The Maze Runner Summary

Cover of the Maze Runner features very tall green hedges alongside a building with two protruding spikes
The Maze Runner

In the dark of an elevator, a teenaged boy awakes with no memories other than that his name is Thomas. When the elevator comes to a halt, the doors open and Thomas finds himself surrounded by around fifty teenaged boys. Their leader, a boy in his late-teens named Alby, welcomes him to the Glade. Surrounded by extremely high stone walls covered in thick ivy, the Glade is a large square piece of land with a few wood and concrete buildings. In each of the surrounding four walls, there is a narrow opening.

Over the course of the next few days, Thomas learns that behind the walls is the Maze – a labyrinthine structure full of Grievers. Grievers are violent mechanical creatures that only come out at night. Since the openings to the Maze, what the Gladers call Doors, close at night, the Grievers cannot get into the Glade. During the day, a few of the boys, the Runners, navigate the Maze in order to find an exit. On the same day every month, the elevator brings a new male arrival. But on the day after Thomas arrives, the elevator returns with a teenaged girl in a coma.

The next day Alby and Minho, a Runner, go into the Maze to investigate a report about a dead Griever. A few minutes before the Doors close, Thomas sees Minho dragging an unconscious Alby towards the Door. With no one else around to help, Thomas enters the Maze right as the Doors close behind him. Inside, Minho tells him that a Griever stung Alby. Thomas and Minho lure a group of Grievers away from Alby and towards the Cliff– a place in the Maze where the path ends and overlooks an empty expanse. As the Grievers charge at them, the boys dive out of the way, causing the Grievers to disappear off the Cliff.

It’s morning and the Doors are open by the time they are able to return to Alby’s location. Newt, Alby’s second-in-command, cures Alby by giving him the Grief Serum, which causes him to go through the Changing, Newt tells Thomas that the Changing is a painful side effect of the Serum that makes people recall some of their memories.

In the following days, the girl, whose name is Teresa, wakes up and tells Thomas that the Maze is code. The sun also suddenly disappears, which causes the Doors to remain open at night. On the first night the doors stay open, the Grievers come into the Glade and carry off a boy named Gally into the Maze. The Gladers hope that the Grievers will only take one boy per night.

The following day, Thomas uses the maps that the Runners made of the Maze to figure out that the Maze’s shifting walls have been spelling out the phrase, “Float. Catch. Bleed. Death. Stiff. Push.” To understand the code’s meaning, Thomas purposefully gets stung by the Grievers so that he can go through the Changing and recover some of his memories. After the Changing, Thomas remembers that to escape the Maze, they must put the code into a computer that is inside an invisible portal. To get to the portal, they must jump off the Cliff.

After convincing them to follow his plan, Thomas helps lead an armed band of Gladers into the Maze. At the Cliff, a group of Grievers are waiting for them. Thinking that they will only kill one person a night, Alby sacrifices himself to the Grievers. But his sacrifice fails and the Gladers must attack the Grievers as Thomas and Teresa make their way into the portal. Inside, Teresa plugs in the code, which shuts down all the Grievers.

The surviving Gladers meet Thomas and Teresa in the portal. They find a slide that brings them to a giant facility where they meet the creators of the Maze. A woman with the word WICKED stitched into her lab coat and a man in a hood approach the Gladers. The woman congratulates them but says there is still one more test. The man takes off his hood, revealing himself as Gally. Seeming to be mind-controlled, Gally throws a knife at Thomas, but a fellow Glader, Chuck, jumps in front of the knife. As Thomas cradles Chuck’s lifeless body, a group of men and women come into the facility and shoot the woman. The Gladers follow them onto a bus and they all drive into the night.

On the bus, the unnamed leader of this group tells the Gladers that in the world outside the Maze, there has been a devastating ecological disaster that has caused a widespread outbreak of disease. WICKED hoped to raise children in the harsh environment of the Maze so that they would be better prepared to face the challenges of the real world. The leader says WICKED’s actions are inhumane and that her group fights to save children from their experiments. They bring the Gladers to a safe-house and give them a place to eat and sleep in peace.

The novel ends with an email by the Chancellor of the Maze Trials, Ava Paige. She writes that the “rescue” was a good finale and that after the group gets a good night’s sleep, phase two of the experiment will begin.

It is a really good book and I would recommend checking it out. The Maze Runner Trilogy is also made into movies so you should check those out too. Stay tuned for my reviews of the next 2 books and maybe even the 2 prequels.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

The cover of Gathering Blue features a young girl looking at a bouquet of white and blue flowers
Gathering Blue

Have any of you ever read The Giver? Well boy have I got some news for you! Lois Lowry actually made a series for the Giver! Yup, I found out from my teacher so now, I am attempting to finish this series.

            So, it starts off with a completely new character, never met her before, her name is Kira. Gathering Blue starts with her sitting in a field to watch her mother’s spirit leave her body. Her mother has just died of sickness, now leaving Kira an orphan (her father was attacked by beasts before Kira was born or so you think, read The Messenger to find out what happens there). She also has a leg that is crippled so she can’t work or really do anything to help the village. After having a fight, she is given a job. It doesn’t take much movement and it is very important. She has to mend the Singer’s robe. Every year, the Singer sings about the history of the village. They are the most important person. He wears a robe and also has a staff. Kira has to mend the Robe as it wears down every year.

