Life has made a very confusing turn for Thomas. The moment he wakes up in the lift, he doesn’t know his name, his purpose, or where he is. His mind is a slate wiped clean. At least he’s not alone. For as he climbs from the lift, boys of every size, shape and age surround him and welcome him to the Glade – a large, self-sufficient expanse surrounded by tall, stone, imposing walls, and, a maze. Like Thomas, the other boys don’t know why they are in the Glade, they are simply living day to day, trying to survive. Day after day, the boys work in the gardens, work with their livestock, and survive. And they run the maze. Every morning the stone doors to the maze open, and every night they close. And every 30 days a new boy comes to the Glade in the same lift that brought Thomas. Thomas was expected.
But the next day, the unthinkable happens. The lift delivers a girl.
Not just any girl – a girl that Thomas is certain he knows and she comes bearing a message. The end is beginning. Now Thomas might be even more important than he ever imagined; if only he could unlock the secrets buried deep inside his own mind.
When I requested and subsequently received this ARC, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had a tiny blurb to go on. It sounded interesting, but I had never heard of the author and I wasn’t sure what to expect. One rainy weekend saw me pick this up, and I barely put it down until I finished it.
I have put off reviewing this for two reasons. One seems pretty obvious; it doesn’t come out until October. Secondly, I wanted my excitement for this book to have the change to burn down a little bit, but honestly, it hasn’t. When I finished this book I was convinced it was my favorite book of the year. It may not quite be my absolute favorite now, but it will definitely be in my top ten. This is hold-on-to-the-seat-of-your-pants done by a master. Dashner takes you on a fast-paced adventure of a ride. He grabs you up in the first pages and doesn’t turn you loose until well after you turn the last page. In fact, he doesn’t ever let you go because there is one HECK of a cliff-hanger at the end. And he breaks your HEART to boot.
Not only is the pacing and plotting so great. The characters, despite their amnesia, are well rounded and well thought out. I very quickly came to care about Thomas and the other boys (and girl!) and what they were going through. James Dashner has created a dystopian future that is equal parts fascinating and terrifying. And more than anything, I just had to know, what the heck was going on! Dashner keeps you guessing to the very end and then just leaves you with more questions. Leave your preconceived notions at the door for nothing is as it seems in this universe. I cannot wait for the next book in this series and think you should go and grab a copy of this on October 6. Highly recommended, especially to fans of The Hunger Games and other such dystopian young adult fiction.
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