Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Scorch Trails

Book Selfies are a thing, right?
Okay, now I'm going to catch you up to where I am in The Scorch Trials. I'm on page 164, on the first page of chapter 29. Read to that point and we'll discuss from there.

Just kidding. I'm totally going to give you a summary.

Fair Warning: obviously I haven't finished yet, so I'm not positive on what is going to be relevant later in the book. I will try my best, though, to include everything that might be important. And if I haven't discussed here becomes relevant, I will do my best to catch you up then.

Okay, here we go.

Summary of Events

Okay, I left out a small piece of relevant information from The Maze Runner. I left it out on purpose, because it's more relevant here.  Anyway, after the "rescue," the Gladers are told about the purpose of the maze. There was a disease called the Flare that hit Earth after massive sun flares burned the Earth's surface. Basically, the Earth is looking pretty shitty. The maze was created as a sort of trial to test these young people and see if they could possibly bring an end to the massive horror show that is the present state of the Earth. Basically, the maze was way safer than anything outside of it. And the boys in the trial are the best chance humanity has for survival. No pressure.

The book opens with the Gladers all sleeping in one giant room, with the exception of Theresa. She has been separated from the boys and given a room of her own. Theresa and Thomas are both awake, so they have a conversation using telepathy. Nothing terribly important. Then Thomas falls asleep and starts to dream. He has a dream about his past life. He's four or five and talking with his mother. This is purely Thomas's interpretation of the dream, it could just be random. But my money is on this being the actual past. They discuss the disease, briefly. It is reveled that Thomas is going away. He was "selected" for something. Presumably the maze trials and WICKED experimentation, but it isn't stated.

Okay, after the dream, Thomas is woken up by the other Gladers freaking out. Outside the windows are a bunch of horribly disfigured people shouting at them. The people keep referring to themselves as 'Cranks.' Thomas cannot contact Theresa through telepathy, which really freaks him out. The boys then decide they need to leave their room to get away from the screaming cranks. When they get into the other room, it is pitch black. After finding a light switch,  Newt switches on the lights to reveal the corpses of their rescuers hanging from the ceiling. Definitely not what anyone wants to see.

This is the sign next to Theresa's door.
The Gladers start to look for Theresa. They find a room with an ominous sign about Theresa next to it. After opening the door, they discover someone who is distinctly not Theresa. They find a boy named Aris. Aris has quite a story to tell the Gladers. He was part of a maze experiment, too. Only, in his maze, there were only girls. He was the last to arrive. He arrived in a coma and could speak telepathically with the girl who arrived just before he did. Her name was Rachel and after their escape, she was murdered by another girl who had disappeared earlier. Sounds familiar, right? Aris is basically the other group's (Group B's) Theresa.

Soon after this story, the boys discover that they have all been given tattoos on their necks that they didn't notice. Aris's says "property of WICKED. Group B, Subject B1. The Partner." Minho's declared him to be the leader of group A. The list goes on, most uneventfully until they get to Thomas. Of course, Thomas's is the monkey wrench. He states, "to be killed by Group B." Ruh-Ro.
The tattoos are pretty ominous themselves.

After all this, the boys notice they have no food. There is a brief interlude where they are basically starving to death. After about a week, a man in a white suit behind an invisible force field shows up at the same time as a large pile of food. He tells the Gladers about what is about to happen to them. They are taking part in a trial called, of course, The Scorch Trial. They have to make it to a safe house that is 100 miles due north within two weeks. As incentive, they have been exposed to the disease that makes people into Cranks. When they arrive at the safe house, they will be given the cure. Also, he tells them that they cannot trust their eyes or anything they see. Basically, WICKED is still fucking with them and refuses to stop.

The next morning, the boys step through a sort of doorway thing called a Flat Trans and are instantly transported to yet another dark area. They discover it is a hallway and move in the opposite direction from whence they came. Soon after, people start getting attacked by something. There is screaming and panic. Thomas runs to help because he's a pretty solid guy. He discovers that the victim has had his head completely ensconced in a big metal ball. The head then falls off and rolls away. The Gladers start to run toward the end of the hallway where the believe the exit must be. Only a few other people are attacked. Finally, Minho finds a staircase leading directly upwards. At the top, there is a door. When they open the door, they are met with a blinding light and intense, suffocating heat.  After a bit of waiting, the three leaders (Minho, Newt, and Thomas) figure out which direction they need to go in to reach the safe house. The Gladers then leave the hallway.

There is a few chapters worth of walking through the desert at this point. They see what looks like a town on the horizon and walk toward that. After a while, they hear screaming. For once, Thomas does not run directly toward the screams. They walk some more and notice a smaller building on the outskirts of town. They believe this building to be the source of the screams. After some time, the screams abruptly stop. They see a woman leave the building and stand outside staring at them. Thomas, hoping this woman is Theresa, volunteers to be the one who will approach the house. When he get there, he realizes that it is, in fact, Theresa. She is acting strange, much in the same way Gally was before he stabbed Chuck, like she is being controlled. She breaks free of this control briefly to kiss Thomas and tell him to run. He does.

There is then a huge storm. More people die, but no one important to the story. Minho is injured, but doesn't die. The Gladers finally reach the city and hide in what appears to be an abandoned building. In the morning, when they wake up, they are met by a Crank named Jorge. He's roughly the same age as the Gladers and
still in control of himself. He only has the early stages of the disease. There is a brief power struggle between Minho and Jorge. Thomas pulls Jorge aside to convince Jorge and his men (who were hiding upstairs) not to kill them. He agrees after Thomas tells him that he can get the cure with the Gladers. Jorge asks to kill
Minho, Thomas rightfully refuses. Jorge then comes up with a plan to get the Gladers some supplies and get out of the city.

Okay. You are all caught up to where I am now. So far, this book is better than the first. It's much darker and has way more information to offer. It is really interesting to see how the boys are reacting to their situation now that they have at least some relevant information.

I'll check in again tomorrow for an update.

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