            First, she has to learn about dying the yarn for the different string. She meets an old woman who teaches her about dying (and dies before she finishes). Anyways, Kira learns, and she fixes the Robe. Along the way, she meets Thomas who fixes the Staff. She also meets Jo, but you can learn more about her in the book.

            Her friend Matty, a scruffy boy who lives in a dirtier part of town, adventures with her sometimes. He becomes essential in the third book (The Messenger) but for now, he is just her friend. The title of this book becomes apparent at almost the end of the book when Matty, who has been gone for a while, comes back. He found a flower who will give Kira blue dye, something she hasn’t been able to create. While exploring, Matty found a village of people. This village is full of people who need help or are injured. They help each other carry out tasks for people who can’t. Matty wants Kira to come with him to this village where they could help her do more things even with her leg. Read the entire book to find out what happens!

            I really liked this book and have to give credit to my teacher for telling me that Lois Lowry continued Jonas’s adventure. Now, you may be wondering, where is Jonas? He doesn’t really appear in this book but is more prominent in The Messenger. This book is well written and is unique compared to what I usually read. I would definitely recommend reading this book and the rest of the series too!

                        I would give this book an 8.5/10

Review of books one and two in “The Unwanteds Quests” series, by Lisa McMann

The Unwanteds Quests

This is the sequel series to “The Unwanteds,” and I found the first two books to be disappointing.

***THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR “THE UNWANTEDS” SERIES.***

Books one and two of “The Unwanteds Quests” are in the perspective of Alex and Aaron’s younger twin sisters, Fifer and Thisbe.

Fifer and Thisbe are desperate to learn magic, as they are easily the most powerful mages in Artimé, having killed Captain Baldhead in Artimé’s final battle and destroying the silence spell on Warbler Island.

But Alex forbids them to learn, because it’s “dangerous.” They get into all sorts of trouble performing spells they shouldn’t know and sneaking out of the mansion.

Then one day, bad news arrives. Hux, the ice-blue dragon, returns to Artimé, requesting new wings for him and his siblings. The problem is, he needs them because they are enslaved and need them to do work.

Is this Fifer and Thisbe’s chance to finally use the magic they’ve been dreaming of? Find out by reading “The Unwanteds Quests.”

Rating: 2.5/5 stars. These books were depressing, with poor Alex and his unusable dominant arm. I think this was the main reason the series focused more on Thisbe and Fifer, and not Alex, because Alex can’t even do magic anymore. Some people die in the series (sorry for the slight spoiler there), so overall, not the happiest books. If you’re looking for a book or two that’ll cheer you up, this is not the place to go. Also, I found that the series was very slow, and does not speed up until halfway through the second book. I found myself zoning out many times, having to backtrack a page or so every time. (And that rarely happens with me!) There were a couple other issues I found with the series, but I couldn’t tell you without ruining the books!

Ages: 11-14

***THE SPOILERS END HERE.***

I do not recommend the first two books in “The Unwanteds Quests” series unless you read “The Unwanteds” series first. (I tried once and I only got a couple chapters in!) Also, if you dislike sad books, do not read them. However, if you can’t wait to know what happens next, go ahead!

Divergent by Veronica Roth

image of book cover of Divergent

The book series called Divergent is an interesting one. It is the first book in a three-part series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant). This was a book recommended by a friend who has a similar taste in books. Overall, I enjoyed this book, though some parts were questionable.
Divergent is about a future Chicago where everybody is split into factions. There are 5 factions with different attributes associated with it. There is Abnegation (Selflessness), Amity (Peaceful), Candor (Truthful), Dauntless (Brave), and Erudite (Smart). When you turn 16 you go through a test in which you are given a faction that is mostly likely one that you would be placed in based on what you pick in the test. There is then a ceremony where you must pick where you live, work, and do everything for the rest of your life. There are tests to get into the faction and if you don’t pass you could become factionless. However, there are people called the Divergent. These people can do things like manipulate the tests and be aware that they are in a simulation (whereas normal people can’t).
Beatrice Prior (Now known as Tris) was born and raised in Abnegation where everything they do has to be selfless, whether it means eating the simplest food or letting other people get on the bus before you. When she takes her aptitude test to see which faction she is fit for, the person administering it stops and says she is Divergent. She says this is dangerous, not to tell anyone, and then manually logs the data saying Tris is Abnegation. When the ceremony comes around Tris must make a hard decision. She picks Dauntless, where they are all about being brave. She has a large amount of experiences, losses, and rivalry along the way. She also meets a person named Four (Tobias Eaton). They start to have a romantic relationship but must keep it a secret. They then discover a plot against the Abnegation, started by the Erudite who want power, and powered by the Dauntless because they have skills in combat. They are being controlled by a serum that had been injected unknowingly. Since Tris is Divergent she is not affected. She needs to save her friends and stop the Erudite from killing all the Abnegation.
I overall enjoyed this book a lot. The only parts I didn’t like were when she was talking with Four. The way that it was described and, the way that they communicated seemed inappropriate for 16-year-olds. Besides that, and the fact that some parts are sad. It was a very good book and I would recommend it, especially if you are into books such as The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, or Harry Potter.
I would rate this book a 9/10.

