Book Review – Don’t Fall for “The Maze Runner” Trap

Maze Runner Pic



If you enjoy feeling lost and confused with no apparent way out, this book is perfect for you. To everyone else, I recommend you avoid wasting your time by getting lost in this maze of frustration.

The Maze Runner, by James Dashner, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller that was recently released as a film. Unless you’ve had your head buried in the cultural sand, you’ve probably seen a poster or advertisement that declared this book to be “A Must for Fans of The Hunger Games.” Due to these acclamations, I picked up this book with great anticipation. Maybe this would be the edge-of-your-seat thriller I was looking for to keep me focused and alert during my commute home from work each day!

But once I was inside, the heavy stone door slammed shut and I found myself trapped in a labyrinth of disappointments. Here are the main reasons I felt so underwhelmed:


Emotional Flatness

The Hunger Games was a powerful ride which gripped my emotions and put them through the ringer. In comparison, The Maze Runner just fell flat. The characters have lost all their memories, so they have no back story, no past to overcome, and no future that we can see. Without any sort of context, this book simply recounts a set of isolated events that take place over a few weeks.

And without history or relational connections of any kind, there is no emotional appeal. I really cared for the characters in The Hunger Games, while the emotional isolation of The Maze Runner left me feeling absolutely nothing, even when certain characters faced their untimely demise.


Needless Swearing

I hate story characters that cuss and curse. As far as I’m concerned, this is a great way for an author to get their book a one-way trip to my trash can.

While The Maze Runner refrains from using actual curse words, the “made-up” curses used by its characters just happen to rhyme with very offensive English swear words, and it quickly becomes obvious that the meaning is pretty much the same. It ends up feeling like a cheap and shameless way to “curse without cursing,” and I’m honestly surprised that the editors allowed Dashner to get away with it.

To make matters worse, the author is much too proud of his “imaginary” arsenal of foul language. The children of the story cope with being locked into a giant maze by cursing at one another incessantly, to the point that I found myself laughing at how ridiculous it all was.


If You Come Across The Maze Runner… Run!

Long story short, I wouldn’t allow my children to read this book due to the cursing, and comparing it to The Hunger Games is nothing but a marketing sham. If forced to choose between being locked up indefinitely within a set of giant stone walls and reading this book, I suppose I’d choose the book…

…but it would be a close call.



Christian Reader Rating:   PG   – For depictions of death and violence and the frequent use of imaginary curse words.

Not recommended for children of any age.





19 thoughts on “Book Review – Don’t Fall for “The Maze Runner” Trap

  1. To be honest I was also disappointed. The Hunger Games has so much more depth and excitement. My younger brother also began reading it and loved the first 10 chapters or so and then the rest he read he didn’t. Now the book is left unfinished on his book shelf and he probably won’t read on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one who felt this way! As much as I hate having unfinished books on the shelf, I can’t say I blame your brother on this one. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment today!


    1. Thanks, Tyler! These are just my opinions, of course, and I know there are many people out there who love this series…but I just felt extremely disappointed with it. Hope you find a great replacement, and if you do be sure to let me know!


      1. Oh no, it doesn’t get better ha ha! When compared with book one though, The Scorch Trials is a more enjoyable read. The endless questions and begging of answers does not end. I’m on Death Cure right now, (book three) still no answers {sigh}.

        I can’t seem to comprehend why I continue to torture myself! I love dystopia though 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks! It’s always disappointing when you have high hopes for a book, then find it was just a waste of time. I really don’t understand the “Needless Swearing” that seems to be flooding movies and books these days. To me, it just ruins what could have been really great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more… it’s as if authors feel that this is necessary to appeal to “a wider audience,” while in reality they’re simply isolating a great number of readers (like me). It really is frustrating!


  3. I’m not a reader of The Hunger Games myself so can be objective about your review. I read lots of reviews of books, plays, movies, etc. I think I know a well written, well balanced, insightful review when I see it. This is one. I agree about “needless swearing” especially of the four-letter word when there is an endless collection of descriptive words in dictionaries to choose from.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I like Dean Koontz. Some of his tales are mad with brutal murderers. I especially like the Odd Thomas novels. I enjoy Patricia Cornwell, Reichs, Clancy, Patterson. Secrets by Kristen Heitzmann, anything by Ted Dekker, love Diane Mott Davidson, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, crazy about Tosca Lee’s body of work although not so much suspense, David Baldacci, song of the Mockingbird by Bill Cronin, city of God series by Randy Ingermanson. Hope I haven’t swamped your comment section.

        Liked by 1 person

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