Maze Runner Books in Order: Your Ultimate Guide

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The Maze Runner book series, written by James Dashner, is a collection of young adult dystopian science fiction novels that have captivated readers around the world. The series, which began with the publication of The Maze Runner in 2009, comprises three main novels, two prequels, a novella, and a companion book. The story revolves around Thomas, a young protagonist who wakes up in a mysterious maze with no memory of his past, and soon finds himself ensnared in a vast conspiracy.

Navigating through the Maze Runner series can be as perplexing as the mazes in the books themselves. With prequels released after the main trilogy, readers may wonder what order they should follow to enjoy the books as intended. To clarify, the recommended reading order is based on the release dates of the novels, taking into account the crucial revelations and twists that unfold over time.


  • The Maze Runner series is a popular young adult dystopian science fiction saga by James Dashner.
  • Reading the series in release order ensures the intended experience with mysteries and revelations.
  • The story includes a main trilogy, prequels, a novella, and a companion book, exploring a world filled with intricate conspiracies and an unforgettable adventure.

About the Maze Runner Series

James Dashner

James Dashner is an American writer well-known for his young adult and dystopian fiction novels. He rose to fame with his critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling series, The Maze Runner.

The Maze Runner Series Overview

The Maze Runner series is a collection of four novels set in a dystopian science fiction world geared towards young adult readers. The series takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and includes the following books:

  1. The Maze Runner (2009)
  2. The Scorch Trials (2010)
  3. The Death Cure (2011)
  4. The Kill Order (2012)

In addition to these core books, there are two prequel novels, The Fever Code (2016), a novella titled Crank Palace (2020), and a companion book titled The Maze Runner Files (2013) that provide further insight into this dystopian fiction universe.

The series revolves around a group of teenagers who find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth called the Maze. The protagonist, Thomas, must navigate this dangerous world while trying to solve the secrets behind the Maze and its creators. As the series progresses, the characters uncover the truth about their purpose and the sinister organization known as WICKED.

Critical and Commercial Reception

The Maze Runner series has been well-received both critically and commercially. The captivating plot, intriguing characters, and dystopian science fiction elements have garnered interest from numerous readers, making it a bestselling series.

Alongside its literary success, the series has also been adapted into major motion pictures, with the first three novels turning into blockbuster hits. The films further propelled the popularity of the series, solidifying its place among iconic young adult fiction franchises.

The Maze Runner series is an engaging and thrilling reading experience that has left a lasting impression on the young adult and dystopian fiction genres.

The Books in Chronological Order

In this section, we will discuss the Maze Runner books in their chronological order, providing a brief summary of each installment.

The Kill Order

The Kill Order is the first book in the series, acting as a prequel to the main trilogy. It follows the characters Mark and Trina, who are faced with a world devastated by sun flares. As the civilisation collapses, a mysterious virus begins to spread, plaguing the surviving population.

The Fever Code

The Fever Code is another prequel installment in the series, providing valuable background information on how the events in the Maze Runner trilogy were set into motion. This book primarily focuses on Thomas and Teresa, showcasing their involvement with WICKED before having their memories wiped with the Swipe procedure. The story sheds light on the Purge, a key event that sets up many elements in the upcoming books.

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner, the first main book in the series, follows Thomas as he wakes up in the Glade with no memory of his past, except for his name. The Glade is a mysterious area surrounded by a massive maze inhabited by deadly creatures called Grievers. Thomas and the other boys must work together to solve the maze and uncover the truth about their situation.

The Scorch Trials

The adventure continues in The Scorch Trials, as Thomas and his friends escape the Glade only to face new challenges in The Scorch, a desolate landscape ravaged by sun flares. They have to navigate this treacherous environment while battling a disease called the Flare, which turns its victims into violent, zombie-like beings known as Cranks.

