The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2)

by James Dashner

Paperback, 2011





Delacorte Press (2011), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages


After surviving horrific conditions in the Maze, Thomas is entrapped, along with nineteen other boys, in a scientific experiment designed to observe their responses and gather data believed to be essential for the survival of the human race.


Soaring Eagle Book Award (Nominee — 2013)
Colorado Blue Spruce Award (Nominee — 2013)
Whitney Award (Finalist — Speculative Fiction — 2010)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

400 p.; 8.25 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member nbmars
This sequel to the dystopian YA novel The Maze Runner is difficult to evaluate as a “story” because it lacks the character development and attention to literary qualities that you might expect. It is strictly one survival battle after another, each one more improbable and bizarre than the
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If you have not read The Maze Runner and you intend to, you might want to skip to the Discussion in order to avoid spoilers.

In The Scorch Trials, Thomas, Minho, Newt, and the other Gladers have escaped The Maze only to find they face a new series of obstacles. This time, however, they have been briefed by a representative of WICKED, or "World In Catastrophe – Killzone Experiment Department." The WICKED person [double entendre, perhaps] tells them that the earth has been ravaged by solar flares, and that a gruesome disease called The Flare has also spread to most survivors. World governments have combined forces to establish WICKED in the hope of coming up with solutions to the scorched environment and the medical catastrophe.

The Gladers (mostly boys, who discover they are only "Group A"), meet a surprise set of young people – “Group B” - mostly girls - who have been though the same maze trial. They now get sent on a new trial as one group. Whoever survives will allegedly have access to a cure for The Flare (which turns victims into zombie-like creatures).

We follow the original Gladers and Group B out onto the scorched earth and across the country with the goal of getting to a “safe haven.” Each obstacle they encounter seems even more off the charts than the last, with some not making sense even given the fantastical premises of the dystopia.

We not only meet new characters but discover that one we thought we knew, Theresa - from Group A - is maybe not who we thought we knew and maybe is. Thomas is confused, and so are we.

However, it will all become clear, one presumes, in another year, when book three is available.

Discussion: Are zombies the new zeitgeist or something? They’re everywhere! In my opinion, they bespeak a kind of laziness on the part of an author: you don’t have to define evil; you don’t have to ensure that it’s subtle or not stereotypical; you just have to have your characters fester and ooze, and bam! (as Emeril would say), you’ve cooked up iniquity!

But “evil” really deserves better treatment than a facile representation by an ulcerated bag of blood and guts. There’s a lot to think about, such as: what exactly is evil? Who gets to define it? Do “moral” ends justify “immoral” means? Why is indiscriminate killing okay in wars, but not in peacetime settings? Are there “white” lies and “gray” areas of morality? And why should “good” be white and “bad” be black, and what are the subconscious consequences of such a thought pattern? To be fair, the main character, Thomas, does try to think about what constitutes evil, but he is not given much to work with by the author.

Thankfully, the zombies don’t appear too often, because we spend a lot of book-time watching Theresa change personalities, supposedly because of intervention by WICKED.

Evaluation: There are some good aspects to the book: the description of the condition of the planet - particularly in the scorched zone; the comraderie among Thomas, Minho, and Newt; and some page-turning action sequences. But personally, I prefer my dystopias with a lot more characterization, a lot more social commentary, and no zombies whatsoever.
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LibraryThing member missnataliej
I devoured this book in two days.

It is a worthy sequel to "The Maze Runner," and I truly enjoyed reading it. I still feel like this series is sometimes like watching a Lionsgate film - full of promise and great for the first 3/4ths; it then goes down a spiral of insanity that I'm not sure is crazy
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just for the sake of being crazy or not.

Many of the characters in "Scorch Trials" go through great character development. I particularly like Minho's character; he's one of the most realistic of the series in my opinion. As an ensemble, the characters are good. My one sticking point is the relationship between Teresa and Thomas. I have the same problem that I did in "Maze Runner"; I understand their memories have been wiped and they just feel an inherent connection, but I truly don't care. I found myself rushing past the sections going over what Thomas felt for Teresa, and I don't feel invested in how things turn out for them.

