Adult reviews for The Maze Runner: Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1

Common Sense says

Teens are the pawns of evil adults in violent dystopia.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 32 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 202 reviews
Adult Written bybencom October 13, 2018

Not Terrible

A few Spoiler Alerts for below.

The Common Sense Media assessment is incorrect regarding adults in the book. At no time in the book does an adult directly harm a child. The teenage boys do, in fact, battle monsters (not people) that are semi-mechanical, hairy slugs with knives and spikes, but there are ZERO scenes where there are "adults murdering children".

There are four main violent scenes, and in only two does anyone die.

The first scene is at the beginning, where one boy spears another. The boy doesn't die. In the second scene, a boy jumps into a slug monster and is carried away by it, presumably to his death. He doesn't die, either. Other references to killing are obscure and described as boys being "taken" by a monster, presumably to his death, but it's not certain. The boys are NOT aware of who is responsible for their predicament (which is actually one of the mysteries the boys want to solve), and only discover the truth in the last 20 or so pages. The third scene is in the final confrontation in a battle with the slug monsters, where the violence is obliquely described as bloody smears, screams, and that sort of language - it's not described in detail. The final, climactic scene is probably the worst, where one boy throws a knife at another, and it is described fairly but not gratuitously, an adult scientist is shot (by another adult), and a zombie-like adult is run over by a bus (driven by an adult).

Ultimately, adult scientists are controlling the experiment, so they certainly are responsible for the deaths, but via a computer system and what we can assume are robots, so the description of "adults murdering children" may be true technically, but it is at a GREAT distance and certainly "out of sight", since the only way the adults can see the children is through the eyes of a six-legged lizard robot (again, we presume, since the author doesn't explicitly say that the adult scientists of the experiment can see the boys); in that respect it is very much like The Hunger Games.

"Some of the teens in the Maze go insane from the fear" - makes me wonder if the writer of this sentence read the book - the boys who go insane are injected (stung) with something by the slug monsters.

The adults in the book are ultimately untrustworthy, even the ostensibly good ones, and it's unclear whether they are bad or good - I suspect the subsequent sequels reveal that. Other than that, the book is derivative and full of cliches, making it inadvertently funny at some points (like the description of the Grievers), so it would be perfect for a movie or TV series. Also the shucking language is distracting, I mean WTS?

It's a bleak setting for a bleak story that ends bleakly - I rated it as 3 stars, because there isn't a choice for Not Terrible.
Adult Written byunknown person June 2, 2011

unknownperson

The Maze Runner was spectacular. Although it may be a little violent for young readers, it is perfect for young readers. If a film was made from the book, I wouldn't be surprised.

This title contains:

Great messages
Parent Written byElizabeth K. March 28, 2018

is this why people are so violent

This book is violent. No child should read it. My child got ahold of it without me knowing and is having nightmares and it took me a while to figure out why. She also started talking about gruesome things. I do not believe in anyone reading this kind of information. This world is full of violence, I dont have to wonder why.

This title contains:

Too much violence
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byMayra F. February 19, 2018

Violent and depressing

A very confusing story. The author wanted to make the books interesting, but he ignored the humanity of the characters. Many questions arise about the purpose and circumstances of the experiment, but they are not answered. In the end, the main scientist concludes what any idiot would have figured out from the beginning. It is a sad tale and unlike Divergent and Hunger Games, it makes absolutely no sense.

This title contains:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byS S January 24, 2018

Read it before your kids do

This book may be written at a middle school reading level, but the content is definitely for more mature readers. Why? -
1. Although the characters don’t use any “curse words”, there is a made up language used and the conversations are FULL of curses and put downs in that language. I would say almost every sentence they speak. It’s a rude and degrading atmosphere created by their words.
2. Some reviews mention cannibalism. I didn’t get that from the scene. More animal instinct attack. But still, in this instance and others the boys attack each other physically. And not just boys will be boys wrestling or fist fights.
3. There were two scenes that made my mind up about my tween not reading it yet. One involves a fairly realistic and overly detailed death of a main character near the end and how another character handles it. Another involves a vehicle/human encounter that I felt was also too detailed. I can’t say more without spoiling the ending. But if you are trying to decide if your child should read it, you need to read the last few chapters and find these scenes.

That said, once you get past a slowish beginning it’s suspenseful and has some good messages and strong characters (teamwork, rule following to keep order in society, being innovative, risk taking, etc). I almost want to read the next one.

This title contains:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 13 and 13-year-old Written bySusan Z. November 2, 2017

Can't believe my son's class is reading this

This is such a dark, violent book. I am appalled that my sons are reading this book. I think it's interesting, but I would never allow a young person to read this. We expose our kids to enough violence already.

