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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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This is the second book in the Maze Runner series. Thomas and his friends face a whole new set of dystopian challenges as they try to figure out what is going on in the world and who is manipulating them. Like [The Maze Runner], the plot is fast-paced. However, I didn't enjoy this one quite as much. It felt like the author was continuously trying to throw worse and worse horrors in front of Thomas, and Thomas (and I) got very little new information while battling these horrors. Eventually, a few more pieces of the puzzle were revealed. I am intrigued enough to continue with the third book, but I am hoping that Dashner does not continue to ratchet up the horrors that Thomas and his friends face. ( )
  porch_reader | Sep 9, 2014 |
Book Two, Woo!

I had some mixed feelings about The Maze Runner. I thought it started off horribly, but by the end I was intrigued. It still wasn’t a great book though and I was surprised by all the love that it got. With the Scorch Trials, I was hoping for two things to happen.

1. That it would be a lot better than the Maze Runner.

Like Divergent, I didn’t really like the first book. In fact, I thought it was stupid. Sorry Divergent fans. But I did think that as the series progressed it did get a bit better. I still didn’t really care for the second book, but I did like the last one, even with the shocking, but not really, twist, that was foreshadowed from the second book.

Still, I did think it got a bit better. I was hoping that this series would get better too. If it didn’t, then the next best thing would be for it to follow the Matched series which was pretty meh throughout.

2. Some of my answers, not all because this is a trilogy, would be answered.

Sometimes the second book in a series seems like filler and while it may make sense for some instances – actually no, filler books never make sense and just fill readers with rage – I still want some of my questions to be answered. Since we’re out of the Maze and into the real world, I expect to see some crazy stuff and then finding out why there is some crazy stuff.

I didn’t go into this expecting much, but expecting everything, so how was it?

The beginning is really good and starts off with a BANG! It’s almost like Dashner realized that a slow beginning wouldn’t work here and instead went all out. I was pumped reading this. The kids find out that the facility they were brought to was actually the start of another test, don’t you hate when that happens? Unlike the last test that was confined in a closed area, this one deals with the outside world. The world that was so messed up that that Alby (spoiler alert) goes on a suicide mission just to avoid seeing it.

And at first, it’s amazing. The world is completely messed up and the sun burns skin, so you have to keep yourself covered, and there’s this virus, called the Flare, that going around that makes people crazy. Kind of like zombies, only somewhat smarter and more organized in the way they kill people. The teens have to make their way to a check point across this terrain that’s filled with crazy people, in order to get a cure. Because WICKED, the organization behind these tests, kind of gave everyone the Flare while they were sleeping.

It’s a race against time, because if they don’t make it they might start killing each other and stuff and then the entire experiment would have been a giant waste of resources and tax dollars.

People start dying and we find out that there is actually another Maze group filled with teen girls that is also trying to get the cure as well.

I’m not sure what happened, but things started in awesomesauceland and then it got stupid. The more I started to think of the Flare, the more I started to question what was the entire point of all this. We know that Thomas and Teresa were at the head of WICKED and helped make sure that this Maze thing would happen. And we also know that WICKED be shady, but why was Thomas at the head of this major organization? Why was the Maze the best thing to do, when you know, building infrastructure to keep the sun’s rays at bay would be more important? Maybe figuring out a way to use the sun’s massive energy to power up these dome like homes, where they can plant, eat, and live merrily. Saving a few kids to better help mankind is a noble cause, but what land would they help if everyone is dead or infect by the virus?

It just doesn’t make sense.

And then I started to think about the teens here and the amount of times they sleep. Sleeping is great, I mean, I love it. Yay sleeping! But when you have an organization that likes injecting its subjects with a horrible virus while they sleep, I would think that these smart saviours of the human races would realize sleeping in shifts would be the best course of action. Sadly, they never figure this out and stuff still happens to them while they sleep.

I also didn’t like how Teresa was completely mishandled. Teresa is almost like the complete opposite of Thomas. He’s willing to go with the status quo, while she always looks at the big picture. Due to some events, Thomas ends up hating her and isn’t able to forgive her for what she did. The thing is this change seemed off. The book does try to make sense of it, by mentioning variable this and test that, but it still didn’t make much sense to me. It’s almost liked Dashner liked the new girl and decided to get Teresa out of the way so that there wouldn’t be an annoying love triangle. While I do appreciate the lack of triangleness, I don’t like how it ruined a good character just to prop the other one up, especially when that character seems to be lying to him too and hiding things as well.

