So you’ve just finished reading The Maze Runner, and the action, horrifying creatures, and escape attempts have left your heart racing. Let’s face it; you undoubtedly have a strong desire to increase your adrenaline rush once again. With that said, what are some books similar to Mazer Runner?
- Legend, by M Lu
- Uglies, by S Westerfeld
- Tunnel in the Sky, by R A Heinlein
- Divergent, by V Roth
- The Hunger Games, by S Collins
- The Lightning Thief, by R Riordan
- The City of Ember, by J DuPrau
- Nemesis, by B Reichs
- Across the Universe, by B Revis
- Lord of the Flies, by W Golding
In YA fiction, The Maze Runner has become almost as well-known as The Hunger Games. With the trilogy already turned to cinema, the story of Thomas and his fellow ‘runners’ has become part of popular literary culture. So, I’ve decided to go through the maze of dystopian novels in quest of works similar to The Maze Runner series.
Books Similar To Maze Runner
The Maze Runner is one of several contemporary dystopian fantasy stories that have captivated readers. Each of these recommended Mazer Runner alternatives may be what you are looking for, so take your time, sponge up the info, and set yourself up for the next adventure, starting with Legend by Marie Lu.
1. Legend, By Marie Lu
Lu’s best-selling novel Legend will come up in any search for novels like The Maze Runner. Legend begins as a ‘whodunnit,’ set in the future when the western United States has seceded and renamed itself ‘the Republic.’
The Republic, a nation continuously at war with its neighbors, now occupies the western United States. June, a fifteen-year-old prodigy born into an affluent family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, is being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles.
Day, a fifteen-year-old slum kid, is the country’s most sought-after criminal. His motivations, though, may not be as nefarious as they appear. June and Day are from completely different worlds and have no reason to meet – until June’s brother, Metias, is killed and Day is named the leading suspect.
Day is caught in the ultimate cat and mouse game, fighting for his family’s survival as June wants vengeance for Metias’ death. However, an unexpected turn of events occurred, the two discover the truth about what drew them together in the first place, as well as the deadly extent to which their country would go to keep its secrets hidden.
This tale is guaranteed to move readers as much as it delights, with relentless action, suspense, and romance.
Characters from two worlds isn’t a new concept, but it still works when done correctly. Legend, which combines themes of vengeance, survival, and truth, is a fantastic place to start if you’re seeking books that are comparable to The Maze Runner.
2. Uglies, By Scott Westerfield
Uglies is an excellent book to read if you’re seeking comparable titles to The Maze Runner. It’s a harsh mirror of the contemporary ‘celebrity perfection’ culture.
Tally Youngblood (yeah, the surname is a touch ‘on-the-nose) is our major character. Tally is about to reach 16, which means she will have to undergo an obligatory procedure to make her ‘beautiful’ in the world she lives in. On the other side, she will find a life of enjoyment marked by beauty.
Shay, one of Tally’s buddies, throws a monkey wrench into the works. Tally must choose between delivering her buddy to the authorities and giving up any hope of ever becoming ‘beautiful.’
Shay opposes the procedure and flees, leaving Tally with two options: surrender her friend to the authorities or give up any chance of ever being ‘pretty.’ Uglies is a startling biting satire on our present society of airbrushed appearances, plastically changed bodies, and celebrity worship.
Westerfield might easily be seen settling down to watch an episode of Love Island before pulling out a rifle and blasting the television. Tally is a likable protagonist who entices the reader to join her quest to discover what “beautiful” really means in a world preoccupied with one meaning.
It is a great journey to discover the ugly truth and the beauty of friendship with so much emotion and action in between as the journey tends to get more dangerous.
3. Tunnel In The Sky, By Robert Heinlein
Tunnel in the Sky, described as “youthful fiction” in the 1950s, shaped dystopian YA more than half a century before The Maze Runner was even a glimmer in a publisher’s eye.