This title contains:

Too much violence
Parent of a 6 and 8-year-old Written bystacidar July 27, 2011

Great Dystopian

Really great dystopian with a sci-fi edge. I'm not sure I agree with the common sense review of the book saying that it is more violent than Hunger Games. I don't recall any adults murdering the teens in the open either...

This title contains:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byShayCool May 8, 2020

Too Detailed

This book is way too detailed for young teens and their is a lot of violence.

This title contains:

Too much violence
Adult Written byNewtmanz11 March 22, 2020

A bit violent but overall great story

I let my 13 and 14-year-old children watch the movie and they wanted to start reading the book series. I would say that the book has a bit more detail on violent parts than the movie but it is better than watching it. I recommend letting your child watch the movie first and then letting them read the book so that they know what is coming. Definitely for 11+ though.

This title contains:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byhodgevistapumpk... February 23, 2020

Kids live in a science experiment set up by world in catastrophe Killzone experiment department or WICKED

Amazing book my kid is obsessed with it

This title contains:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byAshleyWright February 18, 2019

Good Book

This book is about a boy named Thomas who gets sent to the Maze, along with many friends: Minho, Newt, Alby, Frypan, Chuck, and Gally. They must work together to make it out of the maze, while dodging Grievers along the way. Not many swear words, but still implied (shuck for an example, and d**n, a few times). The violence is there, but not as bad as the rest of the books. Grievers sting, and the victims kill. Suspense in this series that builds up to the next level.

This title contains:

Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written bythat'sthetea December 19, 2018

My favorite book ever

I first read this book in fifth grade and completely fell in love with the story and the charecters. I have read it 3 times through now and cannot recommend it enough. The book has great action and you can find almost all of the characters likable in their own way. I personally do not think that the first book has too much violence, but it does get a little bit worse as the books progress. One of the prequels "The Kill Order" may not be great for younger readers, and I found it kind of scary when I first read it.

This title contains:

Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byJen B. August 6, 2018
Adult Written byHenna V. April 26, 2018

Maze Runner Review and Overall Theme

I haven't read the entire book so far but from what I read, I really enjoy it. It has nice balances between action and cliff hangers and is overall setup really well. I think that the theme of the story so far would be to be curious and not being afraid to explore. I think this because Thomas at the beginning is afraid but he is really curious. Eventually, so many things happen to him that he is no longer afraid of asking questions and exploring.
Adult Written byMihaela G. February 12, 2018

Really Good!

One of the only books I have read twice. It's really interesting to watch the characters develop in the book. It is definitely for more mature kids, having details about 'scary' scenes. It's nothing too bad, but not for kids who can't handle scary books. Some people say there is swearing in this book, but it's not actual swear words, and isn't anything you wouldn't hear from friends.

This title contains:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byWaylon B. March 23, 2017

The Maze Runner.

The Maze Runner is an exciting and interesting book. It made me not wanting to ever put the book down, the book has a very interesting story line. If there had to be one book that was kind of close I would have to say the Hunger Games.
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byKaly S. January 26, 2017

Parent of a 10 year old

You may think that Common Sense media is spot on but really they get some things wrong. My ten year old wanted to read the Maze runner so bad I had to read it! I realized that it's not as violent as common sense media said it is. I'm a very protectant parent, so if you don't believe me read it yourself! Then make the desisions!

This title contains:

Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byKristalinne S. August 3, 2016

You should read this book

Well what I think about it is that its and awesome
Book and that everyone should read all of there books

This title contains:

Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byWillow Green April 23, 2016

Great book...readers of The Hunger Games will love this

This book is great. With a plot that takes a surprising turn around each corner, mystery book lovers will adore this book. Romance: There are a few questionable comments when a girl shows up in "The Glade". Someone yells "I got dibs!" Another says the girl is hot. Thomas the main character seems to have feelings for her. Language: Almost all of the swears are made up, like shank, and shuck. Someone almost says the h word. Violence: Some people go insane, and there are horrible monsters in the Maze. Drinking or drugs: There is a serum to get rid of poison. Now, there is no consumerism, and there are plenty of good messages, but I won't spoil everything. Go read this book! It won't be a waste of your time.

This title contains:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written bymadrista.ac November 1, 2015

Great Book!

I think that this book was great because this is mostly like a survival story. And its about these people called the Gladers trying to survive this great maze and these things called stingers; i hop this story is great for you guys, i mean awesome. And let me tell you this you might not want to get stung buy the stingers, read the story and watch the movie after that, I hope you love it . I hop i helped.

This title contains:

Great role models
Too much violence

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