The Scorch Trials - James Dashner This second installment to James Dashner's Maze Runner series was again an exciting, brand new, mind blowing post apocalyptic novel, and for me more of all of that than the first.I still don't know what the heck is going Wicked good or bad? What the heck is their plan, and is there really anything in the world that could justify what they put these boys and girls through? I can't wrap my head around any such thing, I just can't. All I have to say is that Dashner better come up with a hell of a story to convince me that the end is worth the means. This one starts off the morning after the first book ended. The boys are fed and rested for the first time in months, only to wake up to find that nothing is as it seemed the night before. The are in a land called "The Scorch", somewhere nearer to where the deadly Flare has been infecting people. These poor guys simply don't get a single break! Not only are their minds tampered with, but they are physically pushed beyond what their bodies should be able to handle, and what is left of their minds is further tested by some truly atrocious events. Things that would break me if even ONE of them happened to someone I cared about. But Thomas and the rest of the gladers witness their friends and new acquaintances getting killed in horrific ways.This book was MUCH more brutal than the first, not to mention scary as hell in parts. I'm thirty one years old and I was freaked out by the Cranks, the people who have caught the flare and lived with it long enough for it to eat away at their minds. Scary stuff! This ends on another cliffhanger. I don't say this often, because I hate cliffies, but these books really need them, I think. Like, the entire point of the series is the BIG QUESTION of why this stuff is happening. In order to really connect with these boys, you've got to be just as blind as they are, got to have no knowledge of the reasoning behind Wicked's seemingly cruel, inhumane situations.What a ride these first two books have been. Next up is the Death Cure, and I believe it is the last book in the series. I'm so anxious to figure out what's going on, but also apprehensive because I have a feeling that nothing could ever be enough to appease my sense of horror at the treatment of Thomas and his friends. I listened to the audio of this book and the first. The Narrator does a fabulous job, in case you're curious, and he does all of this series books so no switching in the middle!*Edited to add fan pics*