The development of teleportation may have prevented overpopulation on Earth in the future (This book should energize Star Trek fans). The planet’s surplus population is now relocated to other worlds to begin a new life.
Rod Walker, a high school student who aspires to be a professional colonist, must first pass a final test as part of his advanced survival class, which requires him to stay alive on an alien planet for at least two days out of a possible 10.
Readers from across the world and two generations have been captivated by this timeless work from the mind of a master storyteller. Dr. Matson’s Advanced Survival class final exam was supposed to be just that: a test.
However, something has gone horribly wrong, and Rod Walker and his classmates are now stuck somewhere unknown in the cosmos, beyond touch with Earth, at the other end of a sky tunnel. The castaways must join together or perish, stripped of all comforts and hoping for a route home that may never arrive.
It is one exam where failure is not an option for Rod and his fellow survivors. Even though Tunnel in the Sky was published 69 years before The Maze Runner, both novels have a similar story arc. Rod, like Thomas, is thrust into a harsh, foreign environment and ordered to survive in whatever way he can.
4. Divergent, By Veronica Roth
It’s difficult to think of a list of books like The Maze Runner that doesn’t include Divergent. Roth’s dystopian trilogy, published in 2011 and shortly after The Hunger Games, holds up well compared to several other works.
The novel that inspired the big motion film starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet is the first in Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent series of novels.
Millions of our youth and adult readers have been captivated by this dystopian series set in a futuristic Chicago.
Divergent and its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, are the compelling narrative of a dystopian society altered by courage, self–sacrifice, and love and are perfect for lovers of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series.
Fans of the Divergent film will find the book to be equally as emotional and action-packed as the movie, all delivered in beautiful, rich language.
The idea of dividing society by personality type is a fun way to keep things under control, and it keeps things interesting when heroine Tris discovers she isn’t like the other members of her faction.
A solitary decision can change the course of your life. Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peace), and Erudite (the intelligent) are the five factions in Beatrice Prior’s civilization. Beatrice must decide whether she wants to stay with her Abnegation family or join another group.
Her decision will astound both her peers and herself. But the freshly named Tris has a secret that she is trying to keep concealed, for in this society, being different is perilous.
Also, don’t miss Veronica Roth’s strong sequel to the popular Carve the Mark, The Fates Divide!
Many of the themes in Divergent are similar to those in The Maze Runner, including mystery, hidden secrets, and more. The novels were warmly welcomed upon release, and the films, despite mixed reviews, and did well at the box office across the world.
5. The Hunger Games, By Suzanne Collins
The privileged dominate the nation of Panem, which no one is permitted to forget. Every year, the Capital herds 24 inhabitants aged 12 to 18 into a very risky and meticulously supervised arena for televised combat to the death.
Katniss Everdeen, sixteen, finds herself willing to compete in the contest. Katniss’ adversaries are cunning, competent, and willing to kill, but she’s fighting for more than her own life–fighting she’s for everyone the Capital has ever harmed.
Almost the entire time, the novel keeps you on your toes. The players must not only compete against one another, but they must also contend with the agony of getting caught in the extra snares laid by the game organizers.
Between dealing with mutated creatures, avoiding deadly traps, and deciding whether or not to risk their lives for the sake of rewards like medication, food, and other necessities.
The book frays your nerves and keeps you turning the pages throughout the novel to see what happens next.
6. The Lightning Thief, By Rick Riordan
A bright burst of light, almost enraged, shatters the night sky. Perhaps Zeus is still enraged? If you have never heard of this, you should read the Percy Jackson books as soon as possible. When you read about Percy Jackson’s exploits, like with many other fantastic books like the Maze Runner, you get the feeling that you are the protagonist.
You have the sensation of beheading a hydra, blowing up the Gateway Arch, and wielding a lightning bolt. Percy begins the narrative by cautioning us against reading it. Something to the effect that if you come across something familiar, you should close the book right away.
Then it moves on to his personal life. His mother tries to bring him to a camp to prevent a minotaur from killing him while on vacation at the beach away from his violent stepfather. He discovers his best friend has goat legs on the way there. Percy loses consciousness as he does in many previous stories.
