Monday, January 28, 2013

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner [Review]

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)2.5 out of 5 Robots!

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner #2
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Release: October 12, 2010
Hardcover: 360 Pages
Publisher: Delacourte Books for Young Reader
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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 and Divergent.

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?
(Courtesy of the Publisher)
Shannon's Thoughts:
Hmmm...where to start?  First of all, I liked The Maze Runner.  I did.  But I wasn't too sure about the ending.  I felt like "Really?  THAT'S what is going on the Maze?".  Well, The Scorch Trials starts right after the conclusion of The Maze Runners and just goes downhill from there.  My biggest problem was that I found the premise to be so weird and so out there that I had a hard time accepting it.  The government hand selected these kids and are now them through all these tests to see if they will survive?  That will save the the, exactly?  Usually I can look past outlandish plots, but this was too preposterous to me.  Secondly, there was a woeful lack of character development.  This was a problem in the first book too, but I was willing to overlook it.  But in the second book I wanted to get to know the characters better.  Especially the protagonist, Thomas. Dashner tends to tell his audience what his characters feel, instead of showing them. By the end of the book, I knew so little about the characters that I didn't really care what happened to them.  I really had high hopes for The Scorch Trials, but ultimately I was left unsatisfied.  I don't think I will continuing with the series. 

Books in the series in the order they should be read:
1. The Maze Runner
2. The Scorch Trials
3. The Death Cure
Prequel - The Kill Order


  1. Good review.
    I can definitely agree with your comments. The concept of "The Maze" was super intriguing but once they escaped and we learn the "why" (or at least part of it), reality gets stretched a little thin.
    I pushed logic aside a bit and still had fun in Scorch though it was a different sort of adventure than the Maze and that made it less compelling in some ways.
    The Death Cure goes even a step farther along the lines. If you felt let down by Scorch, then you'll probably really dislike Cure. It did make for an interesting "ending" to everything, but it still left a lot of questions and ethical dilemas to work through.

    Which I suspect is part of the reason he's now written a prequel. I haven't read the prequel yet so I'm not sure what direction it takes. Hopefully it does some sort of adequate build up to the Maze that makes things believable, logical and ethical based on the state of the world.

    All in all, it's a fun and creative adventure but had a few very significant bumps in the road.

    1. Great comment! I think my biggest problem was the writing. It was like being hit over the head with a blunt object. There was no nuance, no finesse. Coupled with some extremely boring, one dimensional characters, there was nothing there to make me look past the ridiculousness of the plot. It was a good idea, but poorly executed. I really did waffled on whether to read The Death Cure. I still may at some point. Thanks for commenting!!

  2. I read Maze Runner and liked it, started this one and never finished. Maybe some day I'll try again, but from your review it doesn't sound very promising! The plot was a little crazy, but I love sci-fi. I hardly even remember the first book, just being confused in the first half because I didn't know what the crap was going on. But I do remember why they were chosen. Great honest review!



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