Sunday, July 3, 2011

Book Review: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Title: The Scorch Trials
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, October 12, 2010
Pages: Hardcover, 360
Series: Maze Runner, #2
Buy it on Amazon

From Goodreads: 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 Rating: (4.5/5)

This was an excellent follow-up to The Maze Runner by James Dashner. The first book captivated me so much, I couldn’t put it down and the second one did not disappoint. I read this book in the same way: barely able to put it down, thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it, agonizing over it afterwards.

It’s true, everything is different in this book and there is an entire new cast of characters to get to know, but James Dashner makes sure we get to know the important ones and the others, unfortunately, are cast aside. So it must be in times like this. Although the boys are not in the Glade any longer, they are in a new kind of hell, but it seems like they’re actually in the real world now. That’s what makes this book so interesting: after the Glade, do the boys really need to stick together now? Should they? It’s a great experiment to see how they relate to one another now that they’re out of the bubble, so to speak.

Another great think about The Scorch Trials is James Dashner’s ability to bring on the creep. And by that, I mean everything is creepy from the beginning of the book until the end. I’m not sure if this is reality or if everyone is living in some kind of matrix. Although we’re given more clues about the overall arc of the story, I’m still pretty clueless as to what’s going on. Just like Thomas, I’m not sure who to trust and the people I thought I could trust, I’ve realized I can’t. Or can I?

The Scorch Trials is a great YA thriller and I’m beyond excited to get my hands on The Death Cure, the last in the trilogy that comes out this fall. I can’t wait!

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