The Scorch Trials is the second installment in the Maze Runner series. While I really enjoyed the original book, there was something missing this time around. The characters now realize they are part of an experiment, what they need to do to survive, and how long it should take them to complete "The Scorch Trials." The element of surprise was completely eliminated, which removed all of the suspense. Danger still presents itself in various forms, but I felt like the characters were simply going through the motions to reach the "safe haven."
We have the same cast of characters, but trust becomes a major issue for Thomas. WICKED is supposed to be good, but they keep putting them in dangerous situations for no obvious reason. When things don't go as planned WICKED swoops in to help Thomas, but they place him back in the trials without any explanation. In addition, Teresa was supposed to be his best friend. She is taken away and replaced with a boy from "Group B" who can also speak telepathically with him. The Gladers discover there was another group consisting of all girls and one boy that went through an identical maze experiment. They are now competing against the other group in addition to simply trying to survive the trials.
The end of the book did not provide much of a conclusion. The "scorch trials" are complete, but it is clear there is another book in this series. The characters aren't provided any more information than what they started with. They have no idea what WICKED is trying to accomplish or how much longer the trials will continue. Based on past experience, they can only believe the safe haven is a temporary reprieve and there is more to come.
I do not feel like I gained very much from reading this story. We picked up some additional characters along the way, but Thomas and his friends are in basically the same situation they were in at the end of The Maze Runner. I am hopeful The Death Cure, which is the final book in the original trilogy, will provide the EPIC conclusion I am looking for.