The Maze Runner Series (Books One-Three)

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I’ve been officially finished reading The Maze Runner series for about a week now. For the last week I have sat and thought about these books over and over again. At one point, I wanted to recap each of the books individually but the more I thought about each book the more I felt like they deserved to be brought together as one. Not that they were books I disliked, they just all lead right into the next very quickly. 

I read the first three books in the series and chose not to read the fourth book. For awhile I was dead set on reading the fourth book as it is actually a prequel to the whole series. Part of me wants to know what happens before the maze, but part of me felt like I will wind up disliking Thomas after reading it. Once I read more about book four and saw that it really doesn’t contain most of the characters from The Maze Runner series, I was happy with my decision to just read the first three. Then I found out there is a book five coming out that does tell the story of Thomas and Teresa. I may go back some day, I may not. For now I’m still trying to wrap my head around the first three books of The Maze Runner series. 

The Maze Runner Series

Synopsis – The Maze Runner Book One

The Synopsis for books two and three do give away pieces of information from book one so I will just preview book one here for you. My thoughts below will be on the entire series.

From School Library Journal:

Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in “the glade” for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers. Unfortunately, the question of whether the teens will escape the maze is answered 30 pages before the book ends, and the intervening chapter loses momentum. The epilogue, which would be deliciously creepy coming immediately after the plot resolves, fails to pack a punch as a result. That said, The Maze Runner has a great hook, and fans of dystopian literature, particularly older fans of Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember (Random, 2003), will likely enjoy this title and ask for the inevitable sequel.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH END

My Thoughts On The Maze Runner Series

I can honestly say this book series has left me stumped more than any series before. While MOST questions were answered by the end of the third book, there is still one that really has me thinking.

Let’s start at the beginning.

I’ll admit, I struggled to get through the first and second books of the series. They were good, but they didn’t capture my attention like everyone had made them out to be. It wasn’t until the third book that I put it all together and saw how people compared it to the The Hunger Games (one of my favorite book series). In the end I was happy I did push through all three books and it was worth it, but I feel like if this is not a typical type of book you read you need to give James Dashner a chance. It really is worth it in the end. 

As the explanation of the Maze started coming out my opinion of Thomas started to change. At first I felt sorry for him and his friends with everything they were going through, but then I started to just feel sorry for his friends. By the end of the book my love for Thomas returned, but it took me awhile (almost all of book two and half of three) to get there. He was the main character who you constantly wanted to yell “NO” to while reading a book or watching a movie. I felt like he was constantly trying to prove himself to the other people around him that he could be a leader. Yet at the same time that he was trying to prove that he could make things better after everything he created. During the last scene of the book that he was in I was finally content with his character. 

I think my favorite character of the entire book series was Minho. He quickly took Thomas under his wing to teach him to be a runner but at the same time he very quickly became the leader of the pack. Minho was one of the few who was fairly levelheaded through the entire trials. 

The character I was the most sad about in the end was Newt. I won’t spoil the details but I spent a few chapters being sad for Newt throughout the third book. For the sake of Thomas I was glad for how his relationship with Newt played out, but the whole thing still makes me sad. Why Newt?

When I was originally trying to decide I if I wanted to read the fourth book in the series, it came down to wanting to know more about Teresa. Out of all of the characters in the book, I feel like she is the one I am still the most confused about. From the minute she showed up in the maze I was hooked on her story. While we learn a lot about her story through each of the books, James Dashner left us hanging in completing her relationship with Thomas as well as a few other unanswered questions. If I could ask him the truth about any character, it would be Teresa. 

One thing I will say is that there is no way I would be able to see the movies. The Maze Runner series had a lot of gory parts that were very descriptive and I can only imagine how the movie plays these out. There was more than one occasion I found myself skipping ahead a page to avoid the details.

All in all I did like The Maze Runner series in the end. I did feel a little burned out on it because it left my head spinning in so many ways. I told myself I needed a completely mindless book to read next just to detox my brain. I may go back and finish the series up some day, I may not. For now I’m trying to take it all in.

Get The Maze Runner Series

  1. The Maze Runner – Amazon
  2. The Scorch Trials – Amazon
  3. The Death Cure – Amazon
  4. The Kill Order (Prequel To Be Read Last) – Amazon
  5. The Fever Code (The Story of How The Maze was Built) – Amazon Preorder

Have you read The Maze Runner series? 
Book 4, yes or no?
Have you seen the movies? 

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.

Comments (12)

  1. I didn’t realize that there were new books coming out. I was with you on the fact that the second was hard to get through, strong characters but just wasn’t going anywhere! I do not feel like the movies gave the books justice, and will more than likely only see the first one.
    Meredith recently posted…5 tips to help anyone be on time!My Profile

    1. I didn’t realize it until after I finished that there was another new one coming out. I’m completely torn on reading them!

  2. I read the first one and honestly didn’t like it. I found it overly violent for my tastes but beyond that I didn’t feel any connection to any of the characters. I didn’t go on to read the sequels because of it.

    1. I agree with the violence. That made it hard to get through at some points. I found myself skimming a lot when it would get too bad!

  3. You know I usually like to read the books before watching the movie…but for this series I have watched movie 1 &2….3 when it comes out. It would be interesting to see if I like the books better. I much preferred the first movie to the second.
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy recently posted…BEST Banana Cake EVER!!My Profile

    1. I’m glad that people are enjoying the movies! With the amount of descriptive scenes in the book that were violent the movie scares me!

  4. I keep hearing about these books but I have never read them. I love The Hunger Games so maybe I will give them a try. Thank you for so much great info about them!

    1. Hunger Games still tops my list of favorite books. I see the comparison but it took me three books to figure that out!

  5. I’ve heard such good things about this series, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Going to try and get to it this year. – Katy

    1. It was a very well written series, but there are parts I felt like I really had to power through!

    1. I would definitely recommend reading them! Make time for all three, they’re hard to stop after each one!

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