The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Series #1)

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Series #1)

4.4 4230
by James Dashner
     
 

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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

Overview

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
USA Today Bestseller
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 FliesThe Hunger Games, and Lost.” —EW.com
 
“Wonderful action writing—fast-paced…but smart and well observed.” Newsday
 
“[A] nail-biting must-read.” Seventeen.com
 
“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

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Imagine waking up one day in total darkness, unsure of where you are and unable to remember anything about yourself except your first name. You're in a bizarre place devoid of adults called the Glade. The Glade is an enclosed structure with a jail, a graveyard, a slaughterhouse, living quarters, and gardens. And no way out. Outside the Glade is the Maze, and every day some of the kids -- the Runners -- venture into the labyrinth, trying to map the ever-changing pattern of walls in an attempt to find an exit from this hellish place. So far, no one has figured it out. And not all of the Runners return from their daily exertions, victims of the maniacal Grievers, part animal, part mechanical killing machines.

\ \ Thomas is the newest arrival to the Glade in this Truman-meets-Lord of the Flies tale. A motley crew of half a dozen kids is all he has to guide him in this strange world. As soon as he arrives, unusual things begin to happen, and the others grow suspicious of him. Though the Maze seems somehow familiar to Thomas, he's unable to make sense of the place, despite his extraordinary abilities as a Runner. What is this place, and \ does Thomas hold the key to finding a way out?

\ \ In The Maze Runner, Dashner has crafted a creative and engaging novel that's both mysterious and thought provoking. \ (Holiday 2009 Selection)
Publishers Weekly
Dashner (the 13th Reality series) offers up a dark and gripping tale of survival set in a world where teenagers fight for their lives on a daily basis. It starts when Thomas, a teenage amnesiac, wakes up in the Glade, a fragile oasis in the middle of an enormous maze. Here, a group of teenage boys eke out a hazardous existence, exploring the Maze by day and retreating to the Glade at night. No one knows how they got there; no one has ever found a way out (“Old life's over, new life's begun. Learn the rules quick,” the group's leader tells Thomas). Bizarre technological monsters called Grievers patrol the Maze's corridors, almost certain death for any who encounter them. Thomas struggles to regain his memories, but the arrival of a young woman with an ominous message changes the rules of the game. With a fast-paced narrative steadily answering the myriad questions that arise and an ever-increasing air of tension, Dashner's suspenseful adventure will keep readers guessing until the very end, which paves the way for the inevitable continuation. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
VOYA - Susan Hampe
Thomas wakes up in a box with no memory of who he is or where he comes from beyond his name. When the doors open, he is tossed into the disorienting world of the glade, a place built by the mysterious Creators with unknown intentions, where survival and escape are the goal and no one can remember how they got there. Surrounding the glade is the maze, into which runners race everyday searching for an exit, and where horrible creatures called grievers roam to hunt the boys. As he learns the ropes of life in the glade, Thomas finds himself drawn toward the maze and being a runner, while he tries to remember anything he can about his past, certain that the answers are locked away in his head. When a girl arrives in the glade, everything changes and a desperate end game begins for everyone. Dashner creates a dangerously captivating world filled with riveting action and suspense, leaving the reader anxious for more. Thrilling twists and turns make this superb plot even better as it moves at a steady but enticing pace. The various clues hidden in the maze and glade will pique readers' curiosity as they search alongside the characters for the answers to the many questions of the glade. The dynamic characters Dashner creates round off this incredible story, making it as bright as the trilogy it has begun. Reviewer: Susan Hampe
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers. Unfortunately, the question of whether the teens will escape the maze is answered 30 pages before the book ends, and the intervening chapter loses momentum. The epilogue, which would be deliciously creepy coming immediately after the plot resolves, fails to pack a punch as a result. That said, The Maze Runner has a great hook, and fans of dystopian literature, particularly older fans of Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember (Random, 2003), will likely enjoy this title and ask for the inevitable sequel.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Boys come to the Glade via an empty freight elevator with no memory of how they got there or of their prior lives. This disorientation is made more frightening when they realize that to survive they must lock themselves in every night to avoid the horrors of the Grievers, beings that are part machine, part animal-and altogether deadly. The boys in the Glade send out Runners each day to find a way out through the Maze that surrounds their one patch of safety, with no success. Life goes on until one day the elevator delivers a girl. She brings a message: She is the last child to be sent, and there will be no more deliveries of food or supplies. Now the Glade is cut off, and as the Grievers gather for an all-out attack it's clear that it's now or never-the Maze must be solved. Dashner knows how to spin a tale and make the unbelievable realistic. Hard to put down, this is clearly just a first installment, and it will leave readers dying to find out what comes next. (Science fiction. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
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."—EW.com
 
