Thursday, 17 November 2011

Review: The Scorch Trials

Title: The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2)
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Genre: YA, Dystopia

This review contains spoilers for The Maze Runner, the first book in the series.

Now that the Gladers are free of the Maze, they hope to be free of the danger and the puzzles and adapt to the outside world and whatever horrors it might hold. But the Maze did not prepare the boys for the world they find. The climate has been brutally affected by sun flares, and the people of the world have been inflicted with the Flare, a disease that causes the infected to become insane and lose their humanity before succumbing to death. And WICKED, the creators of the Maze, are not finished with the boys. After a night’s sleep, they find themselves in Phase Two of the trials. The group has two weeks to travel 100 miles across the Scorch, a burned out section of the world that is inhabited by the Cranks, who suffer from the Flare. All of the Gladers are in the early stages of the Flare, and will be given the cure if they make it to a safety house. The boys learn that WICKED had another group that went through the Maze, only a group of girls with one boy instead of the reverse. While Thomas had a home in the Glade, the outside world is unfamiliar and frightening. When the world seems to be without hope, the boys will have to fight to stay alive.

I read The Maze Runner in mid-August while on vacation, and I thought it was a fantastic start to the series. I loved it, but I was a bit hesitant to read the sequel, since I wasn’t sure it would live up to the original. I finally read The Scorch Trials earlier this week and it didn’t have the same effect on me as The Maze Runner. As the novel begins, Thomas and Teresa are speaking together telepathically from different parts of the safe house, when Teresa is taken and it becomes clear that something is not right. Despite what they were told, the trials are not over and the Gladers are thrown into the dangerous world that Alby warned them of. The Maze Runner was impossible to put down for me, but I didn’t feel that way about The Scorch Trials. While the first book took hold of my emotions, I felt detached from the story while reading the sequel. Although it was interesting to see Thomas’ new memories of his life before WICKED, I didn’t think the story was engaging enough. The post-apocalyptic world Thomas must cross through wasn’t as interesting as the Maze. There was more conflict in The Scorch Trials, but it got to the point where it felt like too much. However, it was packed with action and things were never boring.

I love Newt and Minho, and slightly resented that they were overshadowed by Teresa. Thomas is a bit bland, but he does make a good hero. I didn’t feel much for any of the new characters and was very disappointed when Thomas was separated from the Gladers. If you love character driven books with characters with depth, then The Scorch Trials isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. However, I enjoy this series for being an exciting story that is packed with action. Everything picked up for me when Thomas is reunited with Teresa towards the end of the novel. This part of the book felt more like The Maze Runner. Full of suspense and intrigue, the ending is what made me decide to continue with this series. Although the sequel did not live up to its predecessor, I will still be picking up The Death Cure. The last few pages left me craving answers, and for that reason I won’t be giving up on this series. The Maze Runner was a difficult book to live up to, and I still liked The Scorch Trials overall, though not in the same way.


“He turned to look just in time to see the rain start falling out as if the storm had finally decided to weep with shame for what it had done to them.”

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