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He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air. Metal ground against metal; a lurching shudder shook the floor beneath him. He fell down at the sudden movement and shuffled backwards on his hands and feet, drops of sweat beading on his forehead despite the cool air. His back struck a hard metal wall; he slid along it until he hit the corner of the room. Sinking to the floor, he pulled his legs up tight against his body, hoping his eyes would soon adjust to the darkness. With another jolt, the room jerked upwards like an old lift in a mine shaft.

About the book

Warning: not for claustrophobics!

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze.

Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there or what's happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything even the half-machine-half-animal Grievers that patrol the corridors to try and find out.

Lord of the Flies meets The Hunger Games.

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Author notes

'This first book in the trilogy was heavily inspired by two books I loved as a kid: Ender's Game and Lord of the Flies. It was years in the making, but once I started writing it came together pretty quickly.'

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