“Wonderful action writing—fast-paced…but smart and well observed.”Newsday
 
“[A] nail-biting must-read.”Seventeen.com
 
“Breathless, cinematic action.”—Publishers Weekly
 
Heart pounding to the very last moment.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
Exclamation-worthy.”—Romantic Times
 
[STAR] “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

Children's Literature - Brandon West
Welcome to the Glade, a homestead for boys who no longer have memories of their former lives, that happens to be inconveniently located in the center of a giant and deadly maze. Sixteen-year-old Thomas awakens with no memory of who he is or why he ended up in this Glade. As Thomas orients to his new survivalist lifestyle, he learns that the key to escaping might be to solve the maze. The only problem is that the maze is guarded by Grievers, techno-organic beasts with a hunger for human flesh. Thomas breaks the rules of the boys’ society by running into the maze and surviving. He quickly becomes lauded by some for this ability to navigate the maze and chastised by others, most notably by his rival Gally. One day, Teresa, the first and only female inhabitant, is delivered to the Glade with a message that she is the last person who will be joining them and that food supplies are no longer going to be sent. Along with this news, Grievers begin congregating for a full scale attack on the Glade. Without any other options, the inhabitants of the Glade only hope is to solve the maze. The Maze Runner was originally published in 2006 and is Dashner’s first entry into his science fiction, post-apocalyptic trilogy. This particular title has lauded much praise since its original debut and is now a major motion picture film. This edition of the book pays homage to the film by sporting a new dust jacket and features eight pages of full-color photos from the movie. This book stands the test of time and will continue to interest teens who enjoy dystopian fiction, making it a worthwhile addition to book collections. Reviewer: Brandon West; Ages 12 up.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385737951
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/24/2010
Series:
Maze Runner Series, #1
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
8,209
Product dimensions:
8.54(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.87(d)
Lexile:
HL770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

WICKED Memorandum, Date 220.6.24, Time 0936
TO: Partners
FROM: Kevin Anderson, Chancellor
RE: Welcome

Welcome, colleagues, to the beginning of the greatest collaborative human effort in the history of our planet. I would not dare suggest that this is a time for excitement. The world has never known such dark times as these, and celebration is far from appropriate. What I would like to establish, however, is that we can feel hope and pride that we are a part of something that is working to save the human race. To succeed, we must hit the ground running.

Those of you in charge of the search parties in the designated Twelve Sectors are to report back to the Council each time a suitable subject is discovered. It is far too early to know what percentage of the population meets our needs, but it has become obvious that the number will be small. We need to test each subject immediately so we can choose Candidates with the greatest potential to last until the very end.

The design team for the Maze will be presenting their latest plans to us tomorrow morning at 0900 hours at command center 1. Building a structure of this sophistication is an ambitious project during the best of times, and given the current state of the world, we anticipate that implementing phase 1 will take the next several years. We will spare no expense to keep the project on track. In a few years we will have our Elite Candidates to help in the final design and building phases.

Tomorrow’s meeting will also devote a segment to the biotech creatures we have manufactured to help us create and fully manage the planned Variables.

Our Psychs and doctors have worked to come up with an action plan. They believe that we can achieve 60 percent of the patterns we need by setting in motion the incidents we have plotted so far. With at least ten years until the project reaches its climax, I think that is an incredible number.

