Read It In Order: The Maze Runner

  • Post last modified:June 20, 2023

Well hello everyone! I’m back with another “Read It In Order” post (although really they’ve become more comprehensive than that), and this time we’re on the Maze Runner books by James Dashner. First, we’ll go over how to read the Maze Runner books in order (there’s a new one??) and then delve into details on Maze Runner adaptations and other James Dashner books. We might even get into some controversy . . . so stick around.

The Maze Runner Books in Order

Right, here are the basics — how to read the Maze Runner books in order. Note that this isn’t chronological, but you aren’t supposed to read them chronologically. There’s a second list with that order because I like being thorough. But if you’re looking for the bare basics of which book to start with, this is the list for you.

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1)

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2)

The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3)

The Kill Order (Maze Runner #4)

Technically, The Kill Order and The Fever Code are prequels, but reference the “original” Maze Runner books, and so should be read after. This is why they are listed as the fourth and fifth Maze Runner instalments.

The Fever Code (Maze Runner #5)

Crank Palace (Maze Runner #5.5)

Crank Palace is interesting. Occasionally it appears to masquerade as the third of the prequels, but actually, the story is completely different. Crank Palace is a novella that returns to the original Maze Runner characters and follows Newt — minor spoiler alert, but their paths diverge

The Maze Cutter

Some people list The Maze Cutter as a seventh book in the Maze Runner series, but it can be more accurately described as a spin-off, considering it happens more than seventy years after the events of The Death Cure and follow a completely new set of characters.

Now, there’s a little bit of confusion around this one as it was released more than a year earlier in some European countries, while English readers only recently saw it published in October 2022. According to a German product page for the book, a second book is planned for July 2023, but as far as I can tell, a title has yet to be announced, and there is no set release date for English versions.

There hasn’t been any explanation for the discrepancy, but I suspect it has something to do with the promise Penguin Random House made to stop publishing Dashner’s books following sexual harassment allegations in 2018. (More on that later.) Instead, he has gone with Akashic Media Enterprises for his newest books, which is . . . an interesting choice. (Hint: I don’t think he had a choice.)

The Maze Runner Books Chronologically

As mentioned before, this is not the order in which you read these books, but for the sake of clarity, I’ve put together a timeline of when the books occur in the Maze Runner world.

The Kill Order (Maze Runner #4)

The Fever Code (Maze Runner #5)

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1)

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2)

The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3)

Crank Palace (Maze Runner Novella)

The Maze Cutter (Maze Cutter #1)

TBD (The Maze Cutter #2)

TBD (The Maze Cutter #3)

The Maze Runner Movie

The first three Maze Runner books were adapted to the big screen during the dystopian craze of the early 2010s that saw the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent rake it in. Thankfully, the third book was not split into two parts. The first three books are the ones that

James Dashner Controversy

In 2018, Dashner was dropped by his agent and his publisher, Penguin Random House, announced it would no longer publish his books. (I have my gripes with PRH, but I have to ask: Where’s that attitude from Bloomsbury regarding a certain transphobic author?)

During the height of the #MeToo movement, anonymous allegations against Dashner surfaced on a forum, claiming to have been the target of the author’s sexual harassment. Do we know that they are real? No (though statistics on false confessions beg to differ), but Dashner seemed to admit to the misconduct with a Tweet that partially read:

I didn’t honor or fully understand boundaries and power dynamics. I can sincerely say that I have never intentionally hurt another person. But to those affected, I am so deeply sorry. I am taking any and all criticisms and accusations very seriously, and I will seek counseling and guidance to address them.

The tweet appears to have been deleted since, or I would link it. There was also another comment (again, anonymous) on the forum later that claimed it was the original poster, rescinding their accusations. Hm.

This isn’t a gossip blog, so I’ll leave it at that. I wanted to address the situation, however, in case this information changes your mind on reading his books.

Other James Dashner Books

I don’t think many people realise that James Dashner had a career as an author years before the success of the Maze Runner (fun fact — it was published several years before making it onto the NYT Bestsellers list) but he sure did. A somewhat extensive one, actually! I, however, have read none of these and honestly don’t plan to, so I’m just going to list them.

The Jimmy Fincher Saga

A Door in the Woods (2003)

A Gift of Ice (2004)

The Tower of Air (2004)

War of the Black Curtain (2005)

The 13th Reality Series

The Journal of Curious Letters (2008)

The Hunt for Dark Infinity (2009)

The Blade of Shattered Hope (2010)

The Void of Mist and Thunder (2012)

The Infinity Ring Series

Okay, I lied — I’ll include a snippet about this because it’s a little unusual! The Infinity Ring series is actually written by multiple authors (each writes an individual book, not co-authored) so that’s why it appears there is no books two through five below. There are eight in total; Dashner wrote two. (I could do a Hamilton thing there if I wanted to.) The rest of the authors, in case you’re wondering, are Carrie Ryan, Lisa McMann, Matt de la Peña, Matthew J. Kirby, and Jennifer A. Nielsen.

A Mutiny in Time (Book 1) (2012)

The Iron Empire (Book 7) (2014)

The Mortality Doctrine

The Eye of Minds (2013)

The Rule of Thoughts (2014)

The Game of Lives (2015)

Stand-Alone Novels

And finally, we have his singular adult novel, which is horror, interestingly enough.

The House of Tongues (2021)

Books Like the Maze runner

If you found yourself on this page from Google, this is probably the part of the article you came for. I do want to note that these are only book I myself have read, so by all means, suggest others in the comments if you have them!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (Full disclosure: I dislike this author for reasons but do think the book is a good comp.)

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Gone by Michael Grant

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Annnd that’s it for this post! Hopefully it was informative, but let me know if there’s any other information you’d like. Happy reading!


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Blogging Princess

    mhh,,i did not know about the controversy….it really is making m reconsider buying his books but also at times the artists and the art itself are two separate entities.

    1. gracepursel

      Sometimes that’s true! It also definitely made me rethink this series as well. There are just so many out there that are amazing and don’t have a depressing controversy behind them. My personal rule of thumb is if they are alive, best to avoid, but it’s a complicated issue!

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