The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Series #2)

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Series #2)

4.5 2039
by James Dashner

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Read the second book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series that is now a major motion picture and is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. The first book, The Maze Runner, is also a movie featuring the star of MTV's Teen Wolf, Dylan O’Brien; Kaya Scodelario; Aml Ameen; Will Poulter; and…  See more details below


Read the second book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series that is now a major motion picture and is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. The first book, The Maze Runner, is also a movie featuring the star of MTV's Teen Wolf, Dylan O’Brien; Kaya Scodelario; Aml Ameen; Will Poulter; and Thomas Brodie-Sangster! Also look for James Dashner’s newest novels, The Eye of Minds and The Rule of Thoughts, the first two books in the Mortality Doctrine series.
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.
Praise for the Maze Runner series:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
A USA Today Bestseller
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year
An ALA-YASLA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick
"[A] mysterious survival saga that passionate fans describe as a fusion of Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, and Lost."—
“Wonderful action writing—fast-paced…but smart and well observed.”Newsday
“[A] nail-biting must-read.”
“Breathless, cinematic action.”—Publishers Weekly
Heart pounding to the very last moment.”—Kirkus Reviews
Exclamation-worthy.”—Romantic Times
[STAR] “James Dashner’s illuminating prequel [The Kill Order] will thrill fans of this Maze Runner [series] and prove just as exciting for readers new to the series.”—Shelf Awareness, Starred

"Take a deep breath before you start any James Dashner book."-Deseret News

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hundreds of pages into this sequel to The Maze Runner, one of the teen subjects of a survival experiment on postapocalypse Earth wonders aloud, "hat this is really all about." Readers may be asking that, too. In The Maze Runner, the teens, their memories erased, searched for a way out of a deadly maze; their escape, led by Thomas, was short-lived. As volume two opens, the boys learn they are infected with the "Flare," a virus that has killed millions and produced a population of nearly insane, disease-ravaged "cranks." New orders from WICKED, a coalition of surviving governments, have the boys marching across a wasteland toward a promised cure. Though some facts are teased out, the narrative bogs down under the weight of unanswered questions. What is the purpose of torturing these kids? How is making them into killers ensuring the survival of the world? Why would government leaders name themselves WICKED? Hopefully answers are forthcoming in volume three. In any case, fans who are already hooked will gobble this down, particularly those who don't mind anemic female characters and a high body count. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Paula Rohrlick
Safety turns out to be just another illusion when you're the subject in a mysterious scientific experiment. Picking up the morning after the sci-fi prequel, The Maze Runner, leaves off, this volume continues to chronicle teen-aged Thomas's exciting if nightmarish adventures. A representative of a global organization called WICKED informs Thomas and his fellow survivors, the Gladers, that the world has been suffering devastating sun flares as well as a new disease called the Flare. The Gladers are told they have two weeks to travel a hundred miles across a sun-blasted plain to reach a safe haven and a cure for the Flare, which already infects them. The data that WICKED will collect on their efforts to survive may be essential to the future of the human race, they learn—but another, competing team has been set on the same mission. Thomas and company must also battle vicious, crazed Cranks, who suffer from the Flare, along with the killing heat, deadly lightning storms, and much more in their attempt to make it across the Scorch. Meanwhile, Thomas's close friend Theresa seems to have become his enemy, and resurfacing memories of his past make him question his true role amid the grim horrors he's experiencing. Readers of the first book will quickly be swept up in the suspense and nonstop action—this would make a dandy video game, as Thomas confronts one gruesome danger after another. A third volume will be eagerly awaited. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
VOYA - Susan Hampe
Thomas and the gladers thought they were safe. They thought they were glad to leave the danger of the maze far behind them. They were wrong. In one night, all their new-found security is ripped away, replaced by a new set of dangers: the Scorch, an area of land decimated by solar flares, brutal weather, and populated by the Cranks, people who are infected with a disease called the flare. Teresa is gone, in her place a boy who speaks of having survived another maze. Then a man appears telling them they have two weeks to travel one hundred miles of the Scorch to reach a safe haven, which will make escaping the maze look like child's play. The Scorch Trials is the second book in the trilogy that began with the best seller The Maze Runner (Random House, 2009/VOYA December 2009), picking up right where it left off. Dashner writes at a suspenseful pace, weaving twists and turns into chapters that flow seamlessly together, culminating in a stunning cliff-hanger ending. Themes of moral dilemmas and survival amidst a deadly landscape make the danger even more chilling and heart-stopping. Readers will be on the edge of their seats with this thrilling story, and it is also makes a great match for fans of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press). Reviewer: Susan Hampe
Kirkus Reviews

