When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind. (From Amazon.ca)
It took me a while to get into this book. It opened up slowly but it was interesting because you’re looking through Thomas’ view. So in a way you’re experiencing this alongside Thomas. This had a certain Lord of the Flies ring to it, with the boys in their own groups and at times resorting to violent clashes and they even have their own lingo (which takes a while to figure out, but you do get the hang of it). Naturally, you’ll find Thomas stuck in the middle of everything, as he tries to figure out what really goes on in here especially when Theresa enters the story. The concept of the book was interesting, what was more interesting was the group of boys managed to stay and work together (you’d think they run amok and start bashing each other on the head after being stuck together for a while).
What I liked were the Grievers. Now those were really interesting. I liked reading the real close call moments where Thomas was pretty close to getting killed. They were interesting and at least provided a good amount of the action part of the book. The action does pick up through the second half of the book, and towards the end, you end up being blindsided with what really is happening. The ending will either make you frustrated, or eager to know more. I fall in the latter. It was a giant cliffhanger but well done to make you wanting to read the second book.
Although the book does pick up, and the pace quickens, there are so many questions asked, and few are answered. It does get frustrating whenever Thomas does ask something and everyone seems to either avoid the question entirely or just shrug it off. It’s irritating to read, and you certainly do feel Thomas’ frustration. It’s irritating to see the other boys not answer what seems like very simple questions and it doesn’t seem fair to Thomas that he’s kept in the dark when all he’s trying to do is make sense of things.
I’m going to pick up the next book for sure as I’m itching to find out what’s going to happen next. Readers of dystopian fiction will most certainly enjoy this book, but it’s also encouraging to see that this book also seems to cater to male readers as well. It’s a refreshing change and I think it’s a well done book to please the target audience. Even if you don’t fit the target, don’t hesitate to pick this book up. Especially if you’re into the Lord of the Flies theme. Mix this with a bit of dystopia and science fiction and you’ll get a well written book with an excellent cliffhanger that will make you want more out of this series.
I give it a 7.5 out of 10.