Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)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?


Okay.  Now I'm back from my trip (Yes, I had a good time.  Thanks for asking.), I can get some reviewing done.  The review for Airman is coming tomorrow.  Here goes number one...
First Look: ****The cover is cool.  I especially like the back cover, actually.  The big words that say the ominous phrase "The maze was only the beginning..." are very in-your-face.

Setting: ***** 
Dystopian settings are rarely ever disappointing, and this one is no exception.  I could almost feel the intense heat of the desert.  I could see the ruined city.  It was all nicely described.  By the way, ruined cities always make awesome settings.  Just saying.

Characters: *****  
I loved all the Gladers.  Minho is honestly one of my favorite characters I've had the pleasure of reading about.  Teresa and Aris were very flawed, making them seem even more real.  But, as you can see, there's only one star over there.  Mistake?  I think not.  The reason I give this only one lonely star is because of the most important character in the story, the MC (that's main character, for all the non-writers/non-frequenters of the Inkpop forums).  Thomas was just...I don't know where to start.  I didn't like him at all.  I couldn't even figure out what his personality was.  The author relied on other characters to make vague statements about Thomas' personality that gave no insight whatsoever.  I never cared about him, never felt like I knew him, never felt like he was a real person.  Not good.

Plot: ***** 
Yes.  Many sequels can't keep up the same intensity level as in the first book, but this one did.  The ending really makes me want to read more.  The action sequences were exciting!  I'm really not sure what else to say without either giving away too many spoilers or making no sense to anyone who's never read the book.

Uniqueness: ***** 
It was very similar to The Maze Runner.  :)

Writing: *****
I like James Dashner's writing style, especially since the majority of recently published books are in first person.  It's nice to read some of my favorite: third person past tense (And yes, I do have a preference.  While 98% of people wouldn't notice or care, I'm part of the 2% that does.).  The thing that bothered me to no end, though, was the lack of a comma after the last item in a list.  Like this: pineapples, robots and bludgers instead of pineapples, robots, and bludgers.  You don't want to know how high that is on my list of pet peeves.

Likes:
Everything of note has been mentioned above.

Not-so-great:
Same.  I think everything's already been said.  My main two dislikes are the comma thing and the fact that Thomas was flatter than Flat Stanley.  I also didn't see what Brenda's point in the story was.

Total Score: *****
This was a good follow-up to The Maze Runner. It was exciting and full of action. Yes, there were character development issues, but it was still a worthwhile read. I liked it. I didn't love it as much as the first one, though, but it'll satisfy fans of the series. Hopefully The Death Cure will be back in the five-star range.

Reviews of other Maze Runner novels:
The Death Cure  (The Maze Runner #3)

2 comments:

  1. I am still reading this book and I am almost done. I have to say that I love it! I had wanted to read The Maze Runner for forever, so a while ago I bought it. Once I started reading I couldn't stop. I nearly ran to the library to get the Scorch Trials. So far the second book is as good as the first book. I have to disagree with your rating on Characters just a bit. I don't really know why Brenda was there, except to lead him through the city. On the disagreeing point, I actually liked Thomas. I think it was interesting what WICKED did to him and how he is involved with the tests. I like his personality and the why James D. "wrote" him.

    All in all it was a good book and I would recommend it to anyone who thought the Maze Runner was good.

    Snowfire

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  2. This book is an amazing story that keeps you on your toes throughout the novel. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games then this is the book for you!

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