The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, Book One)

Book 1 of 5 in the The Maze Runner Series
Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 9 - 12Grades 3 - 8X5.3101182

Book one in the blockbuster Maze Runner series that spawned a movie franchise and ushered in a worldwide phenomenon! And don’t miss The Fever Code, the highly-anticipated series conclusion that finally reveals the story of how the maze was built!

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run.

The Maze Runner and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials are now major motion pictures featuring the star of MTV's Teen Wolf, Dylan O’Brien; Kaya Scodelario; Aml Ameen; Will Poulter; and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. The third movie, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, will hit screens in 2018.

Also look for James Dashner’s edge-of-your-seat MORTALITY DOCTRINE series!

Praise for the Maze Runner series:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
A USA Today Bestseller
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year
An ALA-YASLA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick

“[A] mysterious survival saga that passionate fans describe as a fusion of Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, and Lost.” —

“Wonderful action writing—fast-paced…but smart and well observed.” Newsday

“[A] nail-biting must-read.”

“Breathless, cinematic action.” —Publishers Weekly

Heart pounding to the very last moment.” —Kirkus Reviews

Exclamation-worthy.” —Romantic Times

“James Dashner’s illuminating prequel [The Kill Order] will thrill fans of this Maze Runner [series] and prove just as exciting for readers new to the series.” —Shelf Awareness, Starred

