December 27, 2011

REVIEW: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

WARNING- This Review may contain SPOILERS to Book One: The Maze Runner. Read with caution!
My review of The Maze Runner

Title: The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2)
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: 12 October 2010
Edition: 1st; Hardcover: 360 pages
Series: Maze Runner Trilogy; Book 2

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.
In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.
The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.
Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?*

My Review:

The Scorch Trials picks up immediately from the end of The Maze Runner. There is no gaps nor is there a time lapse. James Dashner just sucks you back into The Gladers’s world without hesitation. 

In this book, Thomas and his remaining (surviving) Glader friends are back. They go into thinking that what they went through in the Maze is over and that they are safe. However, they are hit with terrible news that they must face a new trial: The Scorch Trials. The Gladers are a little more informed why they must enter this second phase of trails, but a  lot of information is still left in the dark. The Gladers are forced to fight for survival, running into Cranks, old friends, new friends and possible enemies.


I have to say the pace of this one is a bit better than the first book. It’s a little faster and a lot more exciting. What I like about this one is the introduction of different characters and villains. Because of the new characters it’s hard to tell which characters are supposedly good and bad. Also, we get to see some of Thomas’s memories surfacing that make the story even more interesting.

 I also enjoyed knowing more information about WICKED. This book doesn’t give you much to go on, so at times it’s a little confusing. However, the information presented about WICKED and all these Variables the Gladers have to go through make the book enticing. It makes the reader turn page after page, wanting to find out more and more about what is really going on. Why certain Variables are chosen for certain characters, especially Thomas is something I don’t understand even until now. It gets frustrating not knowing much like the characters, but this makes the book appealing. This air of mystery that was apparent in book one keeps the reader going and going even if you think you’ve had enough. Some of the Variables the characters go through are pretty freaky and some are just too unbelievable. They go through much more this time around so of course this means several more causalities. I didn’t mind this at all, if anything I was expecting this.

The downside of this book is the fact that Dashner seems to tell the reader how Thomas feels and acts, rather than letting Thomas “show” the story. It gets tiring when you read Thomas feels this and Thomas does that. Also, this time around his writing doesn’t flow as it did in the first book. It took me awhile to grasp some of the descriptions. Sometimes I felt I had to go back and reread a paragraph to remember what I was reading about.

Other than that, The Scorch Trials is still very enjoyable, just as the first. I’m ready to start book three and find out what WICKED is really up to and most of all, hope there is some kind of resolution for Thomas and his friends. 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

*Summary taken from Goodreads

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