The second installment of “The Maze Runner’ trilogy did not disappoint! Dashner picked up right after Thomas and the other Gladers made it out of the maze in “The Maze Runner.” The boys are taken to a safe compound, but when they wake up in the morning, they are informed there is a second phase to the testing they are enduring, and that “The Scorch Trials” will begin at dawn. It is explained to the boys that a devastating disease is infecting the human race, and the tests the boys encounter will help find a cure. Still uncertain if “WICKE,D” the operation controlling the trials, is good or bad, the boys have no choice but to submit to this next test.
With wildly descriptive writing, Dashner creates a futuristic world where the will of a group of young men is tested once again. I found myself constantly amused with the phrases used by the boys. “Shuck it,” “shinthead,” “klunk,” and “crank” were among my favorites. Though young, the main characters, Thomas, Minho, and Newt, exhibit strength and courage that is well worth reading about. At times, the plot reminded me of the adventures present in Vonnegut’s books. Crazy creatures with light bulbs on their skin, deadly electrical storms, and scorching heat were only some of the challenges facing the boys as they try to cross 100 miles of barren desert in extreme heat within two weeks.
New characters kept the plot exciting. This book also had many twists and turns, and I was constantly wondering which character was telling the truth, who was a double agent, and what was real. Thomas spends much of the book separated from the group of boys, which I wasn’t wildly excited about. But Dashner maintained the quick plot, which propelled me easily, and quickly, through the book.
I’m excited to start reading the third book and see how the young heroes master the next round of challenges. Creative and interesting, I would recommend the book to someone seeking an enjoyable fantasy/futuristic read.