Still, I am intrigued and eager to read "The Death Cure," when it comes out.
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LibraryThing member ErlangerFactionless
I wasn't given any reason to expect this, but I was hoping this next installment of The Maze Runner series might be from a POV other than that of Thomas. Nope. More Thomas and a lot more of the same.

***This review will contain spoilers for The Maze Runner***

This is very much a "middle trilogy" sort
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of book. The action doesn't advance much. The author isn't really ready to give away too many answers. It felt like an extended effort to introduce a few more characters and change our opinion of Teresa. Now that Thomas and Co. are out of The Maze, one would hope we'd learn more about the world outside, the disease called "The Flare," and WICKED. Don't get your hopes up. Instead, the Gladers and Thomas are just catapulted from one life-or-death situation to another, while Thomas remembers tantalizingly little about life before the Glade.

For a group of boy-geniuses, they spend a lot of time being remarkably stupid.

Also, the lightbulb monsters? They kinda made me laugh.
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LibraryThing member BookishMatters
Well, on the bright side, I liked it more than the first book of this trilogy. However, that doesn’t mean I love this book or anything.

The pros:

Holy crap, Dashner figured out how to do suspense. I don’t think he’s mastered it yet, and he still relies a lot on just having one character know
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what’s going but refusing to tell anyone else, but in this case, it’s the bad guys (WICKED) keeping secrets and everyone else trying to figure everything out, not the other Gladers not telling Thomas anything because “he just doesn’t need to know.” There’s a lot of sh*t going on here, and there were parts that literally made it so I couldn’t put the book down. So, yay for better writing!

I like Thomas more here, probably because we’re getting glimpses into his past. He’s becoming a three dimensional character. He wants Teresa but doesn’t understand why she’s trying to kill him. His instincts tell him one thing and his brain tells him another. Is he the leader or is he the sacrifice? What do the flashbacks tell us? Whereas he just annoyed me in the first book, I start to like him in this one. And a good protagonist is essential for a story.

I love a good conspiracy, and I liked that you couldn’t tell whether some characters were good or bad.

The cons:

Oh god, the similes. Dasher REALLY LIKES HIS SIMILES. It got to a a point where I just started rolling my eyes because there were so many. Any time anything happened, boom, SIMILE. Sometimes, there would be TWO similes and that’s how you knew something was REALLY IMPORTANT. I don’t mind a good simile, but this should not be your main form of description.

Thomas is still stupid. But he’s 16, so maybe that’s normal. But he’s dumb and he does dumb things. Like running out into the desert when it’s like 200 degrees out and there’s no shelter because Teresa kissed him and omg what should he do. Or leaving to go to a very secluded place with Teresa when he knows she’s trying to kill him. He does a lot of dumb things where Teresa is involved.

The plot. Ok, seriously, wtf. I can’t imagine how torturing kids and making them kill each other and betray each other and watch each other die and strain themselves physically and emotionally and make them fight for their lives every single day is going to save the world from what is essentially the zombie apocalypse. Someone please explain this to me because I DON’T GET IT. How is this going to create some magical cure for the disease? How? HOW? All you’re going to do is give these teenagers the most epic case of PTSD every known. I have pretty much covered myself in an ultra titanium snuggie of suspension of disbelief and I STILL DON’T GET IT. I mean, I feel at this point, I’m reading because I want to know how Dashner is going to explain this to his readers.

It better be good, that’s all I can say.

Overall, if you can avoid taking the book too seriously and like conspiracies, zombies, and stupid boys doing stupid things, it’s not bad. Seriously, Amazon rates this at like…4.5 (which I still don’t get, but whatever). Me, I’m giving it a 3.5. Better than it’s predecessor, but by no means a “great” book.
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LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
The Scorch Trials pick up right where The Maze Runner left off. We, the readers, are immediately thrown into this story with all of it’s twists and turns. Familiar characters like Thomas, Minho, and Newt are here with some new additions that help to keep the story flowing. This second instalment
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has a very different setting from the original. Instead of a lush, jungle-like maze, this time our group has to cross a burning hot desert and get to the other side of a large city populated with infected zombie-like people called Cranks.

