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The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials (2011)

by James Dashner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Maze Runner (2)

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2,1621163,005 (3.83)86

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Read for Fun (Kindle)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.50
Character Rating: 4.00

Read It File It Review The Scorch Trials by James Dashner took The Maze Runner and ratcheted it up a notch! So if you liked The Maze Runner (and really you should read that book) then you will like The Scorch Trials. ( )
  thehistorychic | Aug 18, 2014 |
This is the second book in the Maze Runner series. I don't really want to go into the plot for the sake of avoiding spoilers - but I'll say that it starts where book one left off and Thomas and his crew are put through further torturous trials and we're left with another cliffhanger to propel us into book three.

What I liked:
I'm still enjoy the plot and the world that Dashner has created. I've recently been a big fan of YA dystopia and Dashner's ideas still seem fresh to me (as far as the methods used to test and torture these kids - obviously teens being put through trials and impossible situations is nothing new). I still had a lot of fun reading this book. This series isn't earth shattering in quality or concept, but it reads almost like an action movie, so it's easy to picture what's happening. I enjoy Dashner's cliffhanger chapter endings because each time I had to stop reading because the rest of my life got in the way I was always left wondering what was going to happen next. I'm also intrigued by the deadly technology Dashner keeps creating and I'm wondering if he'll ever delve into how any of it came to be. I'm really hoping "lots of money" won't be the blanket answer for that. As with Maze Runner, I think the book moves at a good pace and I was able to whip through it.

What I didn't like:
When I started Maze Runner, I knew very little about the series. I was instantly sucked into Dashner's world, breezed through the book and had a great time. Now that I know more about what's going on, I actually had some standards for this book. Sadly, I don't think the book (or the writing) developed as strongly as I'd hoped. The books are told from the third person, but following Thomas, so I understand the focus is on him. But I expected some of the other characters to be developed, especially Teresa. In Maze Runner it's clear the two have a connection, but it remains a mystery for them to develop. In Scorch Trials we're told they have a connection and suddenly there's this weird bond/relationship between the two of them. But as far as romantic subplots goes, it's lacking. It seems like Thomas just suddenly decided he loves her...sort of.

We're introduced to a few new characters too, primarily Brenda and Jorge. They're basically cardboard. Jorge is a weak opposition to Thomas's leadership for about two seconds and Brenda is supposed to be a love interest (?). Brenda has even less personality than Teresa (again, I expected her to really shine in this book) but suddenly Thomas has an instant connection with her too and spends some time debating between the two females. It all felt very pointless. My other issue was that it seemed Thomas was telling his entire life story to everyone he came across.

"Thomas hesitated at first, but he knew he had to tell them everything."

I swear, this happens three or four times in the book, almost verbatim. It's a pointless way of catching the rest of the cardboard cast up on what's been happening to Thomas and his Glader friends. When it came to the characters and relationships in this book, everything was told, rather than shown. I found myself just waiting for the next action scene so I could feel some excitement again.


I didn't enjoy this book the way I did Maze Runner. Scorch Trials is still a good book, and I'm eager to see where Dashner takes me in the conclusion, The Death Cure, as well as the prequel, The Kill Order. I'm nowhere near giving up on the series, I just wish Dashner's writing had progressed the characters instead of just the action. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Jul 10, 2014 |
Will hold your attention in the short run, but you will ultimately find it lacking. Plot is entertaining but characters are underdeveloped. Read if you liked the first but honestly I would save your money. ( )
  Tigerlily12 | Jul 8, 2014 |
Originally posted at Read. Run. Study.

While I wasn’t dying to continue the trilogy, I was curious to see how things unfolded, so I picked up The Scorch Trials from the library. As with The Maze Runner, this was a fast-paced read that easily held my attention. Dashner continued to do a great job keeping the characters and the reader guessing, particularly when it came to who could and could not be trusted. As with the first book, some of the twists were predictable, but I got caught up in the story anyway.

The Scorch Trials was still very plot-driven, but I did find myself becoming more attached to the characters. I particularly felt for Thomas at several key points, though his character still frustrated me a little. I think the most frustrating aspect to Thomas’s character is the frequency with which Thomas seemed to conveniently forget vital information until it was too late. And if I wasn’t afraid of spoiling the story, there would be a lot more to say, but I think I’ll leave it there.

Overall, I think The Scorch Trials was a good sequel, and I really liked the story even if some events frustrated me. It left me ready to finish the trilogy. There are still a lot of questions Dashner left unanswered, and there is a lot I still want to know about the world.

Rating: 4/5 ( )
  readrunstudy | Jun 21, 2014 |
I had such high hopes for this book. I really wanted to learn more about the characters, and be able to connect with them, but instead, I was left completely disappointed. The thing I saw most was the back of Thomas's eyelids? I understand that in a desert wasteland you would need to rest, save your energy, but REALLY!? This guy has been knocked out, blacked out, and just simply fell asleep WAY too much in this book. I am still interested to see where the story, and characters go, but it won't keep me up at night, and that's just too bad :( ( )
  katemiller1724 | Jun 20, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Dashnerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Awards and honors
For Wesley, Bryson, Kayla, and Dallin. Best kids ever.
First words
She spoke to him before the world fell apart.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
ISBN 0307706591 is for the unabridged audio book of this work. ISBNs 978-0385738750 and 0385738757 are for the hard cover.
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
From the back of the book:

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?
Haiku summary
The Trials keep on / Coming in a Maze now a / Part of a city. (legallypuzzled)

No descriptions found.

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After surviving horrific conditions in the Maze, Thomas is entrapped, along with nineteen other boys, in a scientific experiment designed to observe their responses and gather data believed to be essential for the survival of the human race.

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James Dashner is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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