Thomas must navigate the depths of a Maze and find a way out as well as answers to why he and the other teens have been put there. Thomas wakes up in The Glades, which is a settlement in the middle of a Maze. He has no memory of who he is and why he is there. As he settles into the strange life in the Glade, he learns that there are strange monsters and machines living among them and beyond the Glade - in the Maze - that are observing and even attacking/killing them. Everyone in the Glade has a role - the cook, the map-makers and the maze runners. The Gladers have established their own system of living and punishment and hierarchy. Every day the big doors of the Glade open to the Maze and every night the doors close. Maze runners are sent out to explore the maze and try to find a way out of the Glade but they must return to the Glade before the doors close or else they are never found again because the monsters in the Maze get them. Everyone in the Glade has no clue why they are all put in the Glade - every so often a new person is added or supplies are delivered.
One day, the Gladers get a delivery - a girl named Theresa along with a note that says she is the last member to join them. She is the only girl in the entire group. She is immediately locked away by the Glader's leader. She is in some sort of coma-like state.
One day, before the doors to the Glade close, a Maze runner and his partner are trying to make it to the doors. Thomas, thinking he can help, rushes out but the doors close behind him and they are all locked out of the Glade. One of the maze runners, Minho, runs off, saying they're all doomed, leaving Thomas and the other injured maze runner, Alby, behind. Thomas gets the idea to hide themselves above ground in the vines that cover the walls of the Glade. Everything seems okay until one of the Maze monsters, a Griever, discovers them and starts to climb the wall. Thomas fights the Griever and leads it away from Alby and further into the maze. The Griever almost kills Thomas but then Minho reappears and saves Thomas. Minho and Thomas trick the Griever into jumping off a cliff in the Maze and killing itself. But instead of crashing to the bottom, the Griever simply disappears. They go back to the Glade with Alby and report their findings. Unfortunately, Alby, having been stung by a Griever, goes through the Changing, a process that makes a person go mad.
Thomas and the other Gladers begin to piece some puzzles together about the Maze. They think there might be someone controlling the Maze and messing with them, observing their reactions. Thomas also starts hearing Theresa's voice in his head and finds they can communicate telepathically. Thomas is officially made a maze runner and learns that the maze runners collect information about the Maze, mapping out its sections in order to find a way out.
One day, Theresa wakes up from her coma and she claims that she and Thomas know each other from the time before his memory was wiped out. Theresa tells Thomas that the Maze is a sort of code. The Maze runners figure out the code. They think the exit could be through a Griever hole, the place where the Grievers disappear to every night.
Eventually, the Gladers will find their way out of the maze and meet the creators of the Maze and find out why they were put there in the first place.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like that the story was very fast paced, and remained mysterious throughout.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was Thomas' first night out in the Maze, when he has to use his brains and guts to survive.
Opinion about the main character:
I like that Thomas is brave and also has a good heart, caring for the more vulnerable characters in the book like Chuck and Theresa.
Donna Cederstrand on 12/6/2014 5:23:00 PM says: I also enjoyed how fast paced this book was. Each chapter kept you on the edge of your seat. I wish that Chuck would have remained alive and well as I believe his character would have eventually been a great asset.