Saturday, October 05, 2019

Scorch Trials: Maze Runner, Book 2

The second Maze Runner book does not feel quite as dark as the first, thought it is very violent. It is also confusing. What is real? What is imagined? Did they escape the "Wicked" world, or are they just participating in yet another trial of that world? Are they really part of something that will help save the world? Or are they part of an cruel scientific experiment? Are the people that die really dying? And how did all these other people get there? There seem to be more questions than answers.
The book starts out where they left off in the first Maze Runner. However, things get weird. The girl disappears and is replaced by a boy. He had lived in an alternate experiment where he was the only boy among girls. He could also telepathically communicate with a girl. However, that girl was shot at the end. They see new things tattooed on their skin. Their lodging seems to do weird things. One day a man appears and gives them their "quest".

They go on the quest. They discover the alternate "girl group". They also run into some other "normal" people. In one case, Thomas is shot by somebody with an old gun. He finds himself whisked out of the world and operated on. Having people die seems fine, but it must be in the way expected.

In the end, Thomas is betrayed only to find that is the way out. We are told this is the end of the trial and now they will be in the real world. But do we believe it? The book goes overboard playing with "reality" that it is difficult to care. Is this the real world? Or is it fantasy? Does it matter? Is the real world one we would care about? That is the important lesson for a reader. The world is very different, yet it is set in the values of today. Would that realistically happen?

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