The focus of the book remains on Thomas, who still experiences small flash-backs or dreams of the past and is desperately trying to figure out what role he played in setting up these trials. Although Minho is the nominal leader of the group, Thomas if often the one to make the decisions. I wonder at the state of Thomas’ mental health as it seemed that he was knocked out or fell unconscious at the end of every other chapter. Thomas’ relationship with Teresa is very different in this book, and is one of the things that he must work out. Of course, the group befriends a couple of Cranks-in-the-making, of which one is a pretty girl called Brenda.

What I didn’t like about The Scorch Trials is that no questions were answered and we are left as much in the dark as before. This book, exciting as it is, is more of a lateral move, continuing on with the story but not moving forward. It was an exciting and tense read and I will continue on as I really want to know the whys and wherefores of this story but I was left feeling that The Scorch Trials were a bit of a tease. I sincerely hope that this remains a trilogy and the answers are going to be found in the next book.
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LibraryThing member lilibrarian
In this sequel to the Maze Runner, the gladers find themselves in a place of shelter - but only temporarily. They are sent out into a parched desert to trek 100 miles to a "safe haven". On their way, they battle strange devices and creatures and the "Gone".
LibraryThing member BraveNewBks
I think this book might have been written using some sort of magic spell. Here are the things I didn't particularly like about this book: the actual plot events, the inner monologue of main character, the inchoate love triangle, the made-up slang, the overall style of writing.

What's left? Good
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question. I can't identify anything that I did particularly like about the book... and yet I really, really wanted to keep reading. Almost an "I couldn't put it down" feeling. Which is bizarre, because... why do I so badly want to know what happens in a book that I don't particularly like?

Obviously, there's magic involved here. My will is not my own.
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LibraryThing member mountie9
The Good Stuff

* Spectacular second book in a trilogy -- we all know that is a rarity - honestly I think it was better than the The Maze Runner
* Non stop action with plenty of twists and turns
* Will appeal to both male and female readers
* Dystopian novel with hints of the Outsiders, The Running
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Man, Death Race and even a bit of Lost, Serenity (you will think of the Reavers trust me) and The Stand
* Could not put it down, I actually counted down till nap time today so I could put my toddler to bed and read the last 80 pages. Stayed up last night to midnight to read, my eyes were drooping but I still wanted to read more
* Realistic characters who develop nicely
* Nice moral questions put in, would be great for a High School literature course & far less dull than The Lord of the Flies
* The writing is so vivid and spectacular you feel like you are one of the characters
* Just go buy The Maze Runner and the Scorch Trials if you wanted to become immersed in a fantastic tale that you just can't stop yourself from reading
* Now off to hunt someone down who has a copy of The Death Cure -- I'm still totally buying my own copy for my bookshelf (its shelf worthy - hey I got limited space I gotta be selective) but I NEED to read it now
* Some nice humour in this one, which was a little lacking in The Maze Runner

The Not so Good Stuff

* Damn wish I had got an arc of The Death Cure so I could find out what happens. Ah well I guess I can practice patience and wait till Oct 11th when it comes out

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Yeah , right," Minho said. "And Frypan's gonna start having little babies, Winston'll get rid of his monster acne, and Thomas here'll actually smile for once."

Thomas turned to Minho and exaggerated a fake smile. "Ther, you happy?"

"Dude," he responded. "You are one ugly shank."

"With thoughts of revenge actually comforting him in a sick and twisted way, he finally fell asleep."

"Sometimes I wonder." Thomas murmured.

"Wonder what?"

"If being alive matters. If being dead might be a lot easier."

"Please. I don't believe for one second you really think that."

Thomas's gaze had lowered while he'd delivered the depressing sentiment and he looked up sharply at Newt's retort. The he smiled, and it felt good. "You're right. Just trying to sound as miserable as you."

