October 02, 2012

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials is the second book in the Maze Runner series by James Dashner.  I always recommend starting at the beginning of a series, and this one is no different, but to be honest, I had a hard time following this one even having read the first.

After escaping the maze, Thomas and Co. only think they are somewhere safe when all of a sudden, they find themselves in the middle of another test.  This time they're turned loose in the Scorch, a hot dry area with sickened "zombies" roaming about.  They all have the sickness too, and are told that in order to get the cure, they must reach a place one hundred miles away in just a few short weeks.  From there it's fighting death and facing betrayal and Thomas has to make several decisions that aren't easy.  But the need to survive is strong in him.

Thomas isn't that great of a character.  I don't connect with him at all and it seems like things happen a little too easy and coincidental for him.  With everything being a test it's hard to say that that isn't on purpose, but without revealing enough of those tests, as a reader I simply don't care.  Some of the characters I did really like, like Minho, take a back seat in this book too and it's always about Thomas, which gets a little wearisome since I don't care for him.  Teresa too doesn't improve with this book and in an odd sense, she and Thomas really are perfect for each other, because I rate them at the same level of interesting.  The new girl, Brenda, at least has some fire and real human emotion in her.

The plot moves along very quickly but even so it was filled with violence and different descriptions that would make your eyes bug out.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it just seemed like filler to me.  Yes this is a middle book, but it can have a decent plot of its own without merely being words to connect two other books.  I also wonder at how some of the things in this book are written, we have description but it isn't really complete.  I can't picture the places they are talking about very well or even the people.  Thomas himself is supposed to be sixteen, but I always get the impression that he's younger than that based on his description.  It just is hard to form an idea in your head on what the world is like with the little information given.

This is just average reading for a dystopian novel.  It has an interesting idea but there's so many loose ends and the fact that this book was filler does it no favors.  I want to know what happens so of course I'll read the last book, but I can only hope it improves on the flaws of the first two.

The Scorch Trials
Copyright 2010
360 pages

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