June 30, 2011

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Thomas can only remember his name. He finds himself alone in an elevator, and then greeted by a group of boys. Thomas must acclimate himself to the Glade; a community closed off by walls and inhabited by a group of 60 boys. The boys have created their own society, where each has a specific role for survival; farmer, butcher, cook. The most honored role is that of maze runner, for outside the walls lies a labyrinth which maze runners have attempted to document to figure out an escape. The problem is that the walls move. The walls surrounding the Glade close every evening to protect the 'Gladers' from the horrible beasts that lurk outside at night. Thomas makes a connection with another recent arrival, Chuck. He also has a connection with Theresa, a girl that appears in a coma, with a note revealing that things are going to change. We learn, as Thomas learns, about the boys of the Glade, how their society works, and what Thomas' real purpose is.

If you enjoyed Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, though not as strong, you will most likely enjoy The Maze Runner for its mystery, adventure, and the will to survive. There are no real answers in this first of a trilogy.
Reed Reads Score: 4

June 2, 2011

Morpheus Road: The Black by D.J. MacHale

Spoiler Alert: This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series! The Black is the second installment of the Morpheus Road trilogy. Here, the voice of the narrator switches from Marshall Seaverto Cooper Foley, Marshall’s best friend who is killed in book one (Morpheus Road: The Light). Most of the plot elements from the first book are retold from Cooper’s point of view. The plot goes further in this telling explaining what the Morpheus Road is… a middle world where one confronts one’s life and contemplates the good and the bad, before moving on the road or being condemened to the Blood. As Cooper learns to navigate his new world and existence, he meets his deceased grandfather, a young girl, an evil and powerful warrior called Damon, and Marshall’s mother (who's death set everything in motion).  Cooper is determined to fight the earthshaking mayhem caused by Damon, whose goal is to dominate the world of the afterlife as well as the living, who is responsible for Cooper’s death, and who is haunting of Marshall Seaver (which occurs in book one). I didn't enjoy The Black, as much as The Light, as it is not as fast-paced, nor as scary. Still, and entertaining read, and looking forward to book 3: The Blood.
Reed Reads Score: 3