Who should/shouldn't read

* Fans of dystopian literature will be hooked
* Would recommend reading The Maze Runner before you read this, otherwise you might be totally lost
* Fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent and Stephen King's The Running Man will enjoy
* Not for the squeamish or sensitive - it be intense

4.75 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review - damn you couldn't you have sent me the next book too -- ah wait a second, I get it -- this intrigues me enough for me to go BUY my own copy -- good one LOL!
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LibraryThing member Poemyhero
Flipping fabulous! Excellent sequel. In the beginning I was wondering where he is going with it. Dashner constantly throws twists and turns, MANY. I'm still wondering what's going to happen. Now I get to wait until October to find out all the answers and learn who WICKED really is. Damn you Dashner
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if you don't answer my questions. ;)
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LibraryThing member ShellyPYA
Thomas survived the maze and thought he was safe, until he's separated from Teresa and he and the other boys wake up to find themselves part of the Scorch Trials. Told they've been infected with teh Flare and that if they survive the trials they'll be given the cure, Thomas and the others begin a
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treacherous journey across miles of wasteland, where they fight the glare of the sun, terrible storms, and communities of Cranks. Just when he thinks things can get know worse, Thomas is captured by the group of girls who faced a similar Maze trial; Teresa's with them but vows to kill him. Will survival mean more tests or will the nightmare finally be over?
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LibraryThing member IceyBooks
Just reading the summary should be enough to make you run and pick up a copy of the second book in the thrilling Maze Runner trilogy. Once again, James Dashner doesn't disappoint. Ever since I turned the last page of The Maze Runner, I've been wanting to get my hands on book 2. After reading the
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first few paragraphs of The Scorch Trials, I was definitely hooked.

In my opinion, The Scorch Trials must be read after The Maze Runner, because it picks up right where book one left off. I think you'll miss out on a lot of details if you read them out of order, but that's totally up to the readers.

I have to say, James Dashner is a genius. Lol, everything was so intense and full of twists and turns, I had no clue what would happen next. The only thing that disappointed me in the end was...well... the end. It left off just like that, and just like the ending of book one, left me hanging. I guess that's how the author makes his readers anticipate the next installment!

The cover is really fitting for the story. Its not what you'll call pretty, but then again, The Scorch Trials is anything but pretty. The cover gives us a small glimpse at how the Scorch, where Thomas (the main character) and his fellow Gladers (friends) have to get past on Phase Two of WICKED's trials, looks like. I like it :D.
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LibraryThing member seescootread
James Dashner has done it again. If you thought The Maze Runner was great, The Scorch Trials will knock your socks off. I started this book with the intention to read it for ‘just a minute’ before bed and then I couldn’t put it down. Where was the “book-crack” warning label? I read The
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Scorch Trials in one sitting because it was fast paced and intense. Starting directly after the end of The Maze Runner we are thrown back into the post-apocalyptic world with Thomas, Teresa, and the few remaining Gladers ... But something is wrong and everyone is thrown back into a fight for their lives. This book was full of non-stop action, terrifying new twists and creatures from WICKED. Heartrending moments and betrayals coming from all angles make this is a frustrating read – in an entirely good way. Along the way we meet a few new faces and see the characters we already know and love develop in unexpected ways. Needless to say The Scorch Trials was an all around great read and I can’t wait for the third book to be released next year, The Death Cure.
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LibraryThing member Strider66
Pros: lots of tension, great pacing

Cons: while I still didn't connect with any of the boys, I didn't find them as annoying as I did in the first book

Picking up directly where The Maze Runner left off, The Scorch Trials doesn't let the Gladers relax much before the next round of horrors begins.

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you find out a bit more of the mystery surrounding the boys - including the fact that there was a similar experiment for girls - a lot of mysteries remain at the end of the book.

Look forward to a wild ride of one bad thing followed by another.

