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The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2) by…

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2) (original 2011; edition 2011)

by James Dashner

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2,5031352,423 (3.8)93
Title:The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2)
Authors:James Dashner
Info:Ember (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (2011)


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Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
You can read my review of book #1, The Maze Runner, here.

After reading The Maze Runner, I was extremely anxious to start The Scorch Trials and continue this amazing story, however, I was very disappointed with book #2. For one, there were several cuss words thrown in (h*ll and da*m), in addiction to the crass talking. There were also several (I think I counted 3) kissing scenes that were not overly detailed but I did not care to read them none-the-less, as they were NOT your "I love you so I'm going to kiss you" type kisses, they were more out of vengeance. But the main cause for my disappointment would be the violence, which was awfully close to horror.

*I am about to mention some of the biggest scenes in this book, but I am leaving out names or anything that I would consider a spoiler. However, if you want to know nothing about the major scenes (which I totally get), then please skip the next TWO paragraphs. But if you are considering buying this series for someone under 13 or 14 (which I highly recommend you NOT do), please read the following paragraphs.*

It is one thing to read a book and watch the main characters rush into battle where many are killed brutally, as was in The Maze Runner. But it is entirely another thing when people start hanging from ceilings with nooses around their necks; having strange metallic balls sere the heads of unsuspecting teens completely off; and lightning striking helpless boys so that they are burned to crisps. All of the above is spoken of in GREAT detail, down to the smell, the feel, the sound, and obviously the sight. I do have to salute the author in this area as he made me see and smell everything that happened even if I didn't want to, which I have never seen in any other authors' writings. I have always had the power over my brain to control whether or not I wanted a visual, great job Dashner!

There was also the issue of the "Cranks", who are basically people overcome with rabies, because when they catch the disease called the Flare, they turn into "less than an animal", going completely insane. There are several instances in which our main characters have to battle these "psychos" and some scenes are rather gruesome as the "Cranks" have cut parts of their own bodies off. Once again, it is really hard to read this without getting a visual.

Setting aside all of the above however, Dashner progressed this story in a way where I never knew what was going to happen next and kept me on the seat of my pants through the entire story. Dashner is an amazing writer and I am just in awe at the power he has over his readers because of his wording and imagination. Definitely one of my top authors, though I wish he did not write so much violence. But, because of all violence, I am only going to be rating The Scorch Trails 3.5 (3 on sites who don't except ".5") stars out of 5 and hope that The Death Cure will be more like The Maze Runner instead of this one.

Thank you all for stopping by and hopefully I will have the review for The Death Cure up soon!

You can read this review, as well as others, at http://acceleratethejesusmovement.wordpress.com ( )
  RayleighAnn | Dec 20, 2014 |
You won't miss anything by skipping out on this and the third book. Not nearly as good as the first! ( )
  benuathanasia | Dec 11, 2014 |
Not nearly as good as the first book in the series. I found it slow in some parts. ( )
  Kathryn_Brown | Dec 1, 2014 |
  mshampson | Nov 30, 2014 |
I give up.

I gave it my all. I made it to page 243 and everything, but I just can’t stick with this one. So I’m throwing up the white flag. I surrender. Guess I’m never going to find out what happens to Thomas and his crew of Gladers.

And the sad thing? I don’t care. That’s how poorly this book was written. It is the second in The Maze Runner trilogy, so it picks up right where Book 1 left off. Thomas and his motley assortment of fellow Gladers have made it back to planet Earth, where they quickly learn the planet has been decimated by a series of powerful solar flares. Millions of people are dead. Most of the globe is uninhabitable. And if that’s not enough, the CDC (or “some disease agency” as one of the character states) released a deadly virus that is plaguing most of the world’s survivors. Thanks to its release at the same time as the solar flare disaster, the virus is called the Flare.

Within moments of their arrival, Thomas and his fellow Gladers also learn they are part of an experiment coordinated by the “government” in place, and the Maze was only part one. Now, they get to survive part two: the scorch trials, which entails walking across 100 miles of barren wasteland to reach a safe haven, where, oh yeah, they can get the cure for the Flare. Turns out all the Gladers are infected with it.

As awkward as all this sounds, I was intrigued. I personally love post-apocalyptica so I’m all for a destroyed planet and a band of battle-toughened survivors any day … regardless of what caused the destruction of the planet. But the issue I had with Book 1 is magnified ten-fold in Book 2.


I’m sorry to say this but I just can’t get behind the way Dashner expresses his characters’ emotions. I can’t stand the way Thomas gets pissed at (new character) Brenda when she reveals a secret she had been keeping from him, and literally three pages later, says to himself, “she’d gained his trust,” (p. 209). Then you jump ahead to page 217 and it’s “he wanted to trust her.” Come on. The guy trusts her or he doesn’t. Pick one and stick to it until Brenda does something to violate or gain the trust.

And the whole book is like this. Thomas loves Theresa. Thomas loves Brenda. Thomas loves Theresa. Thomas loves Brenda. This isn’t a case of the guy not being able to figure out which girl he wants. This is a case of on page 5, he’s in love with Theresa, and on page 10, he’s in love with Brenda. I can see that Dashner is trying to create a complicated situation: Thomas loves Theresa, his mind-talking girlfriend from Book 1, but he is also drawn to Flare-infected Brenda. The problem is the writing is so muddled and so weak that Dashner isn’t actually creating that situation. It literally comes across like Thomas is schizophrenic and one day he’s devoted to Theresa; the next to Brenda.

And with all this muddled mess, there has been no development of these characters. The Thomas that woke up in the elevator on the first page of The Maze Runner is the same Thomas that I quit following on page 243 of The Scorch Trials. Considering everything this guy has gone through, you would think that he would develop emotionally. But nope.

So sorry. I’m not even going to bother with Book three. Here’s hoping the movie's better. ( )
  parhamj | Nov 16, 2014 |
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James Dashnerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Wesley, Bryson, Kayla, and Dallin. Best kids ever.
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She spoke to him before the world fell apart.
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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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