The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The basics

Title: The Scorch Trials


Series: The Maze Runner #2

- The Maze Runner (2009)
- The Scorch Trials (2010)
- The Death Cure (2011)
- The Kill Order (2012)
- The Fever Code (2016)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

Read a full summary of The Scorch Trials by James Dashner below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Scorch Trials and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

Thanks once again to Rachel, who is taking this sidekick role super seriously!

in short

The Gladers are forced into another trial – this time the Scorch Trials. Teresa is forced apart from the Gladers. She joins a group of girls known as Group B. They face many threats as they all – the Gladers (or Group A) and Group B – try to make it safe across the Flat Trans or Scorch, including Cranks and betrayal. Thomas remembers more and more of his past through dreams. WICKED makes Teresa and boy named Aris trick Thomas, so Thomas doesn’t trust Teresa by the end of the book. A lot of Group A dies but the main peeps – Newt, Minho and Thomas survive. WICKED takes the surviving Group A and B, plus two Cranks called Brenda and Jorge into a ship called the Berg. They treat them for the flare.

what happened in The Scorch Trials?

  • The male Gladers are in the dorms the rescuers bought them to at the end of the first book. Teresa was separated from them.
  • Thomas wakes in the middle of the night. He calls telepathically to Teresea but she doesn’t reply. He falls back asleep and dreams of his real parents.
  • When he wakes again everyone else is up and worried about Cranks breaking in. They discover the door to outside has been locked and, when they turn on the lights, the bodies of their “rescuers” hanging from the roof. They try to break out.
  • They enter Teresa’s room to find her missing and a boy named Aris from Group B there instead. He can talk telepathically to a girl named Rachel who was killed in the same manner as Gally in the first book. On the door is a sign that says “Teresa Agnes. Group A, Subject A1. The Betrayer.”
  • An alarm goes off – similar to the one in the Glade – and the room locks itself. When it stops, Thomas opens the door to discover the dead bodies disappeared from the main room and the plaque has changed to say “Aris Jones, Group B, Subject B1. The Partner.”
  • They find a man sitting in the middle of the room. They nickname him Rat Man. He tells that they have a new task – to make their way through the Scorch. If they make it they’ll be cured of the Flare – which they have all been infected with, unknowingly, during their stay at the dorm.
  • When the man leaves, they boys discover tattoos on the back of their necks. Newt’s read “The Glue”, Minho’s “The Leader”, Thomas’ “To Be Killed by Group B”.
  • The Gladers enter a Flat Trans and have to wander through a dark tunnel for an hour. They hear strange whispers. Two boys are attacked and killed by strange molten steel balls that cover than decapitate their victims before rolling away. Thomas saves a boy called Winston who also got attacked.
  • The exit the tunnel and find a building where they hear screaming, Teresa exist the building but Thomas suspects its a trap. She is crying and then kisses him. She tells him to take the Gladers as far away from there as possible.
  • Thomas and the Gladers walk towards a city to try and find supplies. Thomas has another “memory dream” and talks telepathically to Teresa.
  • A storm hits. Seven boys, including Winston, die.
  • They meet a Crank named Jorge who welcomes them into the shelter of Crank House. Minho insults Jorge and fight ensues. More Cranks emerge from upstairs. Thomas negotiates a deal with Jorge to stop them being killed.
  • Thomas meets a Crank named Brenda. They are eating downstairs when the roof collapses and they Thomas and Brenda are separated from the other Gladers.
  • They walk through the Underneath and have close encounters with some Cranks. They make it back to the surface and sleep in an abandoned truck. Thomas has another “memory dream” about Teresa and him talking to some WICKED employers. When he wakes, he sees a brick that says “Thomas, you’re the real leader”.
  • Brenda and Thomas are forced into a club where they drink something that make them feel dizzy. Brenda tries to kiss Thomas but Thomas tells her she’s not Teresa and he can’t.
  • They wake up in a strange room with three strangers trying to kill them. The Gladers save them. One of the strangers – nicknamed “Blondie” by Thomas – shoots him through the shoulder with a rusty bullet. He gets an infection.
  • WICKED comes to rescue Thomas. The put him in a machine called the Berg. He is healed by them. He also overhears a conversation by one of the healers that he wasn’t meant to get shot. What does that mean?
  • Teresa warns Thomas, telepathically, that something bad is going to happen and he should trust her no matter what.
  • Group B and Teresa approach the Gladers with weapons. Teresa hits Thomas with the butt of her spear multiple times. She kidnaps him and drags him to their base. In the morning, the girls decide not to kill Thomas and march to a “safe haven” seven miles away.
  • Teresa leads Thomas away from the group and Aris appear. He holds a knife against Thomas’ back and forces him into a cave. Thomas sees a green glowing door.
  • Aris and Teresa reveal that they had a relationship prior and during the first book and the Scorch Trials. Teresa claims to have manipulated Thomas to escape from the Maze. She and Aris kiss in front of Thomas. On purpose.
  • Aris and Teresa lead Thomas through the green glowing door and into a gas chamber. Thomas tries to attack Aris. Doesn’t succeed. Passes out from the gas.
  • While knocked out Thomas dreams about being sent into the Swipe, then the Maze. When he wakes up, the room opens and Aris and Teresa come back. They explain everything. They claim their betrayal wasn’t real. Teresa tries to apologise, but Thomas doesn’t accept it.
  • He runs with them however, as they try to catch up with the groups – who are still on their way to the safe haven. More explanations come as they run. Teresa says WICKED cut off her telepathy skills and told her they said she had to betray Thomas with Aris or they would kill her.
  • The kiss. Thomas claims to “feel nothing’.
  • They make it to the safe haven in time. Monsters with glowing blubs over their bodies appear out of strange pods and start fighting them all – the Gladers, Group B, Teresa, Thomas, Brenda, Jorge and Aris. Two people die in the fight.

how did The Scorch Trials end?

The Berg appears again and a guard gets angry that Brenda and Jorge are there. Thomas thinks he has to choose who gets to come. He choose Brenda to be killed, thinking its some sort of test. Both Brenda and Jorge get to stay however.  They are all fed, bathed and fall asleep on the Berg. When he’s asleep, Thomas talks telepathically to Brenda who says bad stuff is still going to happen. He wakes in a padded white room with Teresa talking, telepathically, to him. She says that the Flare is so deeply rooted in him, they had to take him away. Thomas doesn’t trust Teresa anymore and tells her to “Go away”. She leaves after saying one last thing: “WICKED is good”.

anything else

Cranks = people infected or sick with the Flare

the Flare = deadly disease, no cure

Gladers = the name for the people from the Glade Pretty much just Group A so Minho, Newt etc.

the Scorch = a burned out section of land, the main setting for this book.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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