Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (Maze Runner, #2) - Book Review

4.5/5 Stars

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end...

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die...

Edition: Kindle
Pages: 368
Chapters: 65
Publisher: Chicken House

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


I'm definitely in love with The Maze Runner series. I knew that straight after the first entry, but The Scorch Trials only reinforces it. It's a fantastic sequel, a great way to follow its predecessor, but while I enjoyed it, it doesn't quite live up to the first book in the series. I'll get into my dislikes at the end, and focus on the positives first. The Scorch Trials has everything I love about the The Maze Runner: Intrigue, action, great characters. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this series is the epitome of the YA genre, and a must read altogether.

SPOILER WARNING - There are a few things I want to say in the review that could spoil the story for you guys.

We pick up directly after The Maze Runner, and the gang are settling in to their new-found safety. They've escaped The Maze, they've beaten their mysterious captors WICKED, they've earned peace. They thought it was over.
They were wrong.
Thomas is awoken abruptly as Teresa is kidnapped. All hell has broken loose, and all the hope The Gladers had is destroyed. Confronted by a WICKED representative, they're informed that their trials are far from over, in fact, it's about to get even more difficult than they've ever imagined. Tasked with a new mess to fight through, Thomas and the gang will have to cross The Scorch, the desert remains of Mexico to reach a supposed safe haven.
Not only that, but more twists and turns threaten their success, a deadly disease, and a mysterious tattoo on Thomas's neck that has dire consequences.
Fate is stacked against them, and one question lingers on everyone's mind.
Can they survive something worse than The Maze?

The Scorch Trials throws us directly into the action, much like The Maze Runner. It's not as surprising this time though, but it is just as engaging. The way Mr Dashner intertwines intrigue and suspense is fantastic. It's another unputdownable foray into that world. I find the plot extremely enjoyable, even if the pace sometimes jumps around. The twists and turns are also satisfying, some predictable, while others had me catching flies. In essence it's everything I wanted the sequel to be.

I also love the new characters that are introduced. Aris, the mysterious boy from Group B. Jorge, the crazy Crank who could flip out at almost anything. Brenda, the easily lovable and deadly addition to the cast. Our original Gladers are also there, and I like them just that little bit more. There isn't a whole wealth of development for them throughout, with the majority of changes being with Thomas, and a little with Teresa, but mostly everyone stays the same. It doesn't bother me too much. I mean, the plot is exciting, the characters I already love, so I'm hesitantly glad they don't change a lot. I'm also glad the characters tune down their, well, bravado for lack of a nicer word. I hadn't realised how much the nastiness and bullishness of the characters in The Maze Runner actually annoyed me until they'd been calmed down.

What I don't like is the slang. It didn't really bother me in the first book, but in The Scorch Trials, the influx of characters and their respective slang OTTd my brain. It can sometimes leave sentences a little disjointed.
The only major annoyance of the plot comes a little early on. It's not massively significant, but it has stuck with me. It comes when Thomas and Brenda are separated from the rest of the group. For a while they wander on their own, and Thomas constantly worries about his friends' safety and where they are. And yet, Thomas and Aris - who is with the other group - both share a telepathic link. It annoys me that Thomas doesn't even think to use it. Ask about them, see if they were okay or even ask where they are?

In the end, while not 5 stars, 4.5 is not shabby at all. It is a fun and entertaining read, and the series is shaping up to be one of my favourites. For some reason a lot of books have been shaping into favourites for me.

I can't wait to rush into the next book. I need me some answers.


Previous Instalment: The Maze Runner
Next Instalment: The Death Cure

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