Review/Read Along: "The Scorch Trials" Chapters 1-4

Amanda McHugh ’18/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
“The Scorch Trials,” sequel to “The Maze Runner” (written by James Dashner and directed by Wes Ball) will be hitting the big screen on September 18. To get psyched for more action-packed dystopia, Emertainment Monthly will be re-reading and reviewing “The Scorch Trials” chapter by chapter, starting with Chapters 1-4.
The Maze Runner novel and movie ended with Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Theresa (Kaya Scodelario), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), and the other Gladers (what the kids from the Maze called themselves) being supposedly rescued from WICKED (WCKD in the movie, WICKED in the books. For these reviews, the terms from the book will be used). After learning the Maze was an experimental test, the Gladers are taken to a dormitory where they are supposedly “safe.” However, in the epilogue of the book, and a voiceover in the movie, readers learn from Ava Paige (Chancellor of WICKED) that the rescue was a trick to make the kids think they were safe. Just the title of The Scorch Trials alone leads to the idea that the kids will be in for another experimental test from WICKED.

The Scorch Trials" Cover. Source: Penguin Random House
The Scorch Trials” Cover. Source: Penguin Random House
The Scorch Trials opens with the ominous line, “She spoke to him before the world fell apart.” The first chapter is mostly Thomas and Theresa speaking to each other telepathically. Though the telepathy works well in the books, it has been said for the films they will not be including the telepathy between Thomas and Theresa, which makes sense. Otherwise the actors would just be awkwardly staring at each other with voiceovers, which would make for boring cinematography. After clearly flirting with Theresa in his head, summarizing the previous book, and some pretty descriptions of feeling safe and happy, Thomas drifts asleep.
Thomas wakes up to a man gripping the bars of the window with bloody hands, bloodshot eyes, gashes and scars on his face, and no hair except “diseases splotches of what looked like greenish moss.” The boys try escaping back to the common room, but find the door locked, and are forced to break it open. Frypan acts as a voice of reason and thinks maybe they were locked in their room for a reason. Though Minho shuts him down, it’s great to hear more of Frypan’s voice. He was a minor supporting character in The Maze Runner, but hopefully his character will be explored more in The Scorch Trials. Minho of course is still the same strong-headed boy readers have already grown to love. When Newt turns on the light switch, the bright light reveals an even more astonishing horror.
Hanging from the ceiling are the hung, dead bodies of the people who had rescued them the day before. Thomas tries reaching out to Theresa again, but when she doesn’t respond he ends up writhing in pain on the floor, and is only taken out of his trance when his trusty best friend Newt shakes him. The boys grew increasingly close in the first book, and their friendship doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon.
While trying to find Theresa, they find a sign that reads “Theresa Agnes. Group A, Subject A1. The Betrayer.” Before considering why Theresa might be called the betrayer, and maybe foreshadowing that she may not be as loyal as they think, Thomas is more concerned with the fact her last name is Agnes. But don’t worry, while Thomas’s head is lost in the clouds of teenage hormones, Newt and Minho snap him out of it, and ask the real question of Theresa being called a betrayer. But instead of finding Theresa, they meet a short dark haired and olive skinned boy, Aris. The boys are shocked to see another boy, and even more surprised to learn Aris was too rescued from a Maze.
James Dashner captures his reader’s attention with horror, mystery, and a little romance. Though fans tend to ship many of the male characters together in different pairings, Dashner only ever hints at friendships. It’s interesting to see that the problems faced in first few chapters of The Scorch Trials may be even more terrifying than the Grievers the Gladers fought in the Maze. It has been rumored for the upcoming film some order of events between The Scorch Trials and the third book of the series, The Death Cure, will be mixed up. In addition, in the end of The Maze Runner film, the Gladers learn about the Flare virus and their immunity to it. This not only differs from the books, but can be expected to change the beginning of the movie version of The Scorch Trials. One thing that won’t change is the Holy Trinity of the series, Thomas, Minho, and Newt.
Tune in on Fridays (from now on) as Emertainment reads “The Scorch Trials.” 

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