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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

The Maze Runner Files by James Dashner has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

The Maze Runner Files includes fictional supplementary material, such as secret memos and transcripts, written by characters during the time period the Maze Runner books took place.

The first several memos are from Chancellor Kevin Anderson concerning a plan to save the future from extinction. His task force is known as Wicked, and he works with other leaders to rebuild a world first ravaged by Sun Flares, then by disease. He has selected elite young people to help carry on the human race. Thomas and Teresa, two of his selections, meet at the age of 9 in the confines of Wicked’s facility. They don’t know why they’re living there or why they seem to be sequestered from the other children they hear outside. Anderson’s memos reveal that the elite candidates have had their brains extensively altered through surgery. They know they can communicate with one another telepathically, but any additional information about their alterations is kept a secret from them. Anderson’s memos digress. He says he’s resigning because he’s manifesting the effects of the disease. A final memo, written with his remaining two fingers, indicates he has plunged into madness and regrets what he’s done to the children.

A memo from a new chancellor, Ava Paige, begs everyone to keep morale up after the unfortunate, but necessary, murder of a child named Chuck. Memos from a chancellor named John Michael, which predate those of Anderson, are written after the Sun Flares have ravaged the planet. He tells the board members of his concerns that there are too many people and not enough resources left on earth. Memos between John Michael and Katie McVoy indicate they’ve created a virus that will systematically wipe out a portion of the population so at least some can survive and carry on the human race. Leaders reluctantly put the plan into action. Memos and radio transmissions that follow indicate their strategy has gone awry. The disease isn’t killing people, or at least, not before they suffer a lengthy period of madness. The planet is now full of dangerous, sometimes cannibalistic, lunatics who carry a disease known as the Flare. The media have come to call the brain the Killzone. Those few young people who are immune to the disease are called Munies.

Brief additional scenes show characters Frypan and Thomas retrieving their memories. A character named Minho is forced to choose which of his friends will be allowed to live. The others’ brains will be dissected for science. He fights back and refuses to pick just one to save. The testers return him to his room.

Some versions of The Maze Runner Files include free preview chapters of James Dashner’s novel The Eye of Minds. This story of a virtual video game world begins with the main character, a player named Michael, failing to save a girl from killing herself. The government enlists Michael to help catch a hacker who is terrorizing people in the game.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

World leaders struggle with moral issues as they try to determine and then legislate what’s best for the greater good versus individual lives. They kill, manipulate, initiate a plague and use innocent children to further their plans.


The Lord’s name is used in vain. H---, suck and freaking also appear several times. One radio transmission records soldiers infiltrating a camp of insane Flare victims. The transcript includes repeated use of the word expletive after words like holy and what the…. The men shout these things while having limbs chopped off and as they are being eaten by the diseased humans. The preview of The Eye of Minds includes a bloody scene where a girl digs into her flesh and rips out a microchip.



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

12 and up


James Dashner






Record Label



Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company This material was originally published in Barnes & Noble exclusive editions of The Maze Runner, The Death Cure and The Kill Order. Some material first appeared on randomhouse.com/kids. It is now available as a standalone publication in audio and e-book formats.


On Video

Year Published





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