Members of the Council plan to stay in constant communication throughout the entirety of this project, so do feel free to share your thoughts with me or the others on the Council at any time. I am proud to be a part of this great endeavor, along with all of you.

The future has begun.

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Meet the Author

James Dashner is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, The Kill Order and The Fever Code, as well as the bestselling Mortality Doctrine series: The Eye of Minds, The Rule of Thoughts, and The Game of Lives. Dashner was born and raised in Georgia, but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains. To learn more about him and his books, visit JamesDashner.com, follow @jamesdashner on Twitter, and find dashnerjames on Instagram.

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The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 14 ratings. 4230 reviews.
Hanna_thereckless More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved The Maze Runner. I first heard about it through an internet ad. It asked, "Like the Hunger Games? Then you should read The Maze Runner." It drew my attention because The Hunger Games is one of my most favorite books. So I started reading the "preview" of The Maze Runner on Barnes and Noble's website. There's something to be said for a book that I couldn't stay away from after the first sentence. I neglected my work and stared at my computer screen, reading. When I reached the end of the preview, I bought the ebook because I had to know what happened. It is a fast paced, action-packed adventure that completely sucks the reader in. From the very first sentence, I was simply dropped into the story; everything is from the main character's point of view. You only see and hear what he sees and hears. It was exciting, and I felt as if I was there. It is true that the characters could have been more deeply developed; they were certainly lacking in personality depth. Also, The Maze Runner is quite violent in parts: there is death and insanity and truly terrifying monsters. It is part of a new genre of books, all exploring the possible futures of this world. It is not a light read; it will have you up at night. However, if you loved The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, this is a book that you will enjoy just as much. I definitely recommend it.
brandyMD More than 1 year ago
This book reminded me very much of The Hunger Games (FANTASTIC book & trilogy!) This is written for teens, however I am an adult and both my 13 year old son and myself have now read it and thought it was hard to put down. This is definitely one where you need to use your brain matter and think of the options involved. You cannot help but feel compassion for the characters and your sense of emotion goes full speed. As my son says, 'you feel like you are right there with them'. (I must say, all of the same can be said for The Hunger Games as well) Sure hope he gets the next book out sooner than later-it will definitely leave you thinking and ready for the next one ASAP.
PageTrnr More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It made me smile, it made me laugh, but most importantly, it made me think. I found myself thinking through all of the situations with the main characters. It was the last thing i thought about at night, and the first in the morning. This is definately a book that will make you ask yourself, "what if that happemed to me?" This was a great book and i definately reccomemnd it.
Balina More than 1 year ago
The Maze runner is definitely a must read. I have enjoyed reading this book from start to finish.
chris327 More than 1 year ago
I lost an entire day and night to this incredible book. James Dashner's The Maze Runner was truly addicting and an unforgettable read. Thomas can't remember where he came from, his parents, or his life before the Glade. He finds himself in this bizarre world surrounded by walls and a maze. There are other boys in his situation (think Lord of the Flies) and they have learned to make this place "home." What is even more disturbing is the fact that there are crazy animal-monsters called Grievers that surround the Glade's walls and come out at night with basically one mission: To destroy humans. I'm going to be honest. The Grievers are the stuff of my own personal nightmares. Seriously. I have an irrational fear of needles and I also don't enjoy slugs. at. all. The description of these Grievers included both needles and slugs; needless to say, I vomited in my mouth a little just reading/imagining these volatile creatures. Anyway, Thomas is learning the ropes and becomes friends Chuck and Minho, who both happen to be my favorite characters. Chuck is just simply endearing. Thomas really wants to be a runner and work with Minho, but he isn't sure why he is drawn to the job. There are various jobs and the way the Glade functioned I thought was pretty interesting. These boys even have their own slang/vernacular (klunk-love it!) as well as laws, which keeps the "order." Everything seems hunky dory- or as normal as possible if you live in a maze- until one day this all changes. A girl, the first girl ever, arrives to the Glade delivering an ominous message. Without giving too much away, the tension increases and their world turns upside down, even more than it already is! Simply stated......Thomas must find a way to survive. I can't