Wow! Let me just start off by saying there is a lot more violence and horror than what I had expected, and more than what was in The Maze Runner. The introduction of the Cranks, those zombie-like beings who have been victim to the Flare, just add another compelling part to this story.To start off, I think it is unfair to say that these characters are not compelling. Through their actions and dialogue, they are well defined and truly make an impression on the reader. The main characters remained consistent and believable, yet they changed and grew from their experiences, like great characters should. In fact, I almost cheered at the end for Thomas on the last page when he makes a difficult decision. Let's congratulate those characters that change and show us that we can too. Brenda, and Jorge are a great addition to the cast. They throw more variables into the equation and complicate the trials. And I love that Dashner introduced a second love interest for Thomas. Let the cat fights begin!This story keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way. James Dashner created a plot that made me jump in fear, yell out in frustration, and hold my breath for the next twist. Definitely a five star book. So much more suspense and unexpecting twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. The new characters were even more enjoyable to read about, and the fight sequences just seemed like an epic battle will finally break out in the third and final installment, The Death Cure. The Scorch Trials ended on a hanger, but The Death Cure will surely end with a bang, more to the sounds of a firework.