The Maze Runner Books in Order: How to read James Dashner’s series?

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Written by American writer James Dashner, The Maze Runner is a young-adult dystopian science-fiction series, comprised of the main trilogy, two prequels, a sequel (launched in 2022), and a companion book.

The story begins with Thomas, who is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased. Soon, he learns they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.

How to read The Maze Runner Series in order?

Reading The Maze Runner Books in Publication Order:

There is more than one way to read The Maze Runner series in order. Let’s start with the publication order before taking a look at the chronological order.

  1. The Maze Runner – When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers-boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out-and no one’s ever made it through alive. Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying. Remember. Survive. Run.
  2. The Scorch Trials – Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch-the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction-and they’re determined to survive.
  3. Thomas’s First Memory of the Flare – Short flashback that occurs between “The Scorch Trials” and “The Death Cure.” You can read it here.
  4. The Death Cure – WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends-the Gladers. But it’s finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test. What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a word of what they say. Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. Now He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.
  1. Crank Palace – A novella taking place during the latter events of The Death Cure. Newt has been to hell and back with his friends. The Glade. The Maze. The Scorch. The inner halls of WICKED. But now he has a burden that can’t be shared with Thomas and the others–the Flare. And Newt can’t bear the thought of his friends watching him descend into madness as he succumbs to the virus.
  2. The Maze Cutter – Seventy-three years have passed. Sadina, Isaac, and Jackie all learned about the unkind history of the Gladers from The Book of Newt and tall tales from Old Man Frypan, but when a rusty old boat shows up one day with a woman bearing dark news of the mainland–everything changes. The group and their islander friends are forced to embark back to civilization where they find Cranks have evolved into a more violent, intelligent version of themselves. The islanders are hunted by the Godhead, the Remnant Nation, and scientists with secret agendas. When they cross paths with an orphan named Minho from the Remnant Nation, the dangers become real and they don’t know who they can trust. The islanders will have to survive long enough to figure out why they are being targeted, who is friend or foe, and what the Godhead has planned for the future of humanity.
  3. The Godhead Complex – Sadina and the islanders are up against both man and nature as they navigate their way to Alaska. There, they hope to meet the mysterious Godhead, unsure of what separates myth from truth. But the Godhead, now led by Alexandra, is fractured. Within the cracks of their sacred trinity, secrets are revealed that blur the lines of good and evil forever.

Reading The Maze Runner Prequels in Order

The two following books are prequels to the main books – The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure –, it is advised to read them after, following the publishing order, or risking spoilers for the trilogy.

  1. The Kill Order – Happens about 15 years before the first Maze Runner book. Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth, killing most of the population. Mark and Trina were there when it happened. They survived. But now a virus is spreading. A virus that fills humans with murderous rage. They’re convinced that there’s a way to save those who are left-if they can stay alive…
  2. The Fever Code– Follows the events after The Kill Order. Once there was a world’s end. The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled. Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man. Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy. The boy’s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze. This is the story of that boy, Thomas, and how he built a maze that only he could tear down. All will be revealed.

Reading The Maze Runner Books in Chronological Order:

It is advised to read The Maze Runner Series in the order of publication. But here is the chronological order :

  1. The Kill Order
  2. The Fever Code
  3. The Maze Runner
  4. The Scorch Trials
  5. The Death Cure
  6. Crank Palace
  7. The Maze Cutter
  8. The Godhead Complex

Other Books in The Maze Runner universe:

  • The Maze Runner Files – A companion book to The Maze Runner series. Available in e-book form only. It contains information about the Flare, WICKED and some of the Gladers, and much more.
  • Inside the Maze Runner: The Guide to the Glade – A movie companion book to The Maze Runner film. The book includes more than 100 photos from the movie, details about the whole Maze Runner series, and profiles of the characters and actors.

With Hunger Games, The Maze Runner was the other successful teen dystopia blockbuster series. If you like our article about reading the Maze Runner series in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! Also, take a look at the divergent series.

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