Review: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials
Author: James Dashner
Series: Maze Runner, #2
Summary: 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 finished with 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?


NOTE: This review contains spoilers from The Maze Runner. If you haven't read the Maze Runner trilogy, or the first book, I suggest reading my review of The Maze Runner instead.

Thomas and the Gladers have finally made it out of the Maze and away from the terrible nightmares within. They're finally safe, far away from any harm. Or are they? With a nice, warm meal and a hot shower, they all retire to their respective rooms and crash from exhaustion, happy to finally have a nice, safe bed to sleep in, knowing they no longer have to worry about WICKED and their hideous creatures and frightening games and trials. But then morning comes, and a new boy has arrived in Teresa's room with no sign of Teresa anywhere. Rooms that were there last night aren't there this morning. There's no kitchen, no food, and none of the adults who rescued them are anywhere to be found. Then the Cranks, who have the Flare, show up at the barred windows, trying to find a way in. Chaos ensues from the sheer confusion of it all. They're all scared, afraid their time with WICKED is in fact not over as they thought. And they are correct. The rescue was just another part of the Trials. WICKED planned the rescue to make them all believe they were safe, only to throw them right back in again and change the game. 

The boys are thrown into the Scorch, with only the clothes on their back and the water and food in their packs. The rules are there are no rules. They have to make it to the Safe Haven within two weeks and that's it. Little did they know that the Scorch is a desert. No water, no food. Just heat. Lots and lots of heat. And storms worse than your wildest dreams could ever imagine. Each lightning strike leave a huge crater in the ground, and many of the boys don't make it. The heat is all consuming, leaving the boys with sunburns worse than the worst. The wind blows so hard that the rain feels like needles and at any moment the boys could be blown away. Not only do they have to deal with these horrible storms, but in the Scorch there is a city dwelt by Cranks in all different stages. Some still have their sanity, others are so crazy that they'll kill for what they've lost: arms, noses, eyes.. They're like zombies. Thomas and the Gladers literally fight for their lives in the Scorch, not only against the Cranks, but against Group B: the girl group who went through the exact same Maze they did. And Thomas has been branded with a tattoo that says: "To be killed by Group B". If that isn't ominous I don't know what is. But what Thomas and the others don't know, is that WICKED has big plans for them all and several of them are the biggest contenders for the project, whatever that may be. What they do know is that they all have the Flare and have been promised the cure if they make it to the Safe Haven within the time allotted. They do everything it takes to make it, going through new horrors and terrors, ones they never even imagined they'd have to go through. Some worse than what they had to endure in the Maze, including betrayal.

If I'm being honest, I have to say that I enjoyed this one better than the first. It was so fast-paced, with events happening that you would never even believe. You never knew what was going to happen from one page to the next. It was one thing after another, always keeping you on your toes, always showing you just how far WICKED will go to get the data they need and the outcomes they want. Some of the events were so shocking, my mouth was hanging open. You don't know who you can trust, or what they'll do, and I loved that. I love not knowing what's going to happen. I mean, you know terrible things are going to happen, but you don't know what they are or when they'll come or who will do what, who will die, who will turn on who, what kind of creatures will come after them. It's madness and insanity. And the ending.. Oh my geez, the ending. I could not believe that the ending happened as it did. I'm really looking forward to reading The Death Cure, and seeing just where James takes the story next.

I rate this book: