When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
What would you do if you woke up in a lift with no memory? Thomas found himself in such a situation where the darkness and the motion of the lift does not help him much. When the lift finally arrives at its destination he steps out to a completely different world called the Glade. Even with almost no conscious memory, Thomas knows from the very beginning that the Glade is different from the world he belongs to. Slowly he gets acquainted to the lifestyle at the Glade, where everybody works and has different sets of responsibilities. His instincts tell him from the very beginning that he is supposed to be a runner – the group that ventures into the dangers outside the Glade walls and into the Maze. Not everyone is happy about his arrival though – the Gladers who have gone through the ‘change’, especially Gally is angry with Thomas for some reason. But Thomas doesn’t get enough time to get answers to all his questions as the very next day, for the very first time a girl is sent into the Glade – breaking the rule of a boy a month. The girl’s arrival and her comment about a ‘trigger’ gives rise to new questions and suspicions. What is the Glade? Why are they here without any memories of their past lives? Will they ever be able to get out of the Glade? What is the purpose of the Maze?
Thomas seems like a very strong character from the very beginning. Landing up in a different world with no memories of his life so far is bound to confuse and scare people. Thomas takes it all in a stride, well better than rest of the Gladers anyway, and starts to learn the ropes in his new environment. Teresa’s arrival is well into the story and she spends most of her time in a coma. So, we do not see or hear much about her. But man when she awakes – she plays a very crucial role. There are a quite a few other people who plays important roles in this book. Newt is an ex-runner. Minho is the current leader of the runner. Frypan is the keeper of the kitchen and Alby is the leader of the Glade. All these boys are very brave and likeable. But for some reason I liked Gally too. He seems a bit crazy towards the beginning and is angry with Thomas, but his last action in the book really redeemed him.
James Dashner has built an awesome world of his own with the Glade. Though it is a bit slow at the beginning, the story has an amazing plot with great characters and a hell lot of twists. I guess the slow start was a necessity to build the setting, the plot and the characters not only for this book but also for the sequels. The dark secrets, the flashes of memories, the horrible creatures in the maze, the ‘trigger’… everything has a purpose in this book. This book has a lot of action, drama and the bonds created in the Glade.
This book elicited similar but better reaction from as The Hunger Games and now that I look back on both the first books in the Trilogy, I personally think that the Maze Runner Series has a lot of promise.