The Scorch Trials
|Cover artist||Philip Straub|
|Genre||Young adult, dystopian future, science fiction|
|October 12, 2010|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paper back)|
|Preceded by||The Maze Runner|
|Followed by||The Death Cure|
The Scorch Trials is the second book—preceded by the 2009 novel The Maze Runner—in a young-adult dystopian science fiction trilogy by James Dashner. The novel was published October 5, 2010 by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House. On October 11, 2013, it was reported that Fox had acquired the rights to The Scorch Trials. The movie will be released on September 18th, 2015. 
The book starts in the middle of the night when Thomas wakes up and can't get back to sleep. He calls Teresa's name telepathically. After a while, Thomas finally falls asleep. Teresa calls out to him telepathically, but can't seem to get Thomas's attention. He wakes up to seeing everyone panicking about Cranks, people infected with the Flare, outside their door. Thomas and the rest of the Gladers go around to investigate, and find that the room in which they'd eaten pizza with the people who rescued them is locked. They ram the door down and turn on the lights to find the bodies of their rescuers hanging from the ceiling. They enter Teresa's room, which is empty except for a boy named Aris, who's from Group B. He can also talk telepathically and even had a telepathy partner named Rachel, who was killed just like Gally had killed Chuck in the first book. Outside of the room is a plaque that says "Teresa Agnes. Group A, Subject A1. The Betrayer." An alarm, similar to the one on the Glade, goes off and the room door locks until the alarm stops. Thomas opens the door to find no dead bodies. Even the plaque is changed to "Aris Jones, Group B, Subject B1. The Partner."
Next they find a man sitting in the middle of the next room who they call Rat Man. He tells them they are to make their way through the Scorch, a burned out section of the land. As an incentive, they've all caught the Flare and will receive a cure when they reach their destination. Shortly after he leaves, the Gladers discover tattoos on the back of their necks: Newt's says he's "The Glue", Minho's says "The Leader", and Thomas' says 'To be killed by Group B". The Gladers enter a Flat Trans and wander through darkness for about an hour, when they hear strange whispers. Two boys get killed by molten steel balls that cover then decapitate their victims before they roll away. Winston gets attacked too, but Thomas manages to save him. They enter the Scorch, eventually come to a building in which they had heard screaming. Teresa exits the building, and Thomas senses a trap when he approaches her. Teresa is crying, telling him to get away from her. She kisses him and tells him to tell the Gladers to get as far away from her as possible.
Thomas and the Gladers hike towards a city to stock back up on supplies, along the way, he has another "memory dream" where Teresa and Thomas practice talking telepathically. A storm soon hits, killing off seven boys, including Winston. They stay inside a building when a Crank named Jorge welcomes them into the Crank House. Minho insults him and Jorge kicks him twice in a place where he was burnt from getting struck by lightning. Minho attacks Jorge and all the Cranks from upstairs come down. Fortunately, Thomas negotiates a deal with Jorge, keeping the Gladers from getting killed. Thomas meets Brenda, who becomes very forward when he first meets her. They go downstairs and eat, when the roof collapses, separating Thomas and Brenda from the others.
The two of them walk through the Underneath and fight some Cranks. Eventually, they make it onto the surface and sleep in a truck. Thomas wakes up from a nightmare and goes back to sleep. He has another dream memory where he and Teresa are listening in on a conversation between WICKED employees. Thomas wakes up again and sees words printed on a brick saying "Thomas, you're the real leader." They leave the car and are forced into a club by a few strangers. They dance to the music and are forced to swallow drinks that make them feel dizzy. Brenda tries to kiss Thomas, but he says "You're not...her." and "You could never be her."
They wake up in a dark room with the 3 strangers who took them to the club. They are about to kill them when Minho and the other Gladers save them. While fleeing the strangers, a man that Thomas calls "Blondie" shoots Thomas in the left shoulder with a rusty bullet, giving him an infection. After the Gladers fail to heal Thomas, WICKED goes down and gets him in a machine called a Berg. While being healed, he overhears one the worker's conversations in which a woman stated that he wasn't supposed to get shot. He's taken back to where he came from, and he explains everything to the Gladers.
Later, Thomas hears Teresa's voice in his head, warning him that something terrible will happen, leaving him hurt and scared. And he had to trust her no matter what. She pauses and says that he won't hear from her for a while until they're back together. Newt and Thomas talk about how WICKED only made an exception for him and no one else. They see Teresa and Group B walking towards Group A with weapons. She hits Thomas multiple times with the butt of her spear and drags him back to their base. Thomas is fed once they get there and falls asleep, having another memory dream. The next morning the girls decided not to kill him. Thomas and the girls get about 7 miles away from the "safe haven" when Teresa motions for Thomas to follow her.