This book is definitely better than the first one. All of my complaints for it were dealt with/not applicable here. The pacing is good, there's some downtime to appreciate the situation the boys are in but not enough to feel bored. There's little character development, but the book takes place over two weeks so that's to be expected. And what development there is, follows logically from the events of the story.

While I felt teens would enjoy the first book better than adults, the sequel is a fantastic book for readers of all ages.

Can't wait for the third, when I hope to learn what's really going on with WICKED.
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LibraryThing member ewyatt
WICKED is putting theses groups of teens through these tests to gather some kind of data to try to save the human race. Unfortunately book two doesn't provide much insight, just a lot more suffering and work to survive. I really liked book one, but this installment left too many open questions.
LibraryThing member shannonkearns
i am really enjoying this trilogy for the most part. it is getting slightly frustrating not having any idea what's going on. there will be a lot of gaps to fill in during the third novel. overall, though, the series is interesting and entertaining. the books are quick reads and keep you guessing.
LibraryThing member BookAddictDiary
The Scorch Trials continues the adventures of a group of young boys (and one young girl) known as the Gladers. After surviving the Grievers and solving the Maze, Thomas and the other Gladers thought the dangers were over, but little did they know it was only beginning. The mysterious organization
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behind their strange experiments called WICKED comes into the forefront and the truth behind the strange variables and trials begins to be revealed. The boys find that they must make their way across a post-apocalyptic planet, where the government seems to be gone and the surface of the Earth has been completely ravaged and destroyed. The boys make their way across an area known as The Scorch to a safe haven, with WICKED close behind to test their every move. After meeting up with a group of same-age girls (an one same-age boy) known as "Group B" Thomas and co. must fight their way across the Scorch against a new threat known as the Cranks while trying to unravel the mystery of WICKED.

This time, readers get to dive more into the strange dystopian world of The Maze Runner, and try to figure out some of the mysteries of the world and the experiments that WICKED is conducting and why. Though I found the characters somewhat flat and the pacing slightly slow at times, the world and the thrilling adventure made up for it, not to mention the eerie feeling that everything that is happening to these characters, how horrible it may be, is all a simulation for experimental reasons. It gives a completely new level of depth to this series.

Not as good as The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials is an exciting adventure and a satisfying sequel that's great for fans of YA adventure. Can't wait for the final good in the trilogy.
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LibraryThing member sgranier
Booktalk: Thomas and the surviving boy gladers are once again put to the test, but this time, they are released into the world of scorching heat and forced to journey across a desert through the destroyed city where those infected with the Flare disease scrabble out a kind of life until they become
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flesh-eating zombies who ultimately die of the Flare. Their journey's purpose is to reach the safe haven on the other side of the mountains just beyond this city in two weeks. At one point, they encounter Teresa and the girl gladers who are also journeying to the safe haven, but who have now become unfriendly competitors of the boy gladers. To further complicate matters, Teresa refuses to communicate with Thomas in any way , causing Thomas a great deal of confusion. What is WICKED's new plan for the gladers and how are Thomas and Teresa part of that plan? In order to find out, they have to pass The Scorch Trials.
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LibraryThing member rapago
The fun continues in this second book in the Maze Runner trilogy. Dashner has the right formula. His chapters are short and end with an event that forces the reader to continue on.

I am still intrigued by the questions that have yet to be answered. While more pieces of the puzzle have been put into
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place, there is still a lot missing. This is part of why the book is fun. As a reader, you have to keep predicting and trying to understand what is actually happening.

The trials this time seem more ominous, and the emotions that Tom is forced to go through are heart wrenching. All the while, in the back of my head, was the thought that he had to endure this to save humanity. That is what is at stake.

I liked the action. I liked the way Thomas grew as a character. I like the way they are constantly pushed to their limit, and then beyond.

