Goodreads 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.I was hesitant to start this one since it had been so long since I read The Maze Runner, I thought I would probably need a reread, but with the first line it all came rushing back and I found myself completely invested...and not wanting to go to my morning classes. With just that one single sentence James Dashner brought back the horrors of The Maze Runner, the camaderie with the characters and all of the horrors that had been brought about by WICKED. It was as if I had only just finished The Maze Runner.
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?"
I had so many WTH!?! moments while reading The Scorch Trials, every time I thought that WICKED had done their worst something new blew me out of the water. You couldn't afford to put your guard down or assume anything because they would just turn it on its head. Basically James Dashner puts the reader into the perspective of one of the Gladers fighting for their lives, you feel their pain and are just as confused by the goings on as they. I LOVED THIS. I had my theories, they had their theories, but we only had tiny factual clues which made it that much more exciting as I raced, along with the characters, to figure out the great mystery. It was INTENSE.
And so were the characters. Again Thomas makes me wonder why I was ever hesitant to read a novel with a male lead narrating the story; sure he doesn't think things through the same way I do, but he's such a fascinating character that I can't resist. I love that logical mind of his. [Not in a crush-y way, but in a I want to pick it apart kind of way.] I love how he tries so hard not to be a leader when its so very obvious that he is. I just really enjoy his character. My only complaint, and its a slight one at that, is that I wish I could have gotten more from the other Gladers. I wish, I almost wish that they could have narrated portions so that I could have gotten their POVs. And, of course, Teresa's too.
I liked The Maze Runner, I really did. It was enjoyable, insane and an awesome dystopian read. But The Scorch Trials just blew it out of the water. You could take nothing for granted. No one was safe. And nothing was as it seemed. I cannot honestly believe that I've waited this long to read it, the hesitation was most certainly not necessary in this case but I do have to admit I'm really glad that I have The Death Cure on hand so that I can dive right in. I HAVE TO FIGURE THIS OUT.
In conclusion? Major thumbs up! The Scorch Trials manages to avoid the trap of being the slump-y middle novel that only stands as a connection between the beginning and end of a trilogy. There is no slump here just intense adventure worthy of following The Maze Runner and setting a great stage for The Death Cure.