The Maze runner series – James Dashner

Imagine being convinced that you have not seen a specific film and when you read the book you start to think “This seems familiar but also not as you are somewhat sure certain people didn’t die in the film you didn’t see but then you wonder if you really saw that or if they did die and you forgot.  Then you wonder, did I make it up? Did I forget? Here is the thing, I never forget except apparently this series, and then you might think it is because I did not like it. That is not true. I found out I watched the film.. by my own review… I even went to the theatre to see it… I honestly didn’t know. Whatever I was doing in 2018, it was something else. As I said back then I wanted to read the books. I bought them after the first film thus, after 8 years it took me less than a week to read all of them. Let’s finally get into it.

The films
As I said, I have talked about the films, The maze runner, the scorch trials, and the death cure.

The review
I am going to go into the story of each book, and what the back of the book says, and then I will do an overall review. At this time point, more books have come out. I didn’t even know that apocalyptic stories were still a thing. As I said in other posts I have been living under a rock for a while. I think the Newt story would be interesting as well as how the Maze was built. However, I am not as keen on reading these stories as I feel a bit too old for these types of YA stories. But I do think if I saw them somewhere on sale, on discount or at an unguarded moment I might get them.

The Maze Runner
if you ain’t scared, YOU AIN’T HUMAN.
When Thomas wakes up in life, the only thing can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers – boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, SHANK. Welcome to the glade.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out – and no one’s ever made it through alive.
Everything is going to change.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever.
And the message she delivers is terrifying.

The Scorch Trials
Solving the Maze was SUPPOSED to be the end.
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 Scorch.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross the Scorch- the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has been sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.
Friendships will be tested.
Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.
There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction- and they’re determined to survive.
Never stop RUNNING.

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.
Will anyone survive

What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that they can’t believe a word of what they say.
The truth will be terrifying.
Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.
The time for lies is OVER.

The Kill Order
Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth, killing most of the population.
The worst is yet to come.
Mark and Trina were there when it happened. They survived. But now a virus is spreading. a virus that fills humans with murderous rage.
There is no cure. No escape.
They’re convinced that there’s a way to save those who are left- if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive.


My thoughts
Honestly, the YA aspects of this series are so cute. James Dashner came up with different words so that the characters could curse which they would at that age yet it would still be appropriate. The chapters are quite small, some are bigger than others but if you have a hard time reading you can easily set a goal of a chapter a day. Which I do recommend if you find reading difficult. The language is not too hard so if you have a difficult time reading English this book is a good starting point to get into reading in English.

When I first read the book, I loved The Maze Runner book this time around this is still the case. It was a beautiful book to read When I saw the first film, I loved it. I thought it was so great it was in the era of the Hunger Games and Divergent after the Twilight craze. I loved it because it had a boy as the main character and I always enjoyed books with a boy main character, as I loved Harry Potter growing up. I think I simply carried that with me. It is funny because with romance books I prefer a girl’s perspective over a boy’s perspective.


I loved Thomas, I thought he was great in the books even more than in the film. His relationship between him and Miho, Newt, and Chuck was so wholesome. I have always found the whole memory thing interesting. How they can remove some memories and not others and obviously later in the series what the flare does to someone’s brain. The memory thing is not as far-fetched as you might think. It’s obviously different as their brains work perfectly well which is not something we see now. But in general, it’s not odd to think something like this could happen in the future. The first time around I quit reading the scorch trials because it did not grip my attention. It wasn’t as good as The Maze Runner, in my opinion, I got a bit fed up with not understanding the flare, not understanding WICKED to its fullest extent now we do learn more but not enough. I get that this is because it could (and did) fill more books but to me, it’s a bit of an irritation that takes away from my enjoyment of the books. The first and last books I breezed through. The Scorch trials took me a long time as they didn’t keep me entertained throughout. For me it was such a drag, towards the end it became a bit easier but it was simply not my favourite. In the first book, you like Thomas have no idea what is happening, every day you find out something new. In the second book, you just start hating WICKED and being annoyed with Theresa and the knowledge she keeps to herself. Nothing makes sense and it’s so frustrating. Maybe it is how the book is supposed to feel but for me, it was irritating to no end.

