Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
Series: Maze Runner #2
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: Random Buzzers
Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.
In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety...until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.
Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated - and with it, order - and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim...and meal.
The Gladers are far from done running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.
Thomas can only wonder - does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?
Something that I really liked about this book is that the character development begins to occur with a bit more depth. Those who read my review of The Maze Runner know that I felt the characterization took a backseat to the plot. The Scorch Trials makes up for it though, giving us more details about what is going on in Thomas's head and heart, and without taking away from the pace of the plot to do it. We learn some of Thomas's back story through sporadic memory dreams, which makes it easier to connect with him as a protagonist since he begins to develop more character through the discovery of pieces of his past. Also, the characters in general are able to react in more emotional ways as new obstacles are presented to them, some of which appear to be designed to trigger emotional responses.
I didn't feel like the ending of this one was as strong as in the first book - how could it be, after the shock of that one? - but I still liked it. And now I impatiently await the conclusion. I really want to see how it wraps up!
I liked The Maze Runner, but I really liked The Scorch Trials. If you want to know more, then go read it!