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The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2) by…

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2) (original 2011; edition 2011)

by James Dashner

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2,4511322,513 (3.81)93
Title:The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2)
Authors:James Dashner
Info:Ember (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (2011)


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I give up.

I gave it my all. I made it to page 243 and everything, but I just can’t stick with this one. So I’m throwing up the white flag. I surrender. Guess I’m never going to find out what happens to Thomas and his crew of Gladers.

And the sad thing? I don’t care. That’s how poorly this book was written. It is the second in The Maze Runner trilogy, so it picks up right where Book 1 left off. Thomas and his motley assortment of fellow Gladers have made it back to planet Earth, where they quickly learn the planet has been decimated by a series of powerful solar flares. Millions of people are dead. Most of the globe is uninhabitable. And if that’s not enough, the CDC (or “some disease agency” as one of the character states) released a deadly virus that is plaguing most of the world’s survivors. Thanks to its release at the same time as the solar flare disaster, the virus is called the Flare.

Within moments of their arrival, Thomas and his fellow Gladers also learn they are part of an experiment coordinated by the “government” in place, and the Maze was only part one. Now, they get to survive part two: the scorch trials, which entails walking across 100 miles of barren wasteland to reach a safe haven, where, oh yeah, they can get the cure for the Flare. Turns out all the Gladers are infected with it.

As awkward as all this sounds, I was intrigued. I personally love post-apocalyptica so I’m all for a destroyed planet and a band of battle-toughened survivors any day … regardless of what caused the destruction of the planet. But the issue I had with Book 1 is magnified ten-fold in Book 2.


I’m sorry to say this but I just can’t get behind the way Dashner expresses his characters’ emotions. I can’t stand the way Thomas gets pissed at (new character) Brenda when she reveals a secret she had been keeping from him, and literally three pages later, says to himself, “she’d gained his trust,” (p. 209). Then you jump ahead to page 217 and it’s “he wanted to trust her.” Come on. The guy trusts her or he doesn’t. Pick one and stick to it until Brenda does something to violate or gain the trust.

And the whole book is like this. Thomas loves Theresa. Thomas loves Brenda. Thomas loves Theresa. Thomas loves Brenda. This isn’t a case of the guy not being able to figure out which girl he wants. This is a case of on page 5, he’s in love with Theresa, and on page 10, he’s in love with Brenda. I can see that Dashner is trying to create a complicated situation: Thomas loves Theresa, his mind-talking girlfriend from Book 1, but he is also drawn to Flare-infected Brenda. The problem is the writing is so muddled and so weak that Dashner isn’t actually creating that situation. It literally comes across like Thomas is schizophrenic and one day he’s devoted to Theresa; the next to Brenda.

And with all this muddled mess, there has been no development of these characters. The Thomas that woke up in the elevator on the first page of The Maze Runner is the same Thomas that I quit following on page 243 of The Scorch Trials. Considering everything this guy has gone through, you would think that he would develop emotionally. But nope.

So sorry. I’m not even going to bother with Book three. Here’s hoping the movie's better. ( )
  parhamj | Nov 16, 2014 |
What can I say? This book was another enjoyable read. I am in love with James Dashner's mind and writing! He blows me away! Always interesting, never boring!

Compared to The Maze Runner, this one was a little slower paced for me but I thoroughly enjoyed it, nevertheless. A completely different adventure from the first book-new creatures and threats to watch out for. Same wonderful characters-with a few new ones thrown in.

There is always a surprise around the corner when reading this series!

This series is one of the most original and creative I have read in a long time! This second book doesn't disappoint!

I am infatuated with this series! ( )
  chellebuck79 | Nov 6, 2014 |
This book is just flat throughout....
The ending is anti-climatic.
The odd love triangle is totally unnecessary.

I wanted to read more about the other Gladers and Group B.. but no... the story is obviously turning into a one man show.
It makes sense that Thomas, being the protagonist, is unlikely to die any time soon... BUT its making all the actions and suspense really predictable!! To make it even more predictable, none of the other main characters ever DIES too, despite of all the thunder lightning, the Cranks and the WICKED monsters etc. ( )
  o.orange.o | Oct 25, 2014 |
I loved "The Scorch Trials"! I thought "The Maze Runner" was setting up the plot so I was confused to why they were all in the maze and what was going on, but by the end of the book I was so excited to read the next one. There was a lot of betrayal in "The Scorch Trials". It was very fast-paced and exciting, that may be why I went through it so quickly. I hated waiting so long for the next one. I can't wait until "The Fever Code" comes out! ( )
  beck189418 | Oct 19, 2014 |
Sequel to "The Maze Runner", "The Scorch Trials" leaves off excately where its predecessor ended. This time it a whole new adventure, filled with more friends, action, death, and of course, lies. This book is just like "The Maze Runner", it's hard to put down once you start to read. If you enjoyed "The Maze Runner" then "The Scorch Trails" will not disappoint. ( )
  Remy_Ferrell | Oct 17, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Dashnerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Wesley, Bryson, Kayla, and Dallin. Best kids ever.
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She spoke to him before the world fell apart.
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ISBN 0307706591 is for the unabridged audio book of this work. ISBNs 978-0385738750 and 0385738757 are for the hard cover.
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Book description
From the back of the book:

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?
Haiku summary
The Trials keep on / Coming in a Maze now a / Part of a city. (legallypuzzled)

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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.

(summary from another edition)

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