The Death Cure

In The Death Cure, the third main book in the series, Thomas and his allies must find a way to resist WICKED’s control and search for a cure to the Flare. As they make their way through various tests and obstacles, they uncover shocking revelations about WICKED and the world they live in.

The Crank Palace

The Crank Palace is a novella that tells the story of Newt, a fan-favorite character from the series. Set during the events of The Death Cure, it provides insight into Newt’s struggle with the Flare and his experiences in Crank Palace, a haven for those affected by the disease.

Main Characters and Elements


Thomas is the protagonist in the Maze Runner series. He wakes up in the Glade with no memory of who he is, except for his name. Over time, he discovers his identity and plays a crucial role in solving the Maze and fighting against WICKED.


Teresa is the only female character to appear in the Glade, and she has a strong connection with Thomas. Together, they help the other Gladers overcome various obstacles and solve the puzzles set by WICKED.


World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department, or WICKED, is the organization behind the Maze trials. They believe that their experiments, including the Maze and its challenges, are essential to finding a cure for the Flare virus.

The Glade

The Glade is the primary setting of the first novel, The Maze Runner. Surrounded by enormous walls, it serves as a living space for the Gladers. The Glade contains various areas, such as the Gardens for growing food and the Homestead, where the boys live.

The Grievers

The Grievers are horrifying, biomechanical creatures that roam the Maze at night. They serve as a major threat to the Gladers, especially the Runners who explore the Maze during the day. Grievers are equipped with sharp spikes and weapons, making them dangerous adversaries.

The Flare and The Cranks

The Flare is a deadly virus that has ravaged the world, causing infected individuals, known as Cranks, to become crazed and violent. WICKED conducts its experiments to find a cure for the Flare, using the Gladers as test subjects.

Adaptations and Influence

The Maze Runner Movies

The Maze Runner book series has been adapted into a successful film franchise, starring actors such as Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Will Poulter, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. The movies closely follow the storylines of the books, bringing the dystopian world and its characters to life on the big screen. The films in the franchise include:

  1. The Maze Runner (2014)
  2. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)
  3. Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018)

These adaptations have contributed to the popularity of the Maze Runner universe and introduced the series to a broader audience of fans.

Comparisons with Other Series

The Maze Runner book series shares several similarities with other popular dystopian young adult series, notably The Hunger Games and Divergent. All three series are set in a dystopian future where a group of young people must navigate a physically and emotionally challenging landscape to survive.

SeriesAuthorMain Themes
The Maze RunnerJames DashnerSurvival, Memory, Friendship
The Hunger GamesSuzanne CollinsSurvival, Rebellion, Sacrifice
DivergentVeronica RothIdentity, Loyalty, Rebellion

The protagonists of these series face oppressive systems and must make difficult decisions to protect themselves and those they care about. These common themes and narrative structures have made comparing the three series inevitable. Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent often enjoy the Maze Runner book series due to the engaging storylines, relatable characters, and immersive worlds.

Supplementary Material

The Maze Runner Files

The Maze Runner Files is a companion book to the popular Maze Runner series. It is a collection of classified records and concealed information from the world of the Glade. The book offers fans a deeper look into the inner workings of WICKED (World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department), the origins of the Maze, and the Gladers’ life before they were sent to the Glade. This additional material provides valuable insights and aids readers in understanding the full context of the story.

The book comprises several sections, each featuring different types of content connected to the main storyline. As an example, it might include:

  • Character profiles: Descriptions of Gladers, focusing on their roles, strengths, and backgrounds.
  • Email exchanges: Correspondence between WICKED employees, revealing the decision-making process and the organization’s perspective.
  • Official WICKED memos: These documents disclose WICKED’s objectives and motives about the Maze trials and detail some behind-the-scenes actions.

The Mortality Doctrine Series

In addition to The Maze Runner series, author James Dashner has written another science fiction series called The Mortality Doctrine. Set in a world where virtual reality blurs the line between what is real and what is not, the story follows a teenage hacker named Michael. He is tasked with solving a mysterious conspiracy so that he can unlock the truth behind the VNS (VirtNet Security) organization.

