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The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

MazeRunnerIt seems you can’t turn a corner without running into a post-apocalyptic teen dystopia but I read “The Maze Runner” nonetheless and really did enjoy the story.  It features a young teen boy, Thomas, who awakes inside a rising elevator.  When it opens, he discovers he is trapped in a new and unfamiliar world surrounded by other boys his age.  They’ve created in the two years since they’ve been there, a society based on order and rules.  Everyone has a function and a responsibility and so this society has gone on rather peacefully.  One of the jobs is as a Runner; surrounding their compound is a fortress-like maze that opens every morning and closes every night and the Runners search the maze every day for a way out.  Thomas quickly (and foolishly) becomes a Runner and learns that there are more secrets in the maze than previously thought.  Among the terrifying possibilities is the presence of the Grievers, a robotic-like organism that hunts the boys with its saw-like arms.

The Creators, the people who put them there, have a lot to answer for for this inhumane terror, something the boys come to deliver when they eventually make it out of the maze.  Though their retribution is not as straightforward and one would have to read Dashner’s sequel, “The Scorch Trials” to find out.

I would characterize this book as combination of Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” and William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” in that it features a self-directed utopia of young folk who are forced into this society and, one could argue, tortured by some higher group.

And like all other books of this description, there is a movie version, this time released by 20th Century Fox in 2014.

a post from Sarah

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