Posted by: dystopiandaze | February 19, 2011

The end as we know it…?

You know I just can’t help myself when it comes to dystopian fiction, especially when the world the characters live in is a post-apocalyptic one. I have this strange fascination with imagining all of these terrible scenarios and what I would do if they were to come true. So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to you that although Thomas and his friends have been living in a nightmare known as the Maze, the real world outside their Maze is even more dangerous.

In my last post I asked a question that hung over my shoulder throughout The Maze Runner. Why are these boys being put through such elaborate experiments? And guess what… I still can’t give you the answer. However, I can tell you that James Dashner is very good at giving us cliffhanger endings.

As The Maze Runner races to its conclusion, Thomas and his friends are finally figuring their way out of the Maze. Once escaped, they meet a panelist of their captors only to soon witness a violent exchange and be rescued from their previous captors by a group of renegades. One of the rebels finally begins to explain what has been happening in the past few years, before the Maze.

The sun flares couldn’t have been predicted. Sun flares are normal, but these were unprecedented, massive, spiking higher and higher- and once they were noticed, it was only minutes before their heat slammed into Earth. First our satellites were burned out, and thousands died instantly, millions within days, countless miles became wastelands. Then came the sickness. … People call it the Flare now. It’s a horrible, horrible thing…

-pg. 366, The Maze Runnner

The rebel then continues to explain to Thomas exactly how the Flare relates to their Maze.

As for you, all of you … they tested thousands, chose you for the big one. The ultimate test. Everything you lived through was calculated and thought through. Catalysts to study your reactions, your brain waves, your thoughts. All in an attempt to find those capable of helping us find a way to beat the Flare.

-pg. 366, The Maze Runner

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Confused and disturbed by the new reality that they have entered, Thomas and company realize that they have much to learn (or relearn?) about their lives. However, they find themselves relieved to have been rescued by a group of people so strongly opposed to the psychological testing that they underwent, encouraged that they may finally be able to live without survival being the foremost thought in their minds. Of course, what kind of trilogy would this be if the first book ended like that? Dashner concludes the last few pages of The Maze Runner as follows; I hope it sparks your interest enough to want to read the next book, The Scorch Trials.

WICKED Memorandum, Date 232.1.27, Time 22:45

By any reckoning, I think we’d all agree that the Trials were a success. Twenty survivors, all well qualified for our planned endeavor. The responses to the Variables were satisfactory and encouraging… Oddly enough, seeing them this way, thinking all is well, has been the hardest thing for me to observe. But there’s no time for regret.”

-pg. 373, The Maze Runner

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