The Scorch Trials, By James Dashner, details the second part to the maze runner trilogy after Thomas and the Gladers escape from the maze. Seeing the outside world, it’s clear that many of the teens wish they could have stayed in the maze. This time, it falls into standard dystopian future model 2B mixed with some model 3F. In other words, the world has been destroyed by some sort of zombie disease, while the squabbling remains is overseen by a secretly evil dictatorship. In Thomas’ case, the disease is named the ‘flare’, and the government is called “world in catastrophe kill zone experiment department”, or WICKED. Honestly, is it possible to make your secretly evil government more obvious?
Anyways, WICKED tells the gladers that the world is essentially a desert wasteland, with groups of infected roaming around looking for people to kill and steal from. Not only this, but they were all infected with an early stage of the flare, and the only way to get a cure is to cross this wasteland by themselves, on foot. So, obviously all the gladers commit to this trek. The Scorch Trials describes their tribulations while making their way through the ‘Scorch,’ which is the part of the world worst hit by the sun flares. Yup, sun flares, evil governments and zombies all at the same time. Add in a love triangle and this book would have it all. Wait, there is a love triangle that develops awkwardly in the middle of the book. I won’t give any further spoilers, so you will have to read the book to find out more.
Overall, I feel as though The Scorch Trials is a pretty solid book. I enjoyed its writing style (although it could have used some more detail at times) and felt as though it built the world around the Maze Runner nicely, as well as answering some questions. Unfortunately, it also felt messy and several of the relationships and minor characters felt shoehorned in, which is understandable since we’ve only met them for a short period of time. Even so, this is definitely a good continuation of the Maze Runner series and is a solid build up to the events of the third book.