He awakens at a camp consisting of half–gods, satyrs, a centaur, and a god of alcohol who consistently pronounces people’s names incorrectly. Then he discovers that the minotaur has abducted his mother and needs to take on the minotaur.
Zeus threatens Percy with death when he discovers he is the son of the God of the sea because he believes Percy stole his most powerful lightning bolt. Percy is then forced to embark on an adventure throughout America, fighting monsters, metal spiders, and medusa. Then it’s on to the underworld.
When he does, he discovers a grave error and a traitor. But that’s enough of it! I don’t want to offer you too many details about the plot. If you wish to journey on a story similar to The Maze Runner but with Greek Gods and similar fantasy, this would be the perfect continuation of what your imagination yearns for.
7. The City Of Ember, By Jeanne DuPrau
Ember is a city that exists in perpetual darkness, lit solely by an increasingly faulty power infrastructure. Other systems are collapsing as well, and food and essential supplies that have lasted hundreds of years are depleting.
The city was only supposed to endure 220 years, yet it has now lasted 241. However, the Builders’ instructions have been misplaced and forgotten.
Lina eventually finds them, but not before her baby sister has nibbled at it to pieces. Now she and her buddy Doon must decipher them from the few jumbled letters that remain before the city crumbles. Their efforts lead them to unearth long-buried facts regarding Ember’s nature and purpose, as well as the Builders’ intentions.
They want to tell the rest of the community about their discoveries, but only if the corrupt mayor and his guards don’t stop them first. This fascinating novel is half dystopian fantasy, part mystery, and part code–breaking treasure quest.
The instructions will keep readers wondering despite the obvious narrative turning in the middle, and they will cheer for the likable main characters when they decipher the hints left behind by the damaged instructions.
The City of Ember, while missing the depth and moral ambiguity of The Giver, has its distinct features: it’s a city created to retain the vestiges of humanity secure and isolated for a set amount of time before releasing them.
When the release does not occur, no one is aware that it should have, and the city has passed its deadline. It is an intriguing premise with a lot of potential for a sequel.
8. Nemesis, By Brendan Reichs
Reading stories like The Maze Runner might make you feel a little beaten down. Death, failing societies, and post–apocalyptic environments will all have a similar impact. Thankfully, Nemesis adds a pleasant element of mystery to the supernatural.
Min is a typical youngster in an otherwise ordinary world as the narrative begins. Except for every two years on her birthday, the same guy tracks her down and murders her. You’d assume that’s the end of the story.
Except Min wakes up two hours later in a clearing outside of her village, alive and unharmed, with no sign of the crime. It’s been going on since Min was eight years old.
Noah, like everyone else in the valley, wants to fit in, but he isn’t. Even though he tries to disguise the indications, he has nightmares of murder and death. But when the world around him begins to spiral into panic and destruction, Noah realizes that people have been lying to him his whole life.
Everything seemed to change in an instant. The Earth, on the other hand, has a more serious problem. The Anvil, a massive asteroid that poses a danger to all life on the planet, leaving little room for two disturbed teenagers.
Min has had enough on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, praying not to die for the fifth time.
She swears to find out what’s going on at Fire Lake, and she finds a lifetime of lies: a massive conspiracy involving the sixty-four pupils in her sophomore class, one that might be even eviler than the killings. Nemesis is a suspenseful mystery that will keep you wondering until the last page.
9. Across The Universe, By Beth Revis
Many books, such as The Maze Runner, are incredibly inventive, but Across the Universe, a novel set on a starship called Godspeed, deserves special mention. The ship’s name alone conjures up a sense of mystery and menacing undertones.
As Godspeed approaches a distant Earth-like planet, 17-year-old Amy, her parents, and 100 other interplanetary inhabitants have been put in cryogenic suspension. However, Amy has been awoken early to investigate a murder mystery before the perpetrator strikes again, dooming the entire ship.