remember the last time that I questioned a book so much as I did while reading this novel. I had SO many questions that I wanted answered, but brilliantly, Dashner was holding out on me, which only increased my suspense. I'm going to get a little nerdy and teacher-eque, but bear with me. I also loved the fact that this book required me to use many comprehension strategies. I would LOVE to discuss this book with my literacy classes, because it really required me to infer, question, synthesize, predict, etc. It was truly a smart read and a puzzle that I was dying to put together. My poor husband, Mike, had to deal with my one million questions. Mike, surprisingly, read this book before me, which usually never happens. He saw the cover, read the synopsis and was hooked. So, it was pretty cool to be able to discuss and question him as I was reading, because Maze Runner is truly a book to be disected and discussed. This story had me guessing the ENTIRE time, which I think is rare when it comes to young adult novels. Ususally you can figure out the plot at some point, but I was always shocked. Even right up to the end had me guessing. I can't wait for the sequel!
NICOLEiiPHOO More than 1 year ago
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow... The Maze Runner was just amazing. The book starts out pretty slow, and stays that way for quite awhile. After you get into the book, you can not put it down. It is brilliantly written, and just...fantastic. In the end, I almost cried out of anger. I can not wait for the sequel. This book was so amazing, but it is leaving me hanging here! I have no idea why this book only has 4 stars. It is completely deserving of every single one of them! Go ahead, buy the book. It will be worth every penny and be a great addition to your bookshelf. :]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you liked the Hunger Games i would recommend this book! It is close to being as good as the hunger games!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an amazing story that keeps you on your toes throughout the novel. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games then this is the book for you!
caycebean More than 1 year ago
This book will appeal to fans of lord of the flies as well as the hunger games. a group of boys, and eventually one girl, are stranded somewhere with their memories wiped clean. they struggle to survive, find a balance of power, and more importantly find a way out. i couldn't put this book down! cant wait for the scorch trials!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please do not listen to those people that say it is bad this is the best book and your money will be spent wisely
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
I love reading unique and original stories! And that is exactly how I would describe Maze Runner. I do not know why this book was written for kids. The story was pretty creepy and kind of sent a hopeless message. Plus there was multiple murders and plenty of violence. I will be reading the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! I had my best guy friend recommend it to me. He had read it in 1 night and thought i would also enjoy it. I trusted his judgement and ended up reading it in 2days. This i think is a more teen read. This book has romance, death, sacrifice, battles, and bretrayal. And all very clean( no sex). There are two more books in this series 2. Scorch Trials 3. Death Cure The books do not get boring or slow down. All 3 books are action packed! I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like a new action drama series!:):)
read4ever More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book! Packed with excitement and suspense around every corner, "The Maze Runner" was a fast-paced novel that will have you holding your breath until the very end! Dashner did a great job with this one; he is an author who is sure to have you captivated from the first page to the last! This book follows a sixteen year old boy named Thomas. He is faced with something that no one should have to be put up against. Do not miss out on this adventure. It is the chance into a world you never knew existed...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I used to be the biggest fan of Harry Potter and Twilight, but when I read this book, they paled in comparison. It's my new favorite! I read it in three days (short for me), but now I really wish I had savored it. It really catches you from the first line, and endless twists and surprises keep you guessing and YEARNING for the sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this series after The Hunger Games, as it had a similar storyline. It was EXCELLENT! I would highly reccomend this book to teens and adults alike. It has a futuristic setting and characters that will blow your mind! I am 24 and this is a new favorite of mine.
imawesome More than 1 year ago