Aris appears and holds a knife to Thomas's back and leads him into a cave. Thomas sees a glowing green door, which he thinks could mean that there is radioactive substance inside. Teresa reveals that her and Aris had a thing before and during the Maze and the Scorch Trials. She also said that she manipulated Thomas to escape the Maze. They led him through the door, and into a gas chamber, but Thomas puts up one last fight, attacking Aris and Teresa, but does not succeed. He then gets dragged into the gas chamber where gas is then released. Thomas then passes out, as he felt betrayed. While knocked out, Thomas has another dream of one of his memories about being sent into the Swipe, then into the Maze. Thomas wakes up, and then the gas chamber opens. Aris and Teresa then enter and begin to explain everything and how their betrayal was fake, not real. Teresa apologizes, but Thomas still feels like he's being betrayed and won't trust her. He takes his chances and joins them both as they run to catch up with the other groups, as they only have a few hours until they must be at the safe haven. Teresa explains along the way that her telepathy with Thomas was "cut off" when WICKED came into her room and told her to tell Aris that they had to get Thomas to the point that he feels totally betrayed by them, and if they did anything against WICKED, Thomas dies. They kiss near a valley, but Thomas feels nothing.
They make it to the safe haven, but monsters with bulbs all over their bodies appear out of strange pods and start engaging both groups and then they begin to fight. Three people die in the fight. The Berg comes back and picks up the Gladers. A guard on it gets angry for them taking Jorge and Brenda with them, forcing Thomas to choose who to kill. He chooses Brenda, thinking it's a test, but he's wrong. He manages to keep both. They're fed and bathed and all fall asleep. Thomas has one more dream where Brenda speaks to him telepathically, saying things are about to get bad. He wakes up in a padded, white room. Brenda is telepathically speaking to him, saying the Flare was rooted too deeply in him, and they took him away. Thomas tells Brenda to go away. Brenda tells him WICKED is good and stops all telepathy.
- Thomas: The protagonist, a teenage boy who was a Runner in the Glade. He discovered that he had a part in helping WICKED and building the Maze when he was stung by a griever. He has the ability to speak telepathically with Aris and Teresa. The tattoo on the back of his neck that was given to him by WICKED researchers says, "To be killed by Group B". Thomas struggles with many conflicts throughout the book, such as becoming the real leader, being betrayed by Teresa, and most importantly, SURVIVING THE SCORCH. This causes him to become confused, hurt, and betrayed.
- Newt: An English boy with long blonde hair. He was the leader of the Gladers while in the maze after the former leader died in the first novel. He has a slight limp,and is Thomas's and Minho's friend. The tattoo on the back of his neck designates him as "The Glue".
- Minho: A Korean American boy who was the Keeper of the Runners in the Glade. He is snarky, aggressive, and stubborn which gets him in trouble frequently. He is friends with Newt and Thomas. The tattoo on the back on his neck shows that WICKED intended for him to be "The Leader"
- Brenda: A girl from Canada who has turned almost full crank. Both Jorge and herself help lead the Gladers through the Scorch, but Brenda mostly leads Thomas after they become separated from the rest of the group. She looks up to Jorge as a father.
- Aris Jones: Another boy who was involved with WICKED before the maze. He spent the first novel with Group B. He can speak telepathically with Thomas and Teresa. His best friend - Rachel - was killed when Group B escaped their maze. The tattoo on his neck designates him as "The Partner".
- Teresa Agnes: Thomas's best friend before the Glade. She can speak telepathically with Thomas and Aris. She spends much of the novel with Group B, whom she becomes the leader of. She becomes under control of WICKED at times, which makes it difficult for Thomas to trust her. She was to be known as the "The Betrayer".
- Jorge Gallaparga: A man who presents himself as the leader of the Cranks. He appears to be dangerous and psychotic, yet also humorous. He is a father figure to Brenda.
- Sonya: A past leader of Group B.
- Harriet: A past leader of Group B.
- Rat Man: The first researcher to present himself to the group.
- Rachel: She played the same role as Thomas, but in Group B. She was killed as Group B was escaping their maze.
- Frypan: The cook for the Gladers in Group A.
- Winston: The keeper of the Slicers in Group A, responsible for killing the livestock for food.
On October 11, 2013, it was reported that Fox had acquired the rights to The Scorch Trials. A screenplay will be written by T.S. Nowlin, with director Wes Ball supervising the scriptwriting. The film will be titled The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. On July 25, 2014, Ball announced at San Diego Comic-Con International that they want to start shooting in Fall 2014 should its predecessor become a success when it hits the theatres in September 2014; also unveiling a concept image at the conference, which leads us to assume that he will be directing the sequel as well.However, two weeks prior to the film's release 20th Century Fox decided to move ahead with the sequel and pre-production as well as preping the sets began in early September 2014 in New Mexico. Director Wes Ball is set to return, as are actors Dylan O'Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario. On September 26, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Aidan Gillen was signed in to play the antagonist, Rat Man in the sequel. On 1st October, 2014, it was announced that Alisha Evelyn Heng and Jacob Lofland had signed to play Brenda and Aris Jones, respectively. On 3rd October, 2014, it was announced that Giancarlo Esposito is to play Jorge in the film. Creature designer Ken Barthelmey is designing the creatures for the film.
- Chitwood, Adam (October 11, 2013). "Fox Hires Writer to Start Work on MAZE RUNNER Sequel THE SCORCH TRIAL'S". Collider. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
- Sciretta, Peter (July 25, 2014). "The Maze Runner Sequel The Scorch Trials Concept Art Revealed [Comic Con 2014]". slashfilm.com. Retrieved July 26, 2014.