Friday, November 19, 2010
THE SCORCH TRIALS Review
WARNING: Since The Scorch Trials is the sequel to The Maze Runner, this review will contain spoilers for The Maze Runner. If you have no read the first book, I don't know why you would be reading the review for the second book, but whatever. You've been warned.
The Maze was only the beginning...
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, much of 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 done 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?
So, who read The Maze Runner and thought the ending of the book completely mind blowing? Show of hands. *raises hand* Yeah? Well, hold on tight because in The Scorch Trials, everything is a mind blower. You thought The Maze Runner was crazy? The Scorch Trials are even more so.
Now, I have to compare books to other books, but I need to in order to make my point here. Anyone read A Great and Terrible Beauty and the rest of the Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray? Yes? Know how the books got more magical as they went on, and the balance between reality and magic became more and more skewed towards magic? The Scorch Trials does the same thing, but, working off The Maze Runner, WICKED gets more and more involved and things get way crazier.
You have to be able to read crazy in order to read this book, that's all I'm saying. There are points in the novel when you stop and think to yourself Self, is James Dashner really writing this? and then, you must reply to yourself Self, this man is a genius, let him keep writing and keep reading. All I can say.
Those little things you ignored in The Maze Runner? Like the woman at the end yelling about the Flare and the "test results from Group B being extraordinary?" Yep, all comes into play in this wonderfully crafted novel. Where The Maze Runner was suspense and mystery, trying to figure out what happened, The Scorch Trials is hard packed action, though the mystery doesn't diminish. In fact, I believe I have more questions now than after I read The Maze Runner.
Oh, and if I may pause here to compliment the cover. Once again, the artist has captured The Scorch as beautifully as they captured The Maze. The colors are enticing and the image makes sense with the book. I find this to be something missing in a lot of YA covers, so a congrats goes out there.
Now, back to the review. As in the first book, all the main characters are back. Thomas, Teresa, Minho, Newt. Everyone comes back. But here's the thing. Dashner adds a whole slew of characters into the mix yet doesn't miss a beat. No characters become neglected when he introduces these new characters. Everything flows without a hitch.
True to the first book, this one also ends with a gut-twisting moment that will leave you screaming for more. James Dashner, if you're reading this, I applaud you, sir, for frustrating me completely at the end of your novels. Well done. And, true to his word, the Maze was only the beginning, and I'm sure the Scorch is only an extension of that beginning. Can't wait for the final installment.