Thomas led the Gladers to safety in The Maze Runner (2009). But after just one night's rest, the survivors are told that a true haven is still a long way off.To reach it, they have to pass another trial: crossing an expanse of scorched earth while being pursued by the Cranks, humans infected by the Flare, a disease that inflicts madness. If they can just make it to the designated meeting point on time (and alive), they will be met by a rescue team from the shadowy organization behind these trials, receive the cure to the pandemic and never have to face danger again. Constantly on the run and threatened, the Gladers struggle to win. Thomas tries to protect his friends while searching for Teresa, the lone girl from the Glade, and grappling with elusive returning memories. Taut and bleak, continually intriguing and surprising, this is a solid sequel that keeps both Thomas and readers wondering what is really going on. Hooked readers will hope they won't have to wait long for the answers that have been promised in the next installment. (Science fiction/thriller. 12 & up)

From the Publisher
Praise for the Maze Runner series:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
A USA Today Bestseller
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year
An ALA-YASLA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick
"[A] mysterious survival saga that passionate fans describe as a fusion of Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, and Lost."—
“Wonderful action writing—fast-paced…but smart and well observed.”Newsday
“[A] nail-biting must-read.”
“Breathless, cinematic action.”—Publishers Weekly
Heart pounding to the very last moment.”—Kirkus Reviews
Exclamation-worthy.”—Romantic Times
[STAR] “James Dashner’s illuminating prequel [The Kill Order] will thrill fans of this Maze Runner [series] and prove just as exciting for readers new to the series.”—Shelf Awareness, Starred

"Take a deep breath before you start any James Dashner book."-Deseret News

From the Hardcover edition.

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Thomas and his fellow Gladers thought they were safe at the end of The Maze Runner (2009). They had solved the Maze and were overjoyed to leave the glade. Their joy and relief are short-lived. The Earth is a wasteland and more dangerous trials await them. The boys are instructed to travel 100 miles and cross a vast wasteland that has been ravaged by solar flares. When they reach their destination, each survivor will be given immunity to a virus called the Flare that has infected the population. Along the way, the Gladers battle extreme heat, Cranks (bloodthirsty humans who have an advanced case of the Flare), and more. Narrator Mark Deakins turns James Dashner's thrilling and suspenseful novel (2010, both Delacorte) into a nail-biting audiobook. He masterfully portrays the bewilderment and sheer exhaustion of the Gladers as they try to find meaning in the latest bizarre and cruel experiment. Tension mounts as Deakins plays with the story's pacing. Fans of the first title will not be disappointed and will eagerly await the conclusion to the trilogy.—Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Maze Runner Series, #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.62(w) x 11.56(h) x 1.21(d)
HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


She spoke to him before the world fell apart.

Hey, are you still asleep?

Thomas shifted in his bed, felt a darkness around him like air turned solid, pressing in. At first he panicked; his eyes snapped open as he imagined himself back in the Box--that horrible cube of cold metal that had delivered him to the Glade and the Maze. But there was a faint light, and lumps of dim shadow gradually emerged throughout the huge room. Bunk beds. Dressers. The soft breaths and gurgly snores of boys deep in slumber.

Relief filled him. He was safe now, rescued and delivered to this dormitory. No more worries. No more Grievers. No more death.


A voice in his head. A girl's. Not audible, not visible. But he heard it all the same, though never could he have explained to anyone how it worked.

Exhaling a deep breath, he relaxed into his pillow, his razor-edged nerves settling down from that fleeting moment of terror. He spoke back, forming the words with his thoughts.

Teresa? What time is it?

