Sunday, February 9, 2014

Review: The Scorch Trials

Title: The Scorch Trials
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 12th 2010
Pages: 360
Genre: YA
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 4 Starfish

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?-
Summary and cover image from Goodreads.

The Scorch Trials is the perfect sequel to The Maze Runner. I loved this book, though not as much as the first one, but it was good for the middle book of a trilogy. No second-book-syndrome here! (Or whatever it’s called)

Plot: The plot was great! James Dashner managed to fit zombie-like people into the story and still kept it from being too over-the-top. New characters were introduced that added on to the suspense. I love storylines where characters come in and you can’t trust anybody, so then you’re guessing the whole time and trying to figure everyone out. The plot was just as puzzling as the original and I honestly had no idea what was coming next.

Setting: While there was no maze in this book, the author chose, instead, to show us more of what the actual world looked like. The whole planet is basically cooking from the sun. Everyone is being infected with “the flare”, a disease caused by the sun flares that causes everybody to slowly lose their minds. They then turn into brainless cannibals. Even though the Gladers were out in the real world, Wicked was still watching and testing them.

Shock Factors: There were a lot of intense and surprising scenes. After you’ve read the first book, you start to pick up on how Wicked works, so there’s not very much that can actually “shock” you. Is it unpredictable? Yes. Edge-of-your-seat suspenseful? Of course. But mind-blowing craziness? Not so much.

Thomas: Thomas has a strange personality type. I’m still not sure what to think about him. He’s still pretty brave and is a lot smarter than I gave him credit for.

Newt: Love him. Love him. Love him. A loyal friend is always someone worth admiring.

Minho: Still my favorite character. Still as sassy as ever. Still doesn’t know when to shut up. He got the group into a lot of tight spots, but his stupidity is hilarious. He is definitely the braun over brains kind of guy.

Teresa and Brenda: Love triangles are no stranger to YA. I was actually surprised that the Maze Runner didn’t have one. But now I see that it was held off until the sequel. Brenda was pretty tough and nice for the most part. Teresa made a huge sacrifice for Thomas’s sake, and I really liked her for it (though most people felt like she betrayed him, I felt like she did what was best for him).

Strengths: Getting to see what the world was like, as opposed to hearing about it in the Maze, was nice. BROMANCE! Need I say more?   

Weaknesses: The love triangle was lacking in the love department, but that’s because Thomas is such a weird character. The trials weren’t as cool as the maze trials in the first book, but they had to escape the maze sooner or later, so I can understand that.

I give this book 4 starfish. An excellent follow up to the first one. I recommend it to everyone.


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