Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BR: The Scorch Trials

by James Dashner
The Maze Runner trilogy; book II

Well, I read the first book a while ago and really enjoyed it, I thought it was an original take on dystopian fiction. I was so happy to get to read this one, I didn’t know if it would measure up to the TMR though. The Scorch Trials is released today (Oct. 12)!!

Warning: Slight spoilers for Book I (The Maze Runner)

Summary (goodreads):
The Maze was only the beginning...

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, much of 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 done 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 Expectations: I haven’t read a single review, so I was just hoping it would be as good as The Maze Runner (which I didn’t review but gave it an ‘8’)

Delivery: Aargh! Wow! It was addicting and had the elements crucial for super-enjoyment :)

Put-down-ability: You won’t be able to stop anywhere without being left hanging, that’s how twisty it is. 2/10

My Thoughts

If you were a fan of The Maze Runner, trust me, The Scorch Trials will not let you down. I was thinking how amazing the idea of the maze was… until this one just blew me away. Everything about this book is fantastic, with every plot element perfectly melded to fit the style and tone of this book.

The Scorch Trials picks up right after the last book ended, without missing a beat the author plunges you right back into this dystopian world and takes you on one helluva ride. Let’s start with the pacing: it was crazy. Exhilarating; it was non-stop bam-bam-bam, it mercilessly knocks you down and doesn’t wait for you to get back up before it kicks you in the stomach, things are thrown at Thomas and the Gladers at utterly insane intervals… which was awesome.

I loved every twist and turn and being jaw-droppingly shocked at times, seeing what Dashner would make these boys undergo next, the mystery behind WICKED, the Cranks and the Flare, Group B, the Trials… fantastic. Plot gets an A+.

I’m delighted by the way Dashner handled the third person POV, I didn’t feel detached from the protagonist at all, it was well laid out and well written. Thomas’ conflicting emotions and his inner thoughts all felt authentic, and I loved being in his ‘head’, ie: not knowing what the hell was going on and just being tossed into dangerous situations with crazy people and hectic conditions. The way he learns a bit more about his past and his old world was interesting and added to the mystery.

I absolutely adored where the storyline of Thomas/Teresa went (not kidding, it is intensely suspenseful and original) but I did feel the other Gladers’ development lacked. I wish we got to learn more about Minho, Newt and the other boys but they all felt flat. Also, I never really got why they didn’t get suspicious of Thomas in certain parts. I’m not a big fan of the kinda-end-ish twist, it was just awkward and lacked sincere motivation (but it's all part of the mystery, I guess). However, I am impressed with the way a love triangle is emerging.. dun dun dunn! xD

Parting Thoughts: ohmigosh, I can’t wait for book 3!!! I would say this sequel is even better than the first!
Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations

8.9/10 – because the pacing and plot was so incredible, I was amazed by how quickly you’re transported right into the middle of everything, letting events unfold and unravel with mystery and action. The plot made the book impossible to put down. The mystery behind WICKED is one I can’t wait to learn more about, and I don’t even know what Dashner’s gonna do next. The minor characters were a bit static and robotic, which was my only nitpick with this novel. The Scorch Trials is highly recommended to fans of fast-paced dystopian novels with a lovable hero, mystery, and high-voltage action! A

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  1. Great Review. I could learn something here

  2. I thought that this was a hugely suspenseful read...I think I need some answers in the next book, though!

  3. Great review, I am DYING to read The Scorch Trials!

  4. So glad to hear its action packed!
    The first one was amazing so really looking forward to this:)

  5. :O there's a character named Minho?! Nice. and D: better than the first!

  6. cbrett- thanks!

    Mrs. DeRaps- I know! me too!

    Hafsah- thank you!

    Cari- me too! I was a bit apprehensive because it seemed so different from TMR, but it ended up great!

    Holz- I hope you like it!

    Fi-Chan- haha, he is Awesome!


for those who are confused, it means "Don't forget to be AWESOME". *hugs*