Title: The Scorch Trials
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication date: 2010
The Maze was only the beginning…
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, much of 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?
The Scorch Trials is the second book from ‘The Maze Runner‘ series by James Dashner and if you ask me, the most intense one.
If you’re reading this then I am assuming you’ve read The Maze Runner already and you’re hungry for more. If that is not the case then be ashamed, go back in the corner with your book and start reading!
Before we get to the actual story let’s take a single moment to appreciate the ending of book 1 and transition to book 2. Reading about the Maze and the dangerous adventures and trials our heroes had to go though – how many of you thought this would be a series about zombies, a.k.a cranks? I did not see that coming which made it all the better.
The Scorch Trials picks up from where The Maze Runner stops following on the surviving Gliders who are taken to a W.I.C.K.E.D. facility in the pretext that they were being saved. Unfortunately, their fight for dear life is far from over.
While the learning curve in book one was quite gradual The Scorch Trials slaps you in the face with all this new information about their world, its destruction and raging diseases like the Flare. Just like the revelation that their Maze was not the only one and they were all being tested in a search of The Cure.
Desperate to get to the ‘safe haven’ W.I.C.K.E.D. is promising on the other side of the ‘Scorch Lands’ the remaining survivors embark on another, much more extreme and deadly quest.
However, this time the rules have changed – while they were closely familiar with The Glade and even the Maze and what could happen there now they are thrown into a ruined world they know nothing about, running from creatures that had once been men(and women) and hoping the distant idea of this safe haven is not another false promise W.I.C.K.E.D. has given just to test the ‘variables‘.
On the way we meet a few more characters like Brenda and George, both supposed cranks in the early stages that fight to stay alive until the decease takes over their sound mind. I personally love Brenda – she is badass, capable and smart and *winks* she is more than she seems at first glance 😀 George is super sweet and caring when it comes to Brenda and I grew to like him even though he was rather in the grey zone in the beginning.
The unexpected twist in the story was Teresa’s separation from the boys and her betrayal.
I never truly managed to connect with her the way I did with Thomas but that was probably because she spent
most of the time in Book 1 in a coma and half of Book 2 separated from Thomas and doing questionable things.
There are a lot of unspoken things between Thomas and Teresa and their impossible romance turns into something else entirely. I rather like the impossible love vibe and the way Dashner sets them in the opposite corners – it would have been just too predictable to have them actually get together or have a love scene. Instead, he plays this game of pull and push between them and at the end you still don’t know what would happen. I love it.
True to his style, there isn’t a dull moment in The Scorch Trials either. James Dashner continues to deliver short, fast-paced chapters with an unexpected cliffhanger at the end making it impossible to put the book down until you’ve read ‘just another chapter’. It is a must-read for me and I am happily give it 5/5 rating.
What about you? What rating would you give? What are your thoughts and takes on The Scorch Trials?