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5 Books like The Maze Runner: Escaping Inevitable Fates

Nadia Ghazali itcherThe intrigue behind ‘The Maze Runner’ will keep anyone hooked on for hours with its action-packed and thrilling storyline. Despite the recent proliferation in the dystopian genre, James Dashner was able to keep this trilogy fresh and original. If you can’t get enough of the idea of surviving a ghastly future, here are some books like ‘The Maze Runner’ to satiate your interest.
~ Nadia Ghazali

Are We Ever in Control of Our Destiny?

While most young adult post-apocalyptic novels are content to read like a bad sci-fi movie, there are a handful that proof to be the genre’s saving grace. The ‘Dead and the Gone’ (Susan Beth Pfeffer, 2008) and ‘Lord of the Flies’ (William Golding, 1954) are great if you are not into the sci-fi elements in most books in the dystopian genre. On the other hand, lovers of a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic world would probably want to read ‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’ (Carrie Ryan, 2009) too.

As farfetched as these alternate futures may be, it is great to see young adults having the avenue to ponder about our continued existence in the world.

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‘Divergent’ (Veronica Roth, 2011)

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“Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up…” – Four

Sci-fi fans would especially love this book. Like ‘The Maze’ and ‘The Glade’, post-apocalyptic Chicago is operated by scientists experimenting on human specimens for the desired outcomes. Coincidentally (or not), both books explored the idea of manipulating and stimulating brain activities is key in these observatory experiments.

Additionally, if you fell for Thomas’ personality and how it developed in ‘The Maze Runner’, you would definitely enjoy the main protagonist in ‘Divergent’. Like Thomas, Tris is portrayed meekly at the start of the book, but developed into a stronger person as the book plot progresses.

Similarity Match: 90%
Elements in the storyline are for most part similar but having characters that gradually evolved beyond their indoctrinated traits provide an exciting twist on how they react in different stages of the book.

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‘The Hunger Games’ (Suzanne Collins, 2008)

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“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope…” – Katniss Everdeen

Just like ‘The Maze Runner’, you will be rooting for the characters’ persistence to survive a world ravaged by climate change and dictatorial ruling system.

While Collins portrayed her archetypically (tough and resourceful, yet sympathetic and emotionally vulnerable), you can’t help but fall in love with Katniss Everdeen as she weave her way to survive the bloody nature of the games. You may eventually resent Katniss at some point as she struggles with her feelings for another participant – is her sentiment sincere or faked for the omnipresent cameras. She will eventually use this relationship to manipulate the outcome of the games as an act of rebellion towards the system.

Similarity Match: 90%
The game’s arena is pretty much an evolving maze that will require tributes some level of camaraderie to survive and get out of – only, the Tributes are not medical lab mice.

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‘Nil’ (Lynne Matson, 2014)

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“Of course I’d hallucinate a zebra. Why couldn’t I dream up Robert Pattinson or, better yet, a river of Gatorade?” – Charley

You blacked out. When you finally come to, you are on an island with no recollection of who you are. And, you’re naked. How scared (and confused) would you be?

The island is actually not bad. You enjoy this paradise. That is until you met other people who were in the same boat and they tell you there is a rule on this island: escape within 365 days or die. How scared (and angry) would you be?

Would you enjoy your days basking in the sun? Or would you solve the mystery that is Nil Island? If you crave for a book like ‘The Maze Runner’, but want it to be set against a more known environment, this is the book you should curl yourself into.

Similarity Match: 90%
The book is not set in the far future but the aspects of abduction, initial memory loss and being placed somewhere unidentifiable sound familiar.

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‘Delirium’ (Lauren Oliver, 2011)

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“Now I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie…” – Lena Ella Haloway Tiddle

Unlike the people in the ‘The Maze Runner’, the people in Portland, Maine do not need to deal with a disease that would turn infected individuals into cannibals. However, Lena’s government is just as adamant as WICKED to cure citizens from an unfathomable disease – love.

Despite her eagerness to undergo the mandatory surgical procedure, Lena did the unthinkable. She fell in love and ran away with an Invalid (a person who has not been cured of love) into the Wilds outside the city. They eventually joined an opposition movement against the government and the mandatory procedure.

Similarity Match: 80%
Nothing quite solidify teenage love than running away together and rebel against everything that you have thought to be true.

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‘Partials’ (Dan Wells, 2012)

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“Just because someone’s in charge of something doesn’t mean they’re in charge of everything…” – Kira

This is an excellent book to let you ponder if the human race would be decimated by beings of its own creation. Similar to the disease that plagued the earth in ‘The Maze Runner’, the Partials are purely man-made and were initially meant to assist mankind. However, these army of super soldiers evolved and rebelled by unleashing a virus that eventually would kill every newborn humans as soon as they are born.

Follow Kira’s relentless efforts to save mankind and you may discover more than what you have hoped for.

Similarity Match: 70%
Human-like creatures take over the creepy crawlies in ‘The Maze Runner’, but they will be able to kill any person just as easily.

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It Can’t End This Way!

Don’t worry about finishing these books too fast – they are part of completed trilogies (except for Nil) so you have more books similar to ‘The Maze Runner’. Continue following the characters, immerse yourself in these unknown worlds and get the closure you need for these titillating adventures.

Which one is your utmost favourite? Do you prefer a trilogy better than the others?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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