(The Maze Runner #2)
by James Dashner
Genre: dystopia, YA, science fiction
Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.
There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.
The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.
This book was far better than the first one since more things about the entire world are revealed and characters start to put together the bigger plan behind the trials. The set up of new tasks and dangers was similar enough to the first book to offer a great continuity and a smooth transition to the middle book that functions quite well on its own too. I think the author got to the meat of the story here and exposed us to the ugly truth of the outside world – the Flare.
“I’m a Crank. I’m slowly going crazy. I keep wanting to chew off my own fingers and randomly kill people.”
The description of the disease that slowly but surely devours a person from inside their brain, turning them into insane, selfish, and extremely violent creatures that have little in common with humanity, was haunting enough. And our poor boys had to walk through a desert to end in a place filled with such beings. Ugh. Not to mention their tattoos with designations. I just got the shivers. Government organisations and tattoos – never ends well for the subjects. Makes you wonder just what is so special about Thomas that they’d stack the odds against him.
“They called you the Glue”
“Yeah. Probably because you’re kind of the glue that holds us all together”
We see for the first time just how technologically advanced the WICKED group is – teleporters, superior medical procedures, transportation…and so on. You just have to wonder how these kids figure in and the mental torture they are put through and why so many of them are killed off. It makes little sense, doesn’t it when they can easily save them.
Maybe they test the limits of endurance before a person succumbs to the Flare – perhaps it is triggered by stress? But the scenarios are getting more complicated and multilayered. Theresa is suddenly designated as betrayer and taken to group B consisting of girls only. I was surprised they had a girls-only group but it makes a twisted kind of sense. If you built one maze why not build another?
“Thomas knew what he thought. Those images would never leave—the Gladers would be haunted by the horrible things that had happened in the Maze for the rest of their lives. He figured that most if not all of them would have major psychological problems. Maybe even go completely nutso.”
I liked the inclusion of new characters and the emphasis on the already existing friendship between Minho, Newt, and Thomas. Teresa was very much present the entire time of the book simply because Thomas constantly worried about her. You also didn’t know if she told the truth or not when she did meet him. I’m not entirely sure she can be trusted – I think Thomas has some hard thinking to do. At least he has decided WICKED is not good. They’ve pushed him over the edge.
“The betrayal meant he couldn’t trust her anymore, and his heart told him he couldn’t forgive her.”