With much more of a post-apocalyptic setting than the previous book, and really a lot darker, this has a sort of Fallout/Borderlands-esque feel to it. There were actually a couple of moments that made me feel a little sick – Dashner cuts off his descriptions of certain events before they get really bad, but when your imagination runs away with you it is hard not to imagine! Also, to me, there is nothing more terrifying than groups of people becoming feral and turning on one another. Sure, the Grievers from the first book were horrible. But people are intelligent (well… mostly), they have emotions, souls. To go from being human, to something truly animalistic, is a scary thought.
I would have preferred a little more of some of the other characters – Minho, Newt etc – but the focus was very much on Thomas and Teresa. There was also a rather shocking moment that, once everything is explained to him, Thomas seems to just accept far too easily. At times the pace of the story was too quick – as with the ending of The Maze Runner – and although quite a lot happened, it didn’t always feel like it.
However, the ending was exciting and I had such a vivid image of the carnage in my head – and it definitely set up for the next book. But it was the same sort of cliffhanger as the first book – the frustrating kind that reveals almost nothing, compared to the kind that gives you just enough information.