Delacorte Press (2009)
My teen recommended this book to me. I could not wait to get my hands on a book that so enthralled my kid, he got in trouble for reading it in class.
I can understand his love for “The Maze Runner.” This is the book for a preteen/teen boy. All the characters but one are male, and the token female character is in a coma for half of the book. They are left to live in a maze inhabited by deadly mechanical monsters called Grievers. The boys are called Gladers, named after the gathering area inside the maze with high walls that close at night, keeping them mostly safe from the Grievers. The boys create a society, with jobs and strict rules about order. They also invent their own street language, allowing these teen boys to swear while the book retains a PG rating.
The main character, Thomas, arrives in the Glade confused about his surroundings and ambitious about his role in it. The girl arrives the next day and becomes a catalyst for change. Her arrival, Thomas’ ambition and the change makes some suspicious of Thomas and others sure he is the key to solving the maze.
It is unclear what is so special about Thomas, why he can do and discover things more experienced boys haven’t in two years in the maze. His character is likeable for his compassion and his determination, which make the reader believe Thomas could be the boy to solve the maze before the Grievers destroy all of them.
The pace starts out as a slow jog through a mist of confusion and ends in a gallop toward a new cloud, presumably addressed in the sequel, “The Scorch Trials.”