Take a deep breath before you start any James Dashner book.” —Deseret News

Paperback, 375 pages
Published on August 24, 2010 by Delacorte Press
ISBN-10: 0385737955
ISBN-13: 9780385737951
486 Book Reviews
  • aru1234
    aru123416 days44 stars
    It is a good book... must read
    • eagle_fan11
      eagle_fan1116 days55 stars
      Let me just put it out there, this book series is great. I loved them and especially loved the second book. I find these books very funny and a great mystery series, as you can never fully understand what is happening. The first three books were great. The characters in the book had lots of great qualities and are just in general great. The fourth book just confused me. I know it's supposed to be a prequel (a story that takes place before the actual main plot) to the series, but it was so confusing. I felt like two hours of reading went to waste. The purpose of the book felt pointless and the only thing it covered was the flare disease in the first three books. But, I can't be mad because the first three books were great. They told me everything I needed to know and it was just wonderful. However, learn that this book is not for everyone. Even if you are a fan of The Hunger Games. However, if you liked this review, I suggest you start reading. Great series and I recommend it to anyone who loves book comedy, and a mixture of dark twists.
      • ghostytfabob
        ghostytfabob3 months44 stars
        great book its ¶eally confusing at some points though with 3 other books to follow t has also made 3 successful movies
        • zoeyyang
          zoeyyang4 months55 stars
          nice book
          • literarylupine
            literarylupine4 months22 stars
            What would you do if you woke up in the center of a maze? Would you risk your safety to return to a life you can hardly remember? Thomas finds himself asking these questions after he wakes up with his memory wiped in the Glade- a safe haven for a group of teenage boys trapped in the middle of a maze. Every so often, a new boy will be heaved up into the Glade, and their stories will all be the same. Life goes on. That is, until the first girl turns up- with a horrifying message that affects the fate of Thomas and his comrades. So, story time: I had to read The Maze Runner for a book club at school. One of the members of the club suggested Maze Runner, since he'd watched and enjoyed the movie. Since most of the other options had already been claimed, we settled on it. Big mistake. Now, I'm not cruel enough to give this one star. The concept itself was creative and interesting, and it was what willed me to read it in the first place (besides my teacher, of course.) The plot reminded me a bit of- I know this sounds strange- people who make their pet mice and hamsters run through little cardboard mazes. Of course, the stakes were far higher in Maze Runner, and there certainly wasn't a treat at the end for the Gladers. The characters in The Maze Runner were bland, cardboard-cutout type characters. Thomas spent more time in the Glade contemplating whether or not to leave it than he did actually running the Maze- a disappointment for most, since that's what the book baited you to think it was mostly about. It was all standing, and talking, and "we do this! So strange!", and "we can say the words 'shank,' 'klunk,' and 'green bean,' and act like it's unique!" This book was a DRAG to read, and the second, the Scorch Trial, was even worse. Thank gosh that was all I had to read before we left school! (And, if you're wondering, the kid who asked us to read this ended up hating it too. He said the movie was better than the book.)
            • 4usa
              4usa4 months55 starsFeatured
              This is one of my new favorite series! The writing is great but still manages to capture the fact that most of the characters are teenage boys! I only had a couple problems with it. While I love the characters Newt and Minho, I feel like the author could've given even them more depth and personality. I also found Thomas pretty annoying in book one. His constant questions were an irritating reminder of how vague the author was at this point. And like most other main characters he was totally bland. I'm currently reading "The Scorch Trials" which I think is even better than "The Maze Runner", with its own secrets and tension, while not keeping the readers completely in the dark. It also has more action and adventure because the wider range of settings. Don't get me wrong, like I said this book is awesome, and the fact that those are my only notes should be proof. I totally recommend this book! P.S. Don't look up spoilers, I found one that is making me seriously dread "The Death Cure".
              • josfor2021
                josfor202110 months33 stars
                I have always thought that what if one day all my when I woke up that all my memories were just lost, it’s not a great thought but this book takes memory loss to the next level. "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner takes place in the future where Thomas, a 15 year old boy wakes up in an overgrown dystopian land surrounded by a giant ever changing maze called the Glade and can’t remember anything but his name. He then gets to meet all the boys (They lost their memory too) along there with him. Notable ones include Alby, the leader of the Glade, Newt, Alby’s right hand man and a friend of Thomas pretty quickly, Minho, The lead runner in other words the best person to go in the maze, Gally, a “bully” to Thomas, and Chuck, the newbie before Thomas. So far what i’ve said isn’t too too bad but this “Maze” surrounding the Glade is filled with mechanical bug like creatures called grivers, and grivers are like bugs but most bugs aren’t out to kill you while these are. But this all changes when the first girl called Teresa shows up and… if I say any more I would spoil things. Now onto the actual review, this book is incredible IF you're ok with some decently graphic things and if you enjoy Sci Fi fantasy which I can’t say. The biggest fallback for this book is you need a great imagination or have watched the movies which I have/watched neither. In conclusion if you're fine with slightly graphic stuff (Maybe not slightly I'm not sure), have a great imagination, and are in middle school or older this book is probably great but if not you might wanna stay away from this book.
                • kgbradshaw
                  kgbradshaw11 months55 stars
                  Welcome to one of the best book series in the world. I love this book and series so much!!! I actually read them all during quarantine this year, and ended up purchasing all of them. The main character, Thomas is very believable and seems like a real person, not just a cardboard cutout. The way James Dashner fashioned WICKED, the Glade, and so much more is amazing. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction, dystopian, and high action thrillers.
                  • swirlycool
                    swirlycoolabout 1 year55 stars
                    I usually do not like reading science fiction books because they seem to have the same stereotypical plot, however, I definitely love this book. It kept me captivated with its twists and turns and unexpected plot lines. I like how the main character, Thomas, is likable because it's hard to read a book when the main character is irritating. The epilogue made me want to read the rest of the trilogy to know why Teresa wrote "Wicked is evil" on her arm. The pieces that were scattered throughout the plot connecting, in the end, was enjoyable to read. I definitely recommend this book.
                    • lawalex
                      lawalexabout 1 year55 stars
                      I recently read (binge read?) the whole Maze Runner series, and the first one is the most suspenseful of all of them. The main character Thomas wakes up in the middle of the "Glade," which is a huge clearing with a farm, a small forest, and a couple buildings. Every morning the huge doors on every side of the Glade open, and "runners" spend the whole day exploring the maze. If they don't make it back by the end of the day they will get trapped in the maze, and be at the mercy of the creatures in the maze. The whole backstory of the maze is full of twists and turns, and I guarantee you won't be able to put the book down! I would recommend this book to the moon and back and this is definitely 5/5!
                      • gibvil2021
                        gibvil202111 months
                        Well written, to the point, i like.