I'm not sure what I expect from this series. The Maze Runner was ok - I didn't love it and I thought the ending came out of nowhere. But it did serve to set up this story.
Honestly, the bad guys are poorly written. We're never quite sure why they're torturing these kids. The entire blow-up and mistrust that results from a couple of the kids being "controlled" by WICKED are pretty contrived. Actually, the acronym "WICKED" is pretty cliche.
Fortunately, the main characters do redeem the story somewhat. At least I cared about Thomas and MinHo and Newt. But it's like Dashner couldn't commit to this being a bonafide sci-fi story or a character study about people in impossible situations. Pick a direction already, dude.
I gave this 3 stars because it did at least keep me interested. If you've read The Maze Runner, you will probably me mildly entertained by this book. Like most, it's the weakest in the series, a typical "middle" book.
Read it or don't; you'll be fine either way. Bleah.