The Scorch Trials

James Dashner, Author
James Dashner, Delacorte, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-385-73875-0
Prebound-Glued - 361 pages - 978-0-606-23430-6
Paperback - 361 pages
Library Binding - 361 pages - 978-0-385-90745-3
Compact Disc - 9 pages - 978-0-307-70659-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-70662-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61587-580-1
Paperback - 359 pages - 978-1-909489-41-7
Open Ebook - 298 pages - 978-1-299-05947-4
Open Ebook - 261 pages - 978-0-375-89611-8
Paperback - 359 pages - 978-1-906427-79-5
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Hundreds of pages into this sequel to The Maze Runner, one of the teen subjects of a survival experiment on postapocalypse Earth wonders aloud, "[w]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.)
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