Amy is a starship Godspeed passenger who has been cryogenically frozen. She’s left her boyfriend, friends, and planet behind to join Project Ark Ship with her parents. Amy and her parents think they will awaken three hundred years from now on a new planet called Centauri-Earth.
Cryo chamber 42 is suddenly disconnected fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, and Amy is forcefully awakened from her frozen hibernation. Someone attempted to murder her. Amy is now trapped within a universe where nothing makes sense.
Eldest, a dictatorial and terrifying commander, has taken control of Godspeed’s 2,312 passengers. And Elder, Eldest’s rebellious adolescent successor, is enthralled with Amy and eager to see if he has what it takes to be a leader. Amy is anxious to get Elder’s trust.
Should she place her trust in a youngster who has never known life outside of the ship’s icy confines? Amy only knows that she and Elder must hurry to discover Godspeed’s hidden mysteries before the person who awoke her tries to murder her again.
Across the Universe is the first novel of a well-received trilogy that began in 2011. It is part thriller, half “whodunnit,” and part coming-of-age story. The publisher launched a copy of Across the Universe into space when Shades of Earth (the last book in the trilogy) earned more pre-orders than the previous two novels combined.
The morality of launching books into space is a matter for another day, but Across the Universe more than deserves its place as a fine young adult read that is looking for books similar to The Maze Runner.
10. Lord Of The Flies – By William Golding
Finding books like The Maze Runner is rather simple, but the number of lists that do not contain Lord of the Flies astounds me. I initially read this as required reading for my English GCSE, but the narrative and characters rapidly drew me in.
If you’re unfamiliar with the narrative, Lord of the Flies is about a group of schoolboys who were stranded on an island after an accident. They think it’s amazing at first. They have the entire island to themselves to explore and set their regulations.
Of course, they quickly learn that life is never that straightforward, and when a power struggle ensues, the story takes a fittingly sinister turn into a nightmare. This book has many situations to highlight, but it’s best to read it yourself and determine which parts remain with you.
We all possess the Lord of the Flies within us. Human nature is examined in the novel Lord of the Flies. Many critics have panned Golding’s characters, describing them as both evil and excellent. It is absolutely not the case. Characters like Jack symbolize something more than meets the eye.
Throughout the tale, Jack is referred to as “the evil guy,” and you are “forced” to resist him, yet Jack is more than a terrible man. At the beginning of the book, Jack is reported as saying, “Because I’m chapter chorister and head boy, I should be chief.
Entitlement resounds throughout his haphazard campaign, demonstrating that today’s politicians are full of haphazard promises and behaviors that take us nowhere but south.
As the story progresses, Jack develops into a capable leader. Ralph stands for more than just the “nice guy.” Ralph, although a strong leader with many good ideas, lacks backing. Jack can control the island without fear due to a serious lack of support. You’ll get more enjoyment out of it if you read more into the characters.
There are also criticisms of “simplistic narrative.” Many readers don’t appear to comprehend how “simplistic narrative” plays a part in philosophical reasoning. It is not simply a tale about English guys having fun on an island, but it is also a book about the human psyche. This book offers room for your interpretation and the addition of your own story.
Although I wish you opposed Jack’s semi-fascist rule, Lord of the Flies is remarkably neutral and still applies to current storytelling years after. With that said, this is a “must–read.”
It’s no wonder Lord of the Flies is a classic; macabre, interesting, and with characters you can believe are real. Even Stephen King (a famous writer) declared this to be his favorite book.
The Maze Runner is a thrilling thrill journey that appeals to folks of all ages, from young to elderly. If you’re seeking comparable fiction, the selections above should keep you busy in adventures that would blow you away.
Good Reads: The Maze Runner
Amazon: Books Like The Maze Runner
Good Reads: Dystopian Fantasy
Pan Macmillan: The Best Dystopian Novels of All Time
Business Insider: Best Young Adult Books Series for Teens in Amazon