Thomas awakes in a dark moving box. He doesn’t know where he is and all of his memories are gone. The box opens up into a glade with strange teenagers. They must run the maze and find a way to escape. They have no idea who is doing this to them or why. The boys set up a farm-like community in the center of the maze where they survive while others called “runners” try to solve the maze and get everyone home. Each night the maze doors close as the electronic walls shift and change. Frightening animal/machine monsters called grievers patrol the maze corridors each night making certain death for anyone who gets stuck out there after the doors close. Thomas has a strong urge to run the mazes and memorials are just beyond his grasp. One day a girl is sent up to the maze. She and Thomas share a talent. But does this girl signal the end or the beginning?
I had trouble putting this book down! It is a fast paced read. Teens that like books full of action will enjoy this one! I have one complaint. Chuck seems so annoying and then all the sudden he’s Thomas’s symbol for all that’s good in the world. There needed to be a moment or event that linked the two. The change in attitude didn’t work for me. The slang reminded my of Battlestar Galactica and the use of “frak” instead of the other four-lettered “f word.” I can’t decide if I liked that or not.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Talk about the glader’s made up slang. Talk about how teens today use slang.
Talk about how the teens keep order by banishing people into the maze.
The teens are treated like lab rats. Who has the right to do this? Do humans have a right to do this to animals?
Is it justified in a time of apocalypse to help the human race survive?
Each teen has a purpose that helps the group survive. Which job would you want?
What do you think it means for the gladers to have a B team in another maze?