Book Review: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science-Fiction

Publishing Info: August 1st 2011 by Chicken House (first published 2010)

Pages: 359

Star Rating: 3/5

Back Cover Summary:
The Scorch Trials picks up where The Maze Runner left off. The Gladers have escaped the Maze, but now they face an even more treacherous challenge on the open roads of a devastated planet. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. Can Thomas survive in such a violent world?

The Scorch Trials is the second book in The Maze Runner series and carries straight on from where the first book left off. The back cover summary is rather vague so I didn’t really know what to expect. I shan’t say too much as I don’t want to spoil it! Although I enjoyed the book and found it gripping I didn’t like it as much as the first book. I’m not sure why I just liked the first book much better.

 The plot is basically a repetition of The Maze Runner but in a different setting. The characters are still being watched by WICKED and have to do some stuff to survive. Essentially it’s like they’re in the next level. It is very different to the first book though and the characters have different dilemmas and enemies. Dashner does suspense very well and I found myself keeping turning the pages. The pacing was good, there were some slow moments but it always kept me hooked.

 The characters from the first book were good. But the new characters weren’t so good. Like I found with the first book whenever a character was introduced they were just a name and their personalities didn’t really show until far into the book. I understand that you have to get to know characters but I should still have a sense of what they are like from the beginning through their body language, how they talk and the decisions they make.

 In terms of the characters that carried over from the first book I would have liked to have seen them developed more. I didn’t really get a feel of how everything they had been through impacted on them as people. I guess they don’t have much time for reflection as once again they’re running for their lives but I would have expected some change in them after having been through all that.

 I guess there’s not much I can say without giving spoilers for the first book and this one as well. There’s so many twists and things that I don’t want to spoil anything as the suspense and mystery of wanting to know what is going on is the best aspect of these books. Overall I enjoyed it and will keep reading the series but it wasn’t as good as the first one. I really liked how it kept me guessing and I never knew what was going to happen next.

 Click here to read my review of book 1, The Maze Runner.