No idea, she replied. But I can't sleep. I probably dozed for an hour or so. Maybe more. I was hoping you were awake to keep me company.

Thomas tried not to smile. Even though she wouldn't be able to see it, it would be embarrassing all the same. Didn't give me much choice in the matter, did you? Kind of hard to sleep when someone's talking directly into your skull.

Waa, waa. Go back to bed, then.

No. I'm good. He stared at the bottom of the bunk above him--featureless and darkly fuzzy in the shadow--where Minho was currently breathing like a guy with ungodly amounts of phlegm lodged in his throat. What've you been thinking about?

What do you think? Somehow she projected a jab of cynicism into the words. I keep seeing Grievers. Their disgusting skin and blubber bodies, all those metal arms and spikes. It was way too close for comfort, Tom. How're we gonna get something like that out of our heads?

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.

And above it all, he had one image burned into his memories as strongly as a branded mark from a searing hot iron. His friend Chuck, stabbed in the chest, bleeding, dying as Thomas held him.

Thomas knew he would never forget that. But what he said to Teresa was: It'll go away. Just takes a little time, that's all.

You're so full of it, she said.

I know. How ridiculous was it that he loved hearing her say something like that to him? That her sarcasm meant things were going to be okay? You're an idiot, he told himself, then hoped she didn't hear that thought.

I hate that they separated me from you guys, she said.

Thomas understood why they had, though. She was the only girl and the rest of the Gladers were teenage boys--a bunch of shanks they didn't trust yet. Guess they were protecting you.

Yeah. I guess. Melancholy seeped into his brain with her words, stuck to them like syrup. But it sucks being alone after everything we went through.

Where'd they take you, anyway? She sounded so sad that he almost wanted to get up and look for her, but he knew better.

Just on the other side of that big common room where we ate last night. It's a small room with a few bunks. I'm pretty sure they locked the door when they left.

See, told ya they wanted to protect you. Then he quickly added, Not that you need protecting. I'd put my money on you against at least half these shanks.

Only half?

Okay, three-quarters. Including me.

A long stretch of silence followed, though somehow Thomas could still sense her presence. He felt her. It was almost like how, even though he couldn't see Minho, he knew his friend lay only a few feet above him. And it wasn't just the snoring. When someone is close by, you just know it.

Despite all the memories of the last few weeks, Thomas was surprisingly calm, and soon sleep overpowered him once more. Darkness settled on his world, but she was there, next to him in so many ways. Almost . . . touching.

He had no concept of time passing while in that state. Half asleep, half enjoying her presence and the thought that they'd been rescued from that horrible place. That they were safe, that he and Teresa could get to know each other all over again. That life could be good.

Blissful sleep. Hazy darkness. Warmth. A physical glow. Almost floating.

The world seemed to fade away. All became numb and sweet. And the darkness, somehow comforting. He slipped into a dream.

He's very young. Four, maybe? Five? Lying in a bed with blankets pulled to his chin.

A woman sits next to him, her hands folded in her lap. She has long brown hair, a face just beginning to show signs of age. Her eyes are sad. He knows this even though she's trying very hard to hide it with a smile.

He wants to say something, ask her a question. But he can't. He's not really here. Just witnessing it all from a place he doesn't quite understand. She begins to talk, a sound so simultaneously sweet and angry it disturbs him.

"I don't know why they chose you, but I do know this. You're special somehow. Never forget that. And never forget how much"--her voice cracks and tears run down her face--"never forget how much I love you."

The boy replies, but it's not really Thomas speaking. Even though it is him. None of it makes sense. "Are you gonna be crazy like all those people on TV, Mommy? Like . . . Daddy?"

The woman reaches out and runs her fingers through his hair. Woman? No, he can't call her that. This is his mother. His . . . mommy.

"Don't you worry about that, honey," she says. "You won't be here to see it."

Her smile has gone away.

Too fast the dream faded into blackness, leaving Thomas in a void with nothing but his thoughts. Had he seen another memory crawl up from the depths of his amnesia? Had he really seen his mom? There'd been something about his dad being crazy. The ache inside Thomas was deep and gnawing, and he tried to sink further into oblivion.

