If you’ve just come out of the cinema gasping after having seen The Maze Runner; well, here are some more books for you to consider that are similar to the Maze Runner trilogy; either because they’re bloody, thrilling or just plain epic. In no particular order:
Red Rising by Pierce Brown – this recent sci-fi has heavy dystopic overtones and is best summed up as a amalgamation of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game and Lord of the Flies. It’s really, really bloody (in my review I called it “bloodier than The Hunger Games” – which is definitely true) but also surprisingly thoughtful as Brown introduces political and philosophical ideas into the mix. Really, really addictive. (We’ve got a giveaway of Red Rising currently active)
Pure by Julianna Baggott – this now-complete trilogy is phenomenal, taking what at first seems quite a derivative sci-fi concept (ie. An enclosed dome) and transforming it into a powerfully characterised and beautifully visualised post-apocalyptic world. Fuse, the second book, is my personal favourite but all three are excellent, if you can get past the rather slow start to Pure.
Partials by Dan Wells – another post-apocalyptic tale, Dan Well’s Partials is political and medical as an engineered humanoid species introduces a deadly virus that prevents babies from surviving past the first few hours of birth. Wells really pushes the science to the forefront here, and it fulfils its sci-fi elements beautifully without losing out on characterisation or setting.
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve– one of my all-time favourite series, Reeve’s steampunk tales of roaving cities has been around for over a decade now – though it hasn’t lost its shine. His old world creations are delightful without being heavy handed, and the story spans several generations. It really can’t be called anything other than epic (which is why Peter Jackson, allegedly, bought the film rights.) And with an opening sentence as evocative as “It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea”, you can’t really go wrong.
Sand by Hugh Howey – what I love about this soon to sequalised book is Howey’s prose which I described as “elemental” in my review. In the blink of an eye you’ll find yourself in the sandy streets of Springston where sanddivers prepare for the day ahead searching for old relics buried beneath waves of dust and sand. Howey’s characterisation is as good as his prose and Sand delivers a wrenching tale of a family caught in the balance between survival and devestation.
The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman – a departure from the other dystopian/post-apocalypic novels listed here, The Left Hand of God is a vivid (and bloody) fantasy drawing elements from the real world. Both hilarious, stone-dead serious and threatening, this trilogy is one of my favourite high-fantasy stories out there.
BZRK by Michael Grant– what I consider to be Gone author Michael Grant’s magnum opus, this trilogy of highly original thrillers are killers. Try wrapping your head around warfare on the nano scale: inside your body as tiny little robots and bacteria crawl around and attempt to destroy each other. As well as being able to do you damage from the inside, they’re also great for surveillance – so a threat to politicians. Your spine will tingle as you read about biots “in the flesh”.
A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix – a few years back, Garth Nix surreptitiously dropped a space-opera about ten million princes vying for the top job. It’s in a similar vein to Ender’s Game but its’ still loads of fun. It’s a shame it’s a standalone novel. Put on your space goggles and set warp to factor five.
More posts like this include “10 Books to Read if you Loved The Fault In Our Stars“.