it nearly made my heart stop. Somehow the book managed to have a really intense moment, a break, and then an even more intense moment than before.
Stay for the
names (my favorite was the cook, Frypan); Minho, the story's Joseph Gordon-Levitt; the sequels The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure
Don't think about this too hard
- The story is more plot driven than character driven, and I had a hard time getting a feel for some of them. Even though Thomas was the main character, I felt like I didn't really know much about him (possibly because he didn't know himself). I even had a hard time trying to visualize the grievers. Were they cow shaped? Blobs? Circular saws? It's hard to be scared of something that you can't wrap your mind around.
- I expected that more of the story would be about running around the maze, but it's actually a very small part. I guess "The Maze Runner" makes for a cooler title than "The Confused Boy."
The Big Three
Language: A lot of slanguage words like shuck and slint
Sex and Stuff: not an issue
Violence: attacking, murderous creatures; fighting; and violent deaths