Book Review: The Maze Runner – The Scorch Trials

“He didn’t care about the others anymore. The chaos around him seemed to syphon away his humanity, turn him into an animal. All he wanted was to survive, make it to that building, get inside. Live. Gain another day.”

The second book in James Dashner‘s The Maze Runner trilogy, The Scorch Trials, originally published in 2010, follows Thomas and the rest of the Gladers after their escape from the maze in the The Maze Runner. On being told that the Gladers are being taken to safety, the truth quickly becomes apparent that the maze was only the beginning. As the Gladers search for clues about the mysterious and powerful organisation​ known as WCKD, their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape that was once a major city, now scorched to the ground and consumed by a disease known as the Flare. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD, only to uncover the shocking plans that WCKD has had planned for them all along.

The following post is a review of the book only. You can read my review of the film adaptation in comparison to the book here.

The Scorch Trials gives us our first glimpse into the outside world. As the Gladers head for ‘safety’ by their rescuers, a night’s sleep and an over-indulgence of food is all they get until they realise that maze was nothing in comparison to what’s coming next, as they are attacked by aggressive zombie-like people called Cranks, who have been affected by a plague known as “The Flare”.

As ordered by WCKD, the Gladers enter into the Scorch, a desert landscape that was once a city before sun flares destroyed Earth’s surface. Here, the Gladers meet some of the survivors of the apocalypse, who have been sent to Scorch because of their infection. Through these people and a number of visions that Thomas has, we slowly start to piece together what is happening, as WCKD’s intentions start to become a little clearer.

Just like the first novel, The Scorch Trials is full of adventure, action and anticipation. The novels are incredibly fun to read, with a new twist springing up in every chapter to keep you excited and engaged.

There are new technologically advanced monsters, personal tests of humanity, and struggles against a world which is controlled by others, which all keep the pace up, the scares coming, and the readers on edge.

But The Scorch Trials does become quite repetitive at times. Thomas passes out at the end of almost every chapter, and we are somewhat undermined as intelligent readers as the novel constantly questions whether his visions are memories or just dreams. We knew that Thomas’ visions were memories from the first novel, but as more and more is revealed with the amount of times that Thomas is left unconscious, it becomes a little tedious at times.

Aside from that, The Scorch Trials is another impressive young adult dystopia, filled with dark tones, character struggles, and relationship tests, which all ensure that this is a novel that you won’t want to put down.

The Scorch Trials was adapted onto the big screen in 2015, which you can read my Book vs. Film Review for here, and watch the trailer for below:

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