Review: The Scorch Trials

Review: The Scorch TrialsThe Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner #2
Published by Delacorte BFYR on October 12, 2010
Genres: Adventure, Dystopian
Pages: 360
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

The second book in the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series—The Scorch Trials is a modern classic for fans of The Hunger Games andDivergent.

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?

I read the first book in this series, The Maze Runner, before I started blogging, so I cannot link to a review of it. So to sum up my feelings about book one now: I read it on high recommendation and as part of my dystopia obsession and was largely disappointed. While it is decent, it’s not amazing and the lack of information given to the reader about the actual world outside the test makes it hard to know whether Dashner has a neat, unique apocalyptic view of the future or not. The book basically left me kind of lukewarm.

Book two very much follows in the tradition of book one, so I have little to add. The characters did not become any more dear to my heart in this book; in fact, I like most of them quite a bit less. Thomas spends a lot of time being emo because Teresa won’t talk to him anymore; then, once she does, he’s emo because she doesn’t like him and he doesn’t like her as much anymore either. That gets a bit trying. And, as much as I generally like for there to be a little romance in my fiction, I really could have done without it here.

If you thought escaping the maze meant that you, the reader, would finally get to find out what is going on in the real world in this dystopia, you are going to be seriously disappointed. I had a feeling that would be the case, what with the title including the word ‘trials,’ which would tend to indicate that this would be another test. Still, I find myself somewhat annoyed at the fact that there is little to no added to what had been learned in The Maze Runner. I realize this is intentional and it leaves the reader feeling much like the kids in the trials: frustrated. And, although I dislike this gambit, I must admit that it works, as I do intend to keep reading the books to find out what’s happening.

If you liked The Maze Runner, read this with dispatch, because you’ll love it. If you just want to know what the heck is happening in this dystopian world, then you could, if you want to, read a summary of the plot and wait for a book where the kids do something real. If you didn’t like The Maze Runner, you won’t like this one any better.

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