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Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.
Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. 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.
Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.
There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.
Series: The Maze Runner (Book 2)
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (September 13, 2011)
Page Count: 384 pages
What I liked: I've wanted to read this book for years and now I've finally gotten to it! The ticking time bomb of having to reach the Safe Haven in two weeks so they don't succumb to the Flare added a nice underlying tension especially with so many delaying dangers on the way. As per usual James Dashner has so many creative ideas for the story including new horrors for the Gladers (boys who were trapped in the Glade back in the Maze) to encounter including a whole town of cranks (diseased humans), a violent lightning storm, living metal with a likeness for heads and giant lightbulb giants. Many scenes kept me glued to the book including the metal ball scene, the lightning storm scene, and a creepy scene with cranks.
The cranks interesting and sad. I liked that Minho got more of a personality in this book. It was nice seeing more of him. Out of all the Gladers (other than Thomas of course) he really shined the most. Thomas develops more in this one. He becomes more clever especially in how he interacts with people. He also is dealing with grief which I thought was done well. It was also neat to meet Group B finally and get more girls in the game. Lastly some really neat tattoos showed up on the Gladers.
What I didn't like: In this book, Thomas is away from Theresa and the Gladers for the majority of it and I missed them a lot. I wish they were included more. I found myself not liking Brenda (a crank girl Thomas travels with) as much as Theresa and just wanting Theresa back.
I also felt like Newt didn't get much of a part and he's one of my favorite Gladers. He was in it and the beginning and the end, but I especially felt like he should've intervened during a scene with the cranks. I felt like it was out of his personality not to. Brenda and Aris were interesting characters, but I would've liked them to be a little more in depth.
I found several writing errors including telling of emotions and action and reaction errors, but less than the first book. I don't remember Thomas having a watch before he mentions it much later, nor do I remember griever pods which were said to be mentioned in the first book. There also was a funny typo on 338. The phrase "gained purchase" was also repeated several times.
Content Cautions: I'd still give this book a PG-13 rating, but there were more mature parts than the last one. There were some scary images and gore especially with the cranks. During a party Thomas and Brenda are forced to go to (it's complicated) there is an alcohol reference. H*** was used several times in this book.
In Comparison to the Movie: The movie is pretty different than the book. It's a combination of the Death Cute and the Scorch Trials it seems. See my full movie review on Geeks Under Grace!
In summary, I really enjoyed the book though not as much as the first. It ended on a cliffhanger so I must read the next one!
James Dashner is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series that includes The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and The Kill Order. He has also written The Eye of Minds (book one in the Mortality Doctrine series), the 13th Reality series, and two books in The Infinity Ring series: A Mutiny in Time and The Iron Empire.
Dashner was born and raised in Georgia but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains. To learn more about James and his books, visit JamesDashner.com, follow @jamesdashner on Twitter, or find dashnerjames on Instagram.
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