Later--how much later he had no idea--Teresa spoke to him again.

Tom, something's wrong.

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The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 2039 reviews.
SuperBookish More than 1 year ago
Great Book with great story line. Kept me entertained
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay, so I am a huge fan of the Twilight series and after I read the Maze Runner I was absolutely amazed! I am in the middle of The Scorch Trials, and just about every chapter ends with a cliff hanger! Sorry Stephanie, this series is about 20x better than yours! Thank you Mr. Dashner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the very few books that are better than the first... in my opinion, better than The Hunger Games!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it soooo much!! I could NOT put this book down. I absolutely with all my heart recomend this book! Especially for teens like me!!:) cant wait to read The Death Cure!!!!!!!!!
Alice_Falcon More than 1 year ago
The Maze Runner book was edgy enough, leaving me sitting on the edge of my seat, begging for more! The story takes its reader on an amazing journey through an all to real arena that keeps the wheels of your brain spinning. Scorch Trials will no doubt leave the reader with same feeling, only more intenses! Can't wait to sink my teeth into this one!
Sophiemaster13 More than 1 year ago
Bless James Dashner!!! This was one exceptional book! It had thrilling twists and turns, and as soon as you thought you had it all figured out, Dashner hit you with another twist.. But, boy, those Cranks are creepy.. Read it, you will understand what I mean!!! READ IT!!! DON'T LISTEN TO THE BAD REVEIWS!! READ IT!! I WILL FIND OUT IF YOU DON'T.. Well, I won't find out if who ever is reading this doesn't read it, but, you all know what I mean!! READ THIS AMAZING BOOK!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i read the first book i was hooked and had to read this one but i did not expect it to surpaas the first one. Very suspensful
AC_Money More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for 6th Grader-ish people. I'm in 6th grade and I loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still have nightmares where a crank is saying the rose ate my nose...AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH haha awesome book stayed up allnight to buy it when it first came out and read it on my nook the whole day at schpol <3
AllieRAhearn More than 1 year ago
To be perfectly honest, I was extremely surprised with this book!! Usually sequels are good, but never as good as the 1st book. However, The Scorch Trials was AMAZING!!! The storyline and plot was so much better and more interesting than The Maze Runner, which is interesting because The Maze Runner was amazing as well! I just could not put this book down, and I feel it is my favorite book of the trilogy. I love the character development, I love meeting new characters, I love the new setting, and I LOVE the shock moment that comes near the end of the book. My jaw was dropped throughout every chapter, and I could not put this book down. Every time a chapter ended with the last shocking sentence, I had to put the book down for a minute in astonishment and think about how crazy good this book is. I would DEFINITELY recommend this book!!! You will not be disappointed. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have actually owned this book for a long while up to this date. During that time, I could never get too interested in the book, as I was used to the fast excitement of The Maze Runner, and the slow buildup lost me in the first fifty pages trying not to fall asleep. However, once I really started getting further into it, I found myself further absorbed in it, rarely putting the book down until the very end of the excerpt of the next book. The action in this book really gives you no clue what happens next, and that's what kept me hooked right through to the end. Very highly recommended for anyone who has already read the Maze Runner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I could rate this 60 million stars I would one reason being that this series is very similar to The Hunger Games when dealing with dystopian genre. Secondly, this book will keep you in suspence, at every crevice there is a flaw in Thomas's life. Poor him, I really fell in love with sime of the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book, i still think i liked maze runner just slightly more but i am incredibly excited about death cure and kill order the prequel to the maze runner. Great series love it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scorch Trials will without doubt be one of the best books of 2010! If it scratches the surface or how great Maze Runner is, we have something big here! TLGBRS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me feel a mix of different emotions. I felt as if I were watching from afar at what was happening. I finished this book so fast because it was so hard to put down! Each chapter held a series of twists and turns that I would have never expected. However, I found it a bit annoying and repetitive when Dashner ended a chapter with &ldquo;...and Thomas passed out.&rdquo; It did really get me thinking because it was such an abrupt end. Most of the book I was thinking about all the people Thomas could confide in because there was pretty much no one Thomas could trust anymore. Could he even trust himself?  Anyways, I cannot wait to read the last book so I hope it is as thrilling as this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Second book is a must series since hunger games and percy jackson. If your looking for your next book this series is a great option!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome. Read this book. Its the best. Im nine years old and i cant read it before i go to bed because i will have nightmares but its still the best book i ever read. This book was better than the maze runner, but not by far. The maze runner was awesome too.
