I've had The Maze Runner by James Dashner on my shelves waiting to be read for more than a year. I bought it, really excited to read it and to get stuck into what sounded like a really great dystopic novel ... only to be put off by claims that the book is difficult to get into and is confusing.
And while it can be confusing and slightly disorienting having the events of the book unfold alongside our main character, Thomas, for me, it was never difficult. In fact, I found the huge mystery of The Glade and the maze and all of the questions fueled my excitement to continue reading and it strengthened my need to solve this massive puzzle.
The Maze Runner begins with a teenage boy sitting in this box type thing. He has memories of how the world works and operates but can remember no aspect of the world in which he has taken part in it. All he knows of himself is that his name is Thomas. When the door opens, he finds himself surrounded by a large group of other teenage boys, all of which have no memories of their lives before entering The Glade.
Absolutely everything is confusing at the beginning for Thomas. He must quickly adapt to this new life - from the slang terms the other boys use to the heirarchy of the boys, the different jobs and responsibilities. Though Thomas would like to ask a million different questions, none of the other teenagers have much patience with Thomas' questions instead telling him that he'd work it out and to get on with it.
Most confusing of all though, is the maze that surrounds The Glade. It is home to horrific beasts called the Grievers and runners are sent out every day in order to solve the maze. Thomas, without knowing very much at all about the maze seems drawn to it. He somehow knows that he must become a maze runner, that somehow this is important not only to himself but to the others.
What I loved so much about The Maze Runners is how well The Glade is described and the running of it is quite detailed. I felt as though I could close my eyes and picture myself amongst these teenage boys who are facing this existence and this confusion. I loved how intent Thomas is on figuring out his surroundings and finding answers to all of these baffling questions. And even though things seem rather dire and hopeless at times, Thomas and these boys really continue to hope and never give up.
I thought The Maze Runner to be really different and exciting and I'm absolutely DYING to read the sequel, The Scorch Trials.