The Mortality Doctrine series comprises three main novels:

  1. The Eye of Minds
  2. The Rule of Thoughts
  3. The Game of Lives

These novels delve into a digital landscape and the characters’ turmoil as they navigate between virtual reality and the real world. Fans of The Maze Runner series who appreciate James Dashner’s style and storytelling capabilities may enjoy exploring this secondary series as well.

Themes and Motifs

Survival and Adventure

In the Maze Runner series, survival and adventure are central themes. The protagonists, known as Gladers, must continuously rely on their instincts and adapt to the challenges that arise in a dangerous, ever-changing environment. The characters frequently face life-threatening situations, such as navigating the Maze, escaping WICKED, or joining forces with the Right Arm. The story captures the reader’s attention through thrilling adventures that demand courage, resilience, and determination from the characters.

Societal Structure and Control

Another important theme in the Maze Runner series is societal structure and control. Within the Glade, a hierarchy is established with specific roles assigned to individuals, such as Runners, Sloppers, and Med-jacks. This creates a sense of order, despite the overall chaos. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes evident that WICKED, an external organization, has manipulated the characters’ lives for their own purposes. The protagonists’ struggle to regain control highlights the significance of autonomy and resistance to oppressive forces.

Memory and Identity

The Maze Runner series also explores memory and identity. Characters like Thomas and Teresa undergo the Swipe, a procedure that erases their memories. Consequently, they must continuously grapple with self-discovery, seeking to understand their pasts, their connections with WICKED, and their individual identities. As they regain fragments of their lost memories, the characters not only learn about their own histories but also uncover the hidden intentions of those who hold power over them. This theme underscores the importance of memory in forming one’s sense of self and the potential consequences of its manipulation.

With these themes of survival, adventure, societal structure, control, memory, and identity, the Maze Runner series offers a thrilling and thought-provoking reading experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct sequence of the Maze Runner series by James Dashner?

The correct sequence to read the Maze Runner series by James Dashner is:

  1. The Maze Runner (2009)
  2. The Scorch Trials (2010)
  3. The Death Cure (2011)
  4. The Kill Order (2012) – First Prequel
  5. The Fever Code (2016) – Second Prequel
  6. Crank Palace (2020) – Novella

The prequels, The Kill Order and The Fever Code, can be read before the main series, but it’s not necessary. They provide backstory and context to the events in the main trilogy.

How many books are there in the Maze Runner series?

There are six books in the Maze Runner series, which include a main trilogy, two prequels, and a novella.

Which book comes fourth in the Maze Runner series?

The fourth book in the Maze Runner series is The Kill Order (2012), which is also the first prequel of the series.

Are there any plans for a fourth Maze Runner movie?

As of now, there is no confirmed news about a fourth Maze Runner movie being in development. The film adaptations cover the main trilogy, and there have been no announcements regarding the adaptation of the prequels or novella.

Can you list all of the Maze Runner series books, including prequels and sequels?

Here’s a list of all the Maze Runner series books:

  1. The Maze Runner (2009)
  2. The Scorch Trials (2010)
  3. The Death Cure (2011)
  4. The Kill Order (2012) – First Prequel
  5. The Fever Code (2016) – Second Prequel
  6. Crank Palace (2020) – Novella

Where can I watch the Maze Runner film series?

The Maze Runner film series can be found on various streaming platforms and digital retailers. Availability may vary depending on the region and platform. It is recommended to check streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu for availability, or to purchase or rent the films through digital retailers like Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu.

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Victoria Cornell helps women adopt a positive mindset even when the struggles of motherhood feel overwhelming. On her sites, Motherhood Life Balance, Neon Moon and Bookworm Era she writes about ways to reduce stress with mindset, manifesting, goal planning, productivity, and more.