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The Maze Runner Book Review

Updated on September 8, 2014

Short Summary

In the story, we follow Thomas, the main protagonist of the story. In the first chapter of the story, Thomas arrives in the Glade from a large dark elevator called the box. All of Thomas's memories except basic knowledge of the world and his name have been wiped. When Thomas arrives in the Glade, he is surrounded by fifty other boys.

The other boys have a special lingo that confuses Thomas. Words like "klunk" and "shank", but he soon picks up after a few days living there. The boys all entered the Glade the same way as Thomas has, through the box and without any recollection of their past. Some of the boys have been living in the Glade for as long as two years. During their time there, the boys have created their own rules and society.

There are several different jobs that one can do while in the Glade, like cooking or harvesting. Thomas met with all the Keepers (leaders of the work divisions) and tried out several of these job opportunities, but ends up becoming a runner. Runners like their titles state, run. They run through the Maze, in attempt to find a way out of the Glade. The Maze opens every morning and closes every night, giving Runners a short time period to try and solve it. Qualities of a Runner are to be quick, sharp, and alert.

The Maze we find out is inhabited by several monsters called Greivers, which are half machine and half animal. Greivers, which are an extreme danger, look like over sized slugs with machine contraptions sticking out of them. If one is stung by a Griever, he then goes through the Changing.

The Changing is a painful process, that can turn a man insane, but once he undergoes the Changing he remembers fragments of his past. Those who have previously gone through the Changing have claimed Thomas to be bad news. One Glader, Ben, even tried to kill Thomas.

The rest of book one deals with Thomas dealing with life inside of the Glade, learning pieces of his mysterious past, and his journey in attempting to find a way out of the Maze.

Setting: The Glade

The Maze Runner takes place in the Glade, a society isolated from civilization by these large metal walls. Although the boys are trapped in this cage like rats, there are several conveniences like a place to eat and a box that allows the Gladers (all the boys in the Glade) to make requests for certain items and then hopefully receive them. In addition to receiving items that they have requested, once a month a new boy appears in the box to join the other Gladers. Nobody knows who is granting their requests from the box or sending them other boys, they just know it happens.

Other than the box in the center of the Glade, there are four main sections that make up the Glade: The Bloodhouse, Homestead, Gardens, and the Deadheads. The Bloodhouse is a place where Slicers can raise animals and slaughter them. The Homestead is where the Gladers sleep. The Gardens is where the Track-Hoes take care of and harvest crops. The Deadheads is a forest that contains a graveyard.

The only way out of the the Glade is the maze, which characters can enter by going through the metal gates that open every morning and then close every night.


Thomas: The main protagonist of the story. During his time in the Glade he became a Runner. Thomas is a very strong willed, sharp character that can quickly adapts to difficult situations he's faced with. During one point in the story, Newt stated that when all of the other boys have arrived in the maze, they were scared and ended up crying for days.

Thomas doesn't enjoy being ordered around by the others, because he is so curious and wants to take matters into his own hands. But, to get along with the others he does follow the rules.

Thomas has a very mysterious past. All of the Gladers that undergo the Changing have said that Thomas is evil and to stay away from him. Which makes us wonder if he really wasn't good in his past life.

Gally: Gally is Keeper of the builders. He is a very arrogant character and tends give Thomas a hard time. Gally is always against Thomas with whatever he does. Thomas doesn't fully trust Gally and when he first arrived in the Glade they instantly became enemies.

Alby: Known as the leader of the Glade. His main priority is to keep the order among the Gladers. He closely follows the rules that have been set and stands as a symbol of the law. Although he goes through the Changing, he stays by Thomas's side throughout the book despite what everyone else says.

Chuck: Chuck is the first friend that Thomas makes. Everyone other than Thomas think of him as an irritation, because of his mischievous nature. Chuck is probably the youngest Glader and looks up to Thomas as if he was an older brother. He is constantly thinking of his past life, although he has no memories of anything prior to being in the Glade.

Minho: Keeper of the Runners. Alby made it known that Minho is the only one allowed to boss him around. Moving forward from his rough impression on Thomas, the two of them later become good friends. Minho teaches him everything he knows about being a Runner and trains him. Minho is one of Thomas's biggest supporters, he sticks by his side no matter what everyone else says and even nominates him to take his place as Keeper of the Runners.

Newt: Newt is Alby's second in command. He is said to have a British accent. He, like Alby, also stands for order and tries to make sure everyone in the Glade is following orders. Before he injured himself, Newt was also one of the Runners, which is why he warns Thomas of the dangers beyond the Doors and tries to convince Thomas not to be a Runner. Newt later becomes one of Thomas's closest friends.

Personal Thoughts and Opinions

I picked up this book before my long six hour flight back home from California. I heard a lot of good reviews about the book, so I thought "Eh, why not? I'll give it a go." When I first started reading it, I felt so lost, because the Gladers had a lot of their own lingo that was like gibberish to me. But, when I got past the first couple chapters I started to pick up on what they were saying. Looking back, I do like how confused I was at the beginning of the book, because it was as if I was right there with Thomas, confused as hell. It's weird, because you know as much as the main character does and you learn about life in the Glade as he does.

I loved all of the characters, I loved how they had their own diverse personalities. Each character is so well done and thought out, I even loved or loved to hate, Gally. I think Thomas himself is a great character, I like how well he adapts to every situation and the fact that he has so many secrets from his past that we discover as he remembers the fragments of his past.

The story line was definitely unique, I've never read anything like this before. The book was so captivating and suspenseful, as soon as I cracked it open I didn't want to put it down! I'm so glad I bought this book before my flight or I would've been bored to death. As soon as I arrived in the airport I had to buy the second book. It's just such an addicting read.

The Maze Runner Movie Trailer


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