The Scorch Trials Book Review

Thomas slid down the rough face of the tree until he sat on the ground again; he shrank back against the bark and closed his eyes, wishing he could wake up from this terrible, terrible dream

pg. 13

 Book 1: The Maze Runner

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner


The last book left us with Thomas and his gang having just escaped from the Maze and returned to the real world. They wake up in a strange room and quickly learn that nothing is as it seems, or is to be trusted. Thomas soon realizes that Theresa is missing and that he and the boys are trapped in a room with no food and little water. Slowly starving, they think the end is near when a man reveals to them that they are about to embark on the next leg of their journey– if they dare. Thomas and the boys are, as the man explains, infected with the deadly disease the people of the world call the Flare and only by completing the set challenges will they be given a cure. But make no mistake– the challenges are deadly. The boys must make it across the Scorch, a hot and hostile wasteland, to get the cure. It’s a guarantee that not all of them will make, that they will encounter both friends and foes. Dangerous abound and the stakes are high, but Thomas is willing to do just about anything to survive.

Actually, that’s a lie. That makes Thomas sound as deadly as Katniss. But he’s not.

Before we get into that, I have to say, this book was boring. So so so so so so boring. I bought it. I started it. I stopped. I started. I stopped. Rinse and repeat. Point is, while book one was long but hand enough mystery around it to keep me entertained, book two was long and seemed like a repeat of book one. Sure the boys are in a new environment, but the whole challenge thing is less interesting once you know that everything they’re doing is just one big experiment. Not to mention, the book ends exactly like the last one did!!!!!

I’m sorry, was that a spoiler? No, actually, it’s not. Because you can pretty much tell what’s going to happen before it happens because, as I said, this book was just like the first sans the mystery.

I know, I know. I sound like a whinny loser. But I can’t help it! I was expecting so much more. From the title, Scorch Trials, I figured the boys would be put under some kind of pressure, but I figured it would be a mental/emotional thing where the characters grappled with themselves and the new world they came into and what they were going to do about it. Not just another maze. So I guess this just wasn’t what I expected.

Not to mention, the plot felt choppy in the beginning. I felt like some things didn’t line up with what the characters had said or done at the end of the last book. I haven’t crossed referenced them to see if I’m right, but I do think there were a couple of holes. Tell me if I’m wrong or right, please.

Other than the plot, I didn’t like the narration. Dashner’s writing was fine, but I didn’t like that it was from third person because he keeps going Thomas this and Thomas that and Thomas thought and blah blah blah. I felt like Thomas was dying to be a first person character. I really did. Having it in third sorta removed a dire edge from the action.

Also, I thought the romantic aspects of this book were strained. Theresa and her whole cryptic message deal wasn’t really working for me, nor were Thomas’s suddenly feelings for this new chick Brenda. I mean, maybe he knew her from earlier since he doesn’t remember anything from before the Maze, but I felt like it didn’t really add to the plot because neither relationship seems very strong.

This is probably going to be one of the shortest reviews ever. I can see that now. Because I’m almost done.

The whole dystopian thing is big now. Big in the romance category where people are leeching off the whole forbidden romance thing. Big in the rebellion action stuff. Big in the zombie world, even. And I’ve seen a few space stories out there as well. This book, I think, would have fit nicely into the category if it had offered something new. I mean, right now, it kind of blends in. It was so similar to the last book that I was quite bored. There is a whole world beyond just trials (which I think I’ve had enough from via Hunger Games) that would have been nice to explore. The characters have potential, and while they all hover around mildly developed, I think the plot is holding them back  because it’s not really giving them new situations to experience. Yes, you can learn a lot about a person in life or death moments, but what about quiet times? What about the things they like and what they fear? I see the characters, but I don’t feel them.

This is one series that I probably won’t be finishing. I just don’t care enough anymore. You can tell because I actually read this book months ago and am doing the review now because I finally remembered I needed to do it. It didn’t strike me as pressing, see.

In the end, people who really, really liked the first book will like this one. People who didn’t won’t. It’s as simple as that. If your feelings are luke-warm, I’d say don’t bother. It’s not worth your time.

Well, my cats clawed my hands and it’s causing me physical pain to write this. Normally, I’d try and come up with something snappy but it hurts too much. So I’ll just end by saying that this book was also extremely gratuitous in a repulsive kind of way and while my 4th grade brother got away with reading the first book last year, even as a 5th grader this year he’s not getting his paws on this. Cause it was gross.

Ri’s Rating

QQ/QQQQQ

2/5

0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

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