Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

I reviewed the first book, The Maze Runner, a while ago and it was an amazing read.  It has also been a while since I read, The Scorch Trials (okay, maybe only a couple weeks but with the holidays in the way, it got really busy).

However, for a sequel to The Maze Runner, this one indulges more into what the scarier looks of the future are for Thomas and the boys that got out of The Maze in the first book.

By the way...there will most likely be SPOILERS in this just because of the way it made me feel when reading it and because of how the story goes.

The Scorch Trials begins right where it left off in The Maze Runner.  Thomas and the boys of the The Maze (that made it out alive) are being taken pretty good care of in a kind of dorm-like facility until one day a man comes to tell them that they have the sickness that the world does called, The Flare, and in order to gain the cure they must cross the Scorch in two weeks to the Safe Haven.  In order to do this, the boys end up putting up a good fight against Cranks (the crazies who have the Flare from start until they are completely gone and lost their minds), a dark tunnel that takes lives, the hot sun, lightning storms and the group of girls that were also in another maze and got out too.

I have to say that the author, James Dashner, freaked me out in a couple of spots with his descriptions and the tone in certain places.  There's a spot that is still in my mind because of the way it was described and it's during a lightning storm out in the Scorch where the boys are all running a few miles as fast as they can to gain cover before lightning hits them and one boy does go down right by the hero, Thomas, and just the gory description could possibly triumph Suzanne Collins from The Hunger Games in certain scenes of hers.

Never did I think that a YA author could scare me like he did as well.  I've been jumpy before in scenes from other YA books but none stick to me like the Cranks that Thomas sees in an underground tunnel system in the city he ends up travelling through at one point.  The line, "Rose took my nose I suppose," still scares me with the image of the man with no nose and a limp chasing Thomas through and tracking him to a small room in the underground tunnels.  It's funny too because at one point during this scene, I did take a deep breath (since I can involve myself in my reading so much) and I could swear that I knew the guy would find Thomas in a hidden hole in the wall and grab him until it didn't happen.  I thought, "Oh well, at least the creepy guy is gone for now, maybe they'll run into him later and kill him then."  Oh no no no.  I was wrong.  Even when I thought our hero was safe to come out of hiding, did I jump so high from my comfy reading spot.  I'll leave the rest for you to figure out when you get to this part of the story when you read it.

I did however, push past those two scenes and try to swipe them to go on in the story.  It did help that James Dashner did put calmer scenes here and there within the story, even some parts with a little humor to lighten the mood in this very dark story.  And one thing that keeps me reading as well is that every chapter in The Scorch Trials ends with a cliffhanger.  Some nights I couldn't put the book down until I forced myself too.  Especially after reading the Nose man scene, I pushed myself to read until it calmed down, which it did and then I did too.  Reading something like that in the late evening by myself with just a reading lamp on is just scary!

Anyway, going on with the review, the character building shows more and more until the end.  And even the newer characters that are introduced make it seem like they were always part of this group of kids travelling across the Scorch.  In a story where the characters just travel through with a few eventful turns, I am very happy to see that the character building was shown so much more in every chapter.

The story itself is really good.  Of course as I said earlier, this is a much darker, much scarier story.  I would not like to run into a Crank if something like that ever befell our civilization today.  And it also takes a good wild turn here and there within the story to keep you going, but there were times where I shocked, I jumped, I was scared, grossed out, and really trying to figure out what was going on.  And like the The Maze Runner, I thought I had figured it out until I read the Epilogue which then makes me really want to read the final book, The Death Cure, but sadly, I will have to wait for now--like always in a newer book series.  I really hope that if you read The Maze Runner, that The Scorch Trials will keep you guessing as well.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, I loved this book!!!!!! Every time I picked it up I couldn't imagine putting it down!

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