Overall: Unlike the Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials started off with a great start, but the more the world revealed itself the less it made sense. While I could forgive the Maze Runner for some of these nonsensical ideas, I don’t think I can do it here. Plus, it seemed like in the last book there was a clear plot in place, boy enters a strange world, meets people, has to escape. Here, we don’t really have the same luxuries. In The Scorch Trials the plot is, boy enters strange world, goes on test, things happen, some other things happen, people meet him, things happen, other things happen, the end. I’m exaggerating a bit here, but it did feel like there were a bit too many plots and ideas that never really came into fruition. I almost wish it did, because I did like the beginning of the novel.
( )
  pdbkwm | Sep 8, 2014 |
Taut and bleak, continualy intriguing and surprising, this is a solid sequel that keeps both Thomas and readers wondering what is really going on. Hooked readers will hope they won't have to wait long for the answers that have been promised in the next installment.
  ICANABIBBELG | Sep 4, 2014 |
The scorch trials was about 2 groups of kids. The first group was called Group A. That group had all boys and one girl. The second group was called Group B. That group had all girls and one boy. During the first night at a building in the desert the one boy and girl got switched from both Group A and B. The night after that a mysterious person appeared in each building and gave each group a mission. The mission was to go through something something called a Flat Trans, and travel north for 100 miles in 2 weeks then they would be at a safe haven to get a cure. The person told them that they all had the Flare (the disease in the book). During the journey Group A came across a town that held people called Cranks. The Cranks all had the Flare. Group A picked up 2 people to go to the safe haven with them. When Group A was close to the pass in the mountains towards the safe haven, and met up with Group B. Group B ambushed Group A. Thomas saw Teresa who had been taken away from him in that building, but it wasn't the same Teresa. The whole Group B captured Thomas, and took him far away from Group A. They tied Thomas up to a tree. They fed him then he fell asleep. When Thomas woke up 2 people were guarding him, and Teresa was nowhere in sight. Thomas convinced Group B not to kill him. While Group B was walking through the mountain pass they found Teresa. Teresa wanted to talk with Thomas. Teresa took Thomas away from Group B, and told him that a kid named Aris was right behind him with a big knife. Teresa and Aris took Thomas into a big cave. A door opened up, and Teresa told Thomas to go inside of it, and Aris escorted him in, but Thomas fought back. It turned out that the cave was a gas chamber. Thomas woke up surprisingly. He was thinking to himself that he was supposed to be dead. Teresa walked over to Thomas and told him that it was all an act. She also said that Aris was pretending also. So Thomas, Teresa, and Aris caught up to the 2 groups who had already merged together. When they caught up to them there was an orange banner that said "The Safe Haven." When there was only 35 minutes left to the end of the 2 weeks. The desert floor opened up in front of them. There were these strange closed pods. Suddenly they opened up, and these robots stepped out. One for each person from Group A and B. Thomas, Teresa, Jorge, and Brenda (Jorge and Brenda are from the town) went into one of the pods (the pods are big) because there was a freak storm happening. Also they had defeated their robots. Then a ship landed, and there were more robots, and people from Groups A and B fought them. The ship started taking off. Everybody jumped on. Only two people had died. One boy and one girl. On the ship a captain said that they couldn't bring civilians, but he allowed it. The ship arrived at the safe haven, and Thomas woke up in a white room. Teresa spoke to him telepathically, and said that WICKED (government scientist program) couldn't give Thomas the cure, because The Flare was to rooted in his brain.

I thought that the book was really good. Just the end didn't really make sense. The reason I think that is: They can still give him the cure even if it is to rooted in his brain. That is the only thing I didn't understand. I think James Dashner did a great job on The Scorch Trials. I hope that The Death Cure is good. This was a good book, and everybody should read it. ( )
  RyanT.B3 | Sep 3, 2014 |
It's been a while since I read The Maze Runner, so I spent the first part of the book trying to remember where they were and why. After I finally got back up to speed I enjoyed this one, although I think I missed something somewhere along the way. Hopefully the next one will clear up my confusion. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Dashnerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Wesley, Bryson, Kayla, and Dallin. Best kids ever.
First words
She spoke to him before the world fell apart.
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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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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)

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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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