this was defanetly the best book ive ever read. im 13 and loved. wen i read it ther wasnt a second book and now my mom wont let me buy it till ive finished this other book for school.im so mad at her rite now. this book will always be on my mind. it was well wriiten. i actually hated sify books till i read this one. my fav writter is now jame dashner. this book was so emotional. sometimes i was scared others i was happy others i was crying. the book was so good i read it in 1 day. i stayed up all night 2 finish it. y mom was so mad but all i could think about was when will the next book come out. loved this book and would recomend it for anyone 10 and up no one any younger for it may frighten them. loved the book and hope you will 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like The Hunger Games than you will love the Maze Runner!!!!!!!!!!! Its one of my favorite books and i recommend it to anyone over the age of 11.............im 12 years old and absolutely loved it then i made my mom read it and she loved it to......a book for all ages...........i couldnt put it down!!!!!!!!! :) AMAZING BOOK!!!
ashleyleann More than 1 year ago
It was a little hard to get into at first, but when I did I found it enjoyable. There were a few moments when I would wish it would just get to the point, and then moments when I wish it would've slowed down a bit and explained more. But other than that, I think this has promise to be a good series that will make a nice edition to my bookshelves, and I would definitely buy the next book. I almost screamed when I read the epilogue; I really want to know what happens next!! I give it four stars, because there a few things that couldve been done better, but I think it holds a lot of potential to grow :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read alot of the books in this new sub-genre of science fiction, so when i heard that this was "better than the hunger games" and "expanding the genre further" i was a bit skeptical. I took a chance with this one and i have to say that its very good. The plot follows a boy named thomas who wakes up in a mysterious place called the glade. He has no memory of his life before the maze or how he got there, all he can remeber is his name. There are many other boys there like him. They are all trying to try and escape the area surrounding the glade which is a gigantic maze. Just a day after thomas arrives in the glade a girl shows up. The first girl ever to appear in the glade. She bears with her news that her coming heralds the beginning of the end for the gladers. I wont spoil the ending but the gladers have to work together in order to escape the maze. Overall its a good and compelling read that wont let you put it down for a minute. However ive read the second book and im beginning to read the third. Theyre not as good as the first such as is with the majority of series. The book functions well as a stand-alone novel and id recommend it to anyone. Please give this excellent sci-fi novel a chance and give it a read. Happy reading! -Silente
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing any one who loved the Hunger Games will love the maze runner. A most read for all teens
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was full of action and i just could not put it down!! I read it in one day and got the second one right away!! Definatly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is better than the hunger games trilagey!!!! I loved this book..i had to read this book fir page turners(a book club)and i loved it... it took me only 3 daus to read i recamend this book for anyone who likes the hunger games....its better than tge hunger games!!! -A
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant wait to read this book because i just finnished the hunger games and you guys say that it better or as good as the hunger games trilogy. Cant wait!!!!!!!!!
Awesomeness1 More than 1 year ago
Thomas wakes up in a lift with no other memory besides his first name. The lift deposits him in the Glade, a large courtyard surrounded by impossibly high stone walls. The Glade is populated by teenage boys in the same situation as him, they also have no memory. But they have made a life for themselves in this place, their only hope is trying to solve the maze that surrounds the walls. The Maze is a dangerous place, filled with terrifying half-machine/half-slug monsters that exist solely to sting the boys, thereby posioning them with a deadly toxin. The day after Thomas arrives in the Glade, something unexpected happens. A comatose girl is delivered into the maze, and she has a message: She's the last one. Ever.. The boys know everything is going to change, and Thomas just might have some answers. I am a little disappointed. With all the raving reviews and awesome premise, I expected it to be much better. It just wasn't that thrilling for me, and the plot wore thin. Most of the book was based of off someone conviently remembering stuff. And the action wasn't tense enough. I always knew Thomas was going to end up all right. I was especially disappointed in Thomas's first night in the maze. It had the opportunity to be absolutely terrifying, but by then all the terror of the Grievers had vanished, and the whole scene seemded to make up two hours at the most, and not an entire night. The ending was very good though, and very suspenseful. I was completely absorbed in those last few chapters, and even turned down ice cream in order to finish. The writing and characters were simple. The writing was typical actiony fare. Thomas was a bit of a Gary Stu, with no real faults. Chuck was great though.....I'm sad now. So anyway, it was good. Not great, but good. I am anxiously waiting for the sequel, and hope the books get better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very fast moving book that i couldnt put down. It is such a fun read! Ive read it three times now :) I hope you choose to read this amazing, fun filled book :)