Let me sum this book up in one word: moronic. At this point, I think my continual efforts to read YA dystopias are like some kind of latent masochistic streak because the vast majority I’ve trudged through are painfully stupid. But The Maze Runner breaks all new levels of dystopian stupid. I stuck with it, but I can’t really say there was much point to doing so.
Setting aside all my other problems, the biggest problem I had with the book was the baby talk cuss words. Klunk, shuck, slint-head and so on. Every single time someone spoke in this ridiculous way, it pulled me out of the story. It doesn’t help that much later on, characters begin using proper faux cuss words like crap and freakin’, or the phrase “hurts like a mother.” Which makes me ask, if they could use those words in the first place, why in the fuck were they inventing words like klunk? (Which is explained as being a bad word because “that’s the sound poo makes when it hits the water.”)
I don’t even get why the baby talk was needed when the characters are mostly teens. It might be argued that the book’s intended audience is supposed to be the 12-13 boy’s market, but if that’s the case, there’s a lot of pseudo cuss words that could have been used, like crap, darn, dang, heck, and so on. So yes, this one thing bothers me even more than the gaping plot holes in the story. It’s even more grating because of the other words used later, and because the book gets so fucking gory in the final chapters. It’s a massive tonal shift that had me asking “dafuq?” every few pages.
But let’s talk about some of the bigger problems. First of all, there’s Thomas, who upon arrival to the glade just knows he’s meant to be a maze runner. He’s not interested in helping do any other jobs, and when given any actual work, he quickly collapses from fatigue. Yet during a rescue out in the maze, he suddenly gains super strength and the ability to haul someone bigger than him up the side of a wall and tie them up using vines. Then after this herculean effort, he’s still got plenty of energy to fight a monster and run the maze with another boy. No, y’all, I just don’t buy it. Once he’s a maze runner, he has amazing powers of recuperation that come out of nowhere. No, man. I Don’t. Fucking. Believe. It. Continue reading