The Maze Runner-James Dashner

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This is a famous book–they’ve made a movie about it, which I haven’t seen. And I think there are sequels and perhaps a second movie. I knew that it was out there in the world and basically that it was yet another YA dystopian world book. But that was all I knew.

I was completely surprised by the way the book unfolded. It is not what I expected. At all. Which is not to say it wasn’t good, just that it took me a bit of time to acclimate my inherent assumptions about style and concept from the title and genre to what was really happening.

In this book, there’s a big open area with a couple of buildings, fields, farmland, and a wooded area. This area is bordered on all four sides by huge concrete walls with openings into a maze that surrounds the open area. These walls move to close overnight. There are monsters in the maze, monsters that are at least partially man-made. They can sting you and you need a shot of medicine to survive that. If you can’t get the shot, you can’t survive. The monsters are mostly out at night, and since the doors close at night, no one goes out into the maze at night.

Everyone there is a teenaged boy and they are all delivered to the grove by an underground elevator which also brings supplies, with no memory of anything from before they arrived. The goal is to survive and find the path out of the maze. This is tricky because the walls of the maze move overnight, so they have to start fresh each day.

Then one day a child comes at a unexpected time, and it’s a girl, and she has a note that says, “She is the last, ever.” And then the doors stop closing at night and the monsters come into the grove and start taking children from the group.

Obviously, they need to pick up their urgency on solving the maze.

It’s a good book. It’s compelling and fast-paced. It’s easy to read and intriguing and I might even read the sequel.

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