 

Review of “The Unwanteds” series, by Lisa McMann

two children fleeing from a winged giant cat

 

“The Unwanteds” was a very entertaining series, and I had a fun time reading the books.

Alex lives in Quill, a land that hates and fears creativity of any kind. On a specific day every year, Quillens celebrate the Purge. The Purge is a holiday that separates out the thirteen-year olds of their country, picking out the Wanteds (the people designated to be the future leaders of Quill and who have some life in them), the Necessaries (the people to keep the population of Quill alive and are drab and lifeless), and the Unwanteds (the creative people who will be sent to their death. I know, morbid, right?).

Alex, unfortunately, is deemed Unwanted, whereas his identical twin brother, Aaron, is a Wanted. Alex is sent away to be killed, to the place where they end the Unwanteds, the Death Farm, but miraculously, he doesn’t die! He is sent to a magical world called Artimé by the Death Farmer, a mage named Marcus Today.

Alex befriends other Unwanteds named Lani, Samheed, and Meghan, and together they make dicoveries, learn magic, and go on adventures.

Rating: 4/5 stars. The issues I found with this series were that 1) it was too romantic (at least for me, but if you like romance you’d love it), 2) the battle scenes (especially the one in the last book) were way too long, and 3) I found that the plot line got a little bit repetitive in the final books. Other than that, it was good. This series was great, but I’m hard to please when it comes to books.

Ages: 12-15

Lunar Chronicles Cress book review

 

This is the 3rd book in the Lunar Chronicles Series.  This book revolves around a girl named Cress who is trapped in a satellite.  Cress is related to the story of Rapunzel. As Cinder, Throne,  Wolf, and Scarlet join together in their journey, they find out the girl who warned Cinder about Queen Leanna in the first book. While communicating with the Rampion spaceship, Cress asks Cinder’s crew to rescue her from the satellite where she was imprisoned by Thaumaturge Sybil Mira. However, this rescue mission takes a dangerous turn when Thaumaturge Sybil Mira finds out that Cinder’s crew is going to rescue Cress. Another new character is introduced known as Jacin Clay, the pilot who flew Thaumaturge Sybil Mira to Cress’ spaceship in order for her to lay out the trap for the crew but, Jacin Clay joins Cinder’s side and plays an important role throughout the rest of the series.

THE TRAP THAT SEPARATES THE CREW…

The trap results in Throne and Cress close to death with Wolf so injured that he is unconscious, and Scarlet captured by Sybil Mira. Cinder is the only one left who thinks Throne and Cress are certainly dead.  So she decides to go to Africa to meet with Dr. Erland. On the other hand, Throne and Cress land on the Sahara Desert but, soon rescued by a group of people who turn out to be Lunar traffickers that kidnap Cress and take her to Dr. Erland. What they don’t know is Dr. Erland and Cress are related… and Throne goes after Cress and the group is reunited again except for Scarlet.

KIDNAPPING THE KING…

The crew together hatches a plan to kidnap Emperor Kai who fell in love with Cinder in the first book, but is marrying Queen Levena to prevent war with Lunars.  Later on, the crew decides to go to Luna and declare Cinder as the missing princess Selene, and have a plot to overthrow the queen. Many dangers takes place in this plan, causing some to die.

NEW LOVE!

A new love story is created between Throne and Cress! This brings them even closer as they get stuck together in the Sahara Desert.

RATING

I would rate the book a 9 out of 10 because of its surprises, twists, and turns. It really makes you  think what will happen to the crew when they reach Luna as Cinder is back to her home planet,  and will Wolf meet his parents after many years. This also makes you want to read the next book to find out what happens to the crew and will they succeed?…..and what is Queen Levena plotting?  This is a great book! Definitely read this book but, first read the first two books in the series if you haven’t yet.

Otherworld (Book Review)


Stars — 4/5
Summary — The company says Otherworld is amazing — like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive — that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.
Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.
And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

Thoughts — I loved Otherworld. It was funny and somewhat serious at the same time. It almost felt like reading about a possible future for our world, just because in reality, technology is so advanced now that it’s kind of scary. The characters in Otherworld all had their own attributes that made them, them. Like, Simon had his nose, or Kishka as he called it.
Simon was my favorite character. He was hilarious even though his parents didn’t seemed like they cared at all. His childhood wasn’t full of loving memories and his parents were rich and constantly gone. That just made me love him more. I’ve also found that characters with the name Simon have gone through so much, but they have a great sense of humor.
Another thing that was great about this book was that I got to meet Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller at Yallfest a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing. They were hilarious and I stood in line for twenty minutes to get the book signed. Their panel was awesome!

Age — 13+