Speaking of Theresa, I never liked her. I think in the end it was good that she died as things would have never been the same between her and Thomas. Now, he can keep the good memories close I suppose. The thing is I do not like Brenda much better as a girl for Thomas, I cannot pinpoint it exactly. It might be that both of them lied to Thomas multiple times and I think he deserves someone as honest as he is. That there is nothing but trust between them. The whole Theresa and Brenda thing was frustrating too as I did not know what Thomas wanted or what he felt but the whole ‘my best friend’ instead of partner or girlfriend or even love interest is something James Dashner just does in his books as I found out in the kill order. Thus, he liked Theresa but also liked Brenda and as Theresa became a bit of a bitch he became much closer with Brenda.

In the end, I think the relationship between Thomas and Newt is so important. Especially Newt being the glue, not necessarily the glue that keeps the group together but also the glue that keeps Thomas together. I think he realizes that he did what he had to do and that there was no other option even though it was really hard. It had to happen I think, I hate people dying in books but I do applaud James Dashner for killing people but not letting it be in vain. Their memory doesn’t leave the people they left behind. We always knew Thomas was going to live but at what cost? James Dashner truly broke down Thomas in every way he could. Thomas had to kill Newt but it was the hardest thing as he was one of his best friends. It was a true act of mercy but for Thomas, it is still hard and in the end, that is who he is at his core.

The perseverance through trauma was so interesting. Throughout the books, Trauma is still happening and Thomas does not have the chance to truly give it a place. The perseverance in that is beautiful, I truly admire that and I can relate. Where you don’t even have the time to truly understand what has happened but then at other times you do feel it. It can sort of hit you like a ton of bricks. The description of this is so good. The not wanting to die being so powerful is so good in this book. The trauma aspect is not something pronounced in the books, it is not talked about at all and I think I would have never picked it up if I was younger so do not let it deter you from reading the books.

WICKED in general is so scary if all the money in the world is going to a specific location to find a cure for a disease that is airborne and they never find it for years. It is coming for you and there is nothing you can do. When no amount of money is going to prevention, it’s scary. That is the only thing I do not get. How did Newt and the others who were not immune not get it as children? That is one of the things that is never explained. We finally find out that the flare was released on purpose in the last book. Throughout the series, it becomes grimmer but not worse than the other books. In a way, it is the same type of horrible but still a bit different, and this time we know the people, which is what makes it worse.

I thought that the sunflares happened long before Thomas was born. But it wasn’t, 13 years before he goes into the maze the sun flares have just happened and the flare disease gets introduced. This would make 16-year-old Thomas 3 years old. Not that it matters but in a sense, 13 years for a curse is a long time when it’s this horrible on the other hand we have been trying to cure Alzheimer’s for 100 years. Humans are not so good at treating brain diseases. The fact that it was sent to people, to kill them. is horrendous. In the Kill Order, we follow Mark who is so similar to Thomas that you would think they are family.

When Mark’s group meets DeeDee who turns out to be Theresa they fight till the end to bring her to the people that will find a cure as Theresa is immune. All of this does soften me, it is also very clear that is Theresa but things make more sense. She went through a horrible ordeal and I think that her having seen what she saw and then being isolated for the rest of her life. They kept her safe, they gave her a friend. In the end to her, WICKED was good. She just never understood where to draw the line and I think even back then, Thomas did. I think Thomas always did. We see that when he leaves his Mum he knows that what he did or felt wasn’t what he was supposed to do. The feeling of justice friendship of love. It’s who Thomas is, and Theresa is just different.

In general, I liked the books, I thought they were interesting. I find James Dashner to be a good author for the first 100 pages I do struggle to get into the story but when I get into it reading is an absolute breeze. The Maze Runner is the best book out of the series and if you are unsure about the books I recommend just getting The Maze Runner as it is by far the best of the four.

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