I eagerly wait for the next volume.
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LibraryThing member HollyRae
Ok, I just finished the Maze Runner and luckily I had this book as well. The maze runner was a really good read. So, I was definitely ready to jump into this one. I dont want to give anything away for those of you that havent read the book so, I will just say this was a really good read, Got
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through it in a day and now I cant wait for the 3rd book!
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LibraryThing member sch_94
My Summary: Thomas thought everything was going to be okay after he and his friends escaped The Maze - they were rescued and taken to a dormitory and given food, clean clothes, and places to sleep. Everything seemed all right before Thomas fell asleep.

But then he's woken by the sound of Teresa's
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screaming inside his head, and when he tries to reach our and speak to her, she doesn't respond.

And then everything goes quiet.

Thomas and the other Gladers can feel that something is horribly wrong - the door to their room has been locked, and they're all trapped inside a room with barred windows. And as if that wasn't bad enough, suddenly there's a group of disfigured lunatics clawing at the bars, desperate to get into their room.

Eventually the Gladers manage to break the handle of the door and get out, but what they find waiting on the other side of the door convinces them of one thing: their hardships are nowhere near over.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed The Scorch Trials almost as much as The Maze Runner, but it's really hard to compare the two! Both books are so different from one another - in a good way, I swear! - that it's difficult to compare the two side-by-side.

First off, I gotta say, I love the way Mr. Dashner introduces new information into the story - the way he reveals things to both the characters and the reader is perfect and keeps you flipping pages. And the way that everything was connected to The Flare and the Gladers' hidden pasts made you desperate to find out what happened to bring the kids to Wicked in the first place.

I can't really say much without giving away a big part of the plot, but I gotta say, my heart ached for Thomas: the poor guy goes through so much, and by the end, he doesn't know who to trust or what his role is in Wicked's plans. I wanted to reach into the book and give him a big hug - especially when he started regaining his memories about his life before The Maze, and afterwards, with Teresa (I can't say more, though!). All I can say is: I sincerely hope Thomas gets a happy ending.

Final Thoughts: I really recommend picking up this sequel to The Maze Runner if you've already read the first book, and if you haven't, I definitely recommend you read both - especially if you're a fan of the dystopian genre.
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LibraryThing member MrsBoswellBooks
The Gladers thought they were finally safe after escaping the Maze. They thought they might return to the lives that their memories had been wiped of. They awake one morning to find that they are far from safety and freedom. Teresa is missing and in her place is a mysterious boy, Aris. A sign
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outside of Teresa's former room reads: Teresa Agnes. Group A, Subject A1. The Betrayer. Along with Teresa's mysterious disappearance - from the building AND Thomas's mind - they each awake with a strange tattoo on their neck.

Minho: Property of WICKED. Group A, Subject A7. The Leader.
Newt: Property of WICKED. Group A, Subject A5. The Glue.
Aris: Property of WICKED. Group B, Subject B1. The Partner.

Most surprising of all is what is found on the back of Thomas's neck:
Thomas: Property of WICKED. Group A, Subject A2. To be killed by Group B.

When Rat Man (a rat-faced man, of course) appears, he comes bearing some disturbing news for the Gladers. The boys are informed that everything they have been through has been parts of the Trials, and the Maze was just the beginning. Rat Man tells them they must cross the Scorch, an area burned by sun flares... a wasteland. They'll face many obstacles along the way; unbearable heat, lack of food and water, insane storms and Cranks. Cranks are people who have been infected with a horrible disease, the Flare, and if they are past the Gone, are covered in pus-filled wounds and quite crazy. As incentive, the boys are informed that they have been infected with the Flare and must cross the Scorch to the Safe Haven in two weeks' time to receive the cure. If that isn't enough, they find that a second group, Group B, has also survived a Maze and have been placed in the Scorch. Will the Gladers be able to make it across the Scorch in two weeks to receive the cure? Will they lose more friends along the way, as they did in the Maze? Who is Aris, and what exactly does his tattoo mean: The Partner? What has happened to Teresa, has she actually betrayed the Gladers? Will Group B hunt down and kill Thomas?

