I read The Maze Runner last year and although I didn't really enjoy it that much, the end left a lot of cliffhangers and after seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie I was reinvested in the storyline and decided to read this, but I was once again disappointed.
This book was really similar to the first book, plot-wise because they had to go through insanely dangerous situations they knew nothing about, but also the way it was written because although I was interested there was nothing driving me to read it for the majority of the book, until the last fifty or so pages when it got really intense and then ended on another cliffhanger. Although I like some mystery in a story, this series is a bit ridiculous with it, I hate not knowing what all the patterns are for, I hate not knowing if WICKED is actually good and if the next book (the last one in the series) doesn't answer all the questions that this book and the previous one posed I will really regret reading this series because at the moment that's all that's keeping me involved. I don't really like any of the characters so I'm not invested in what happens to any of them, especially in this book because I don't really like Thomas or Teresa and all the other Gladers aren't really mentioned or important in this book so it's hard to even distinguish between them like I could in the last book. I think if you read the first one and just wanted to know why everything was happening you could probably jst skip this book and go to the last one, but if you enjoyed the first book you'll definitely enjoy this one.
This book picks up right after the end of the last book and during the night when they are sleeping Teresa is taken away and replaced with a boy, Aris, and they learn that he was part of the other group which had a different glade and maze and was full of girls and one boy. The next day a man shows up and tells them that the next day they will have to walk through a flat trans and they will then have to travel 100 miles north in two weeks and they will reach a safe haven where they will be given a cure to the flare, the disease which they all have (along with the rest of the world). Once they travel through the falt trans they are in some underground tunnels that contain killing metal blobs that kill two of them before they get out into the Scorch. It is a giant desert where the sun is so blinding and hot they need to be covered at all times in daylight. After a day or two they reach a town that is probably the halfway point, it is full of Cranks, people who have th flare, and two of them help the Gladers get through the town if they can have the cure as well. Thomas gets shot as they're moving through the town and that day a hovercraft from WICKED comes in and doctors perform surgery on him and give him antibiotics to make sure he does not die from an unplanned variable. Once they are almost at the safe haven point, the group of girls ambush them and take Thomas because Teresa wants to kill him. Once he is tied up by the girls, Thomas talks to them and they all decide that Teresa is hell bent on killing him for no reason at all so they let him free and they travel to the safe haven together. Teresa then takes Thomas away from the other girls and tells him that her and Aris are in love and Thomas was going to be their sacrifice. Thomas fights them off but they trap him in a small hole for a night. The next day Teresa lets him out and says that WICKED told them they had to do that to make him feel betrayed, if she didn't do it they would kill him and she accepted that she would rather lose what they could've had than lose him altogether. They eventually reach the safe haven point where both groups have arrived with a few hours to go. About an hour before the allocated time, a group of new creepy creatures erupts out of the ground and they have to fight them off during a massive lightning storm before another hovercraft comes to collect them. Once on the ship all of them fall asleep and Thomas awakes in a separate room to the others and Teresa tells him that they said he had already succumbed to the flare and he had to be taken away. The epilogue is another letter from the director of WICKED saying that the second trials went well and they'll see what happens when they all get their memories back.