MyHeartHeartsBooks More than 1 year ago
The Scorch Trials takes place immediately after The Maze Runner, and after the Gladers have finally escaped the Maze but the test and the mind games are far from over. The Gladers areput into another test, unlike anything they have experienced, and life-threatening in a different kind of way. It's all about testing variables and finding a candidate to cure a disease know as the Flare that will eventually make those who caught it go crazy.  I had to major issues with The Scorch Trials. Primarly, I hated the pacing. I didn't feel that same connection like I did with The Maze Runner. In The Maze Runner, while everything was happening so quickly, it was so easy for me to get sucked in and not realize my surrounding. I was totally absorbed in the book. With The Scorch Trials, a lot was happening but I was utterly aware of what was happening. I couldn't just dive in and immerse in the Gladers' world. Although a lot was happening, it felt like it was happening painfully slow. Another issue I had with the novel, is something that I attribute to myself, than on Dashner's part. I just couldn't fully imagine this world especially outside the Maze and the Wicked compound. It wasn't like Dashner wasn't descriptive, because he was, but I just couldn't compute the immensity of this other desert-like place. I understood that the conditions were horrible, but if you asked me to describe it, I couldn't. I think this lack of comprehension totally affected my enjoy of novel. I feel like The Scorch Trials is supposed to raise the stakes but because I didn't understand the environment, I couldn't fully understand the risks.  Not that The Scorch Trials doesn't have it's moments because there are some moments that will make your heart stop. Especially towards the end. Ohh the plot twist. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The maze runner series is a exciting book series that takes you on a thrilling and suspensful journey through time. All of these books are incredibly intresting, and put readers on the edge of their seats. Great book for ages 11 and up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just as great as the first book. Keeps you into it with every chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book in the series :)
KikiD870 More than 1 year ago
The Maze Runner had me hooked from the beginning and The Scorch Trials kept that going.  This one was non-stop action and even more of the mysteries of the world they live in are revealed. The Gladers have been told that their trials are over now, but in reality, they are just beginning.  There is no more Maze, but then they are thrown out into the post-apocalyptic, scorched world with a miimum of resources and told to cross the Scorch.  They are made promises if they make it successfully across within the alloted time.  And then the obstacles begin, different from the Maze, but just as serious and often horrifying. This air of mystery is something I love about these books.  Secrets are revealed, but never very many at the time.  But instead of being frustrating, it amps up the anticipation.  WICKED, its people and its motives, is still a blur outside of their immediate circumstances and it leaves a lot of room for the imagination.   There are a lot of new characters in this book and, even though I have finished the novel, I am still not sure how I feel about some of them.  In this series, where what is good seems bad and what is bad may have a positive purpose, it is sometimes hard to neatly categorize the characters into simple &quot;good&quot; and &quot;bad&quot; groups.  But I like this because there is a lot of gray in humanity. There were some harsh lessons to be learned in this novel, especially that of betrayal and trust.  From moment to moment, it is difficult to determine what is real and what isn't.  Who is sincere and who isn't.  This is not exactly conducive to building a trustful environment.  And once again, we are left with almost as many questions as we got answers. My Recommendation:  The mystery behind the story is what builds the anticipation for me.  While generally, I gravitate towards more character-driven stories, this one is very much plot-driven and I truly love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was without a doubt better than the first, and I can't wait to see what James Dashner brings with The Death Cure! I seriously never wanted to put the book down because each page brought some new exciting thrill. Not only was the plot great, but the characters got me so emotionally involved I threw my nook down in anger (good anger). I also felt as if I was going to fall down sobbing. Maybe I'm just a crank (book joke), but this threw me for a loop. This is a must read, read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant wait to read it Loved maze runnrr. Ho eber duznt needs mentle help bro.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even better than the first, very very suspensful!