I enjoyed The Scorch Trials much more than The Maze Runner. I thought the first book was good, but this book just went above and beyond. There were so many ups and downs, twists and turns, throughout the entire book. The trials and variables that the Gladers were put through was just astounding. I can't imagine how I would ever survive through such things. I enjoyed the interactions between Thomas, Minho and Newt. I'm glad that through everything they were able to become actual friends. They truly cared for each other. I enjoyed and respected each and every one of them. They are tough kids. I wasn't sure what to think of Teresa throughout the entire book. I didn't know whose side she was really on. I'm still not sure how I feel about WICKED. I know that apparently they are trying to save humanity, but how can you be good and put KIDS through life-threatening situations like this? How can you sit by and watch, or even plan, children's deaths? It's crazy.

I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to what is in-store for our characters in The Death Cure.
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LibraryThing member theadawn
This was a great book. It had a lot of new twists and turns due to the entirely new setting that the characters are in. There are different things going on the entire time that keep you reading or in my case listening continuously. At times it does feel like there are so many twists and turns you
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almost expect it, until a twist inside a twist has you shocked all over again. Wonderful cliff hanger making me anxious to read the next!
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LibraryThing member Mariah7
The Scorch Trials was amazing. I loved it!

It began right where The Maze Runner left off and was super fast paced. There was so much action. Some people may not like all violence, but I thought it was done perfectly done.

Through out the whole story i could feel all the confusion and hatred
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for WICKED that Thomas felt. I loved all the twists and turns and can not wait for the third book!
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LibraryThing member TigerLMS
This is the second book of the series, and this is a series that almost requires you to read The Maze Runner first to know what is going on in book two. However, the action in book two starts right at the start and doesn't stop. After escaping the Maze, the survivors discover that the safe haven
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they thought they had been 'rescued' to is only the start of the next test. They have to journey through the Scorch, a burned-out wasteland populated by Cranks-- people who have caught a disease that is devastating the planet that leads people to rather quickly go insane. Additionally, the group discovers there is a second set of survivors who went through an almost identical Maze. That group is all girls except for one boy, and their instrutions for the second book are to kill the boys from Group A. Thomas and his friends must battle through new terrors and tests from the Creators to make it to the Safe Haven a hundred miles across the Scorch, where they are promised rest and no more games. If they survive.
Book three is set for publication in October 2011. I plan to promote the series in book talks at my high school library, especially to reluctant male readers.
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LibraryThing member jmchshannon
The Scorch Trials is James Dashner's second in the Maze Runner series. Picking up where the first novel ends, the reader is immediately thrust back into Thomas' world. As an added twist, all involved, the reader and the characters, know that the kids are being tested. This knowledge makes the
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entire novel more intense as the reader tries to stay one step ahead of Thomas regarding the overarching riddle.

If anything, The Scorch Trials is more action-packed and suspenseful than The Maze Runner. The advanced knowledge about the on-going trial and the small portions of information about the state of the current world make the boys' actions more meaningful. In addition, the reader spends a majority of the time trying to solve the riddle alongside Thomas. While Thomas may not be aware, the reader is definitely cognizant of the fact that Thomas knows more about the continuing tests and ultimate solution than he remembers. Watching this knowledge trickle down from the recesses of his memory only heightens the drama.

From a scientific standpoint, The Scorch Trials brings up some amazing questions that anyone with research experience is anxious to resolve. Does knowing that one is involved in a life-or-death trial adversely or positively impact the results? Would the kids act differently had the information about the Flare remained a secret? Are those monitoring the trials ultimately skewing the results by interfering? One can only hope that these gray areas, which became relatively obvious as the story progressed, are addressed in the third novel.

The Scorch Trials is frustrating, infuriating, exhilarating and exciting. Poor Thomas continues to bear the brunt of the action and focus during the trials. There is obviously a reason for this special treatment, and while there are hints, the truth is still too hidden to discern it completely. As this is the reader's first true exposure to the world outside of the Maze, one does not have a good grasp on this world to be able to predict anything that may happen. This anticipation makes the wait for the third novel seem endless!
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½ (1996 ratings; 3.7)
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