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[Book Review] - The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Title: The Scorch Trials
   Author: James Dashner
   Series: #2 - The Maze Runner
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: October 12th, 2010
   My Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

     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 Review:

     James Dashner does it again; there is something about his work that just pulls me into his world. The world building in his series is something to die for. I read this right after I finished my copy of The Maze Runner and together there was this new attachment that pulled me into this book, which I just didn’t get in the first. I found myself screaming at the world that Thomas was thrown into this, and with the new addition of Brenda being added into the mix, it brought a new wave of excitement.

     Now when Brenda shows up and adds this whole love triangle mix, with Teresa and all, I was starting to get leery of the idea of it working in this context. Mainly because I didn’t picture Thomas as the type of person to jungle two people like that, and frankly I was right. The triangle seemed to stop almost as fast as it picked up. And Teresa, her metamorphosis in this book was fantastic; you WILL hate her by the end of the book.

     Now, I will agree this book was miles from the first one. The world that was built was good, even the danger at the end of the book felt real and I didn’t want to put it down. However, there was this lack of motivation to get somewhere. For instance in The Maze Runner, I got the idea that there was this need to get out, a need to be pulled into the maze and understand and figure out the puzzle. Here in the desert with all the cranks and whatnot there wasn’t that. It was a big hole that just kept the group of boys running aimlessly toward a goal, or they supposedly would die.

     But I do believe this book has a better character feel to it, I enjoyed Thomas and Brenda better in this story and how they were developed. The problem with Thomas though, was he seemed to understand or sense things way too easily. Like he almost could read their minds easily. I was happy to see some of the characters change though, for instance Teresa and her whole betrayal. I loved it, it gave knew light to what she would do in order to accomplish a goal and left me breathless when it all came together.

     The best part again, is the main plot what WICKED is after and what their goal is still isn’t answered. The book is setup to end well in The Death Cure, and I can’t wait to get into it. I look forward to the questions and tribulations that plague everyone’s mind, in this series, finally being answered in the last book. I just hope Dashner can keep it going.
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