Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Book Review: The Scorch Trials

Title: The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, #2)
Author: James Dashner
Published: October 12, 2010 by Delacorte Press
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Format: Paperback
Source: Bingo Game Prize
Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn't done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

✮ ✮ ✮  ½

(Warning: Review may contain spoilers!)

Upon starting The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, the second installment in The Maze Runner series, I fully admit that I was a little ambivalent about the book. The first one was sort of daring in a limited level, and it candidly wasn't my most favorite book in the series so far, but The Scorch Trials have managed to alter my opinion about the series.

The first thing that I noticed right away is that the beginning chapters are already jam-packed with my most sought after starting action, laced with immediate mystery. Dashner's writing has significantly improved from The Maze Runner, with effective diction and sentence structure, and already exhilarating his audience with an expeditious fast-paced narration.

One of the things that made me like The Scorch Trials is that it kind of has an I Am Legend-esque appeal to it. If the Maze has Grievers, the unforgiving Scorch has Crankscitizens that are highly affected with the sun virus the government are calling the Flare. They have grotesque and gruesome appearances, with their burnt skins, angry scabs and wounds, missing noses, and et cetera. The Cranks, at least the ones who are beyond gone from the Flare infection, are like the zombies that are constantly hungry for some human flesh.

Another thing that made me like this book more than The Maze Runner is that the plot line is so riveting and very dynamic to the point that every chapter has an unforeseeable happening. The constant mystique that surrounds Thomas and Teresa and their true involvement with WICKED is even more bemusing and yet beguiling. The characters, whether old or new, are so twisted in their own different ways, I legitimately could not figure out anymore who are the ones with the halos and who are the ones with the horns and pointy tails. The element of uncertainty, one of the things that I like the most about books, is continually present from cover to cover and it will truly challenge your moral judgement. Because just like the characters in the book, your loyalty to your friends (or in your case, your favorite character/s) will be tested as well.

However, despite all the great things that I adore about the second book in the series, the lone thing that did not appeal to me is Brenda's character. Frankly speaking, I felt uncertain whether she's someone incorruptible or not, and my mind's been debating about that circa the chapter she was first introduced as Jorge's right hand. She's a little "shady" for me, so to say. I feel like I don't have a clear knowledge of who she is as an individual. She has no background for me, just someone who has a "too forward" kind of personality. I had a hard time connecting with her.

As far as recommending the book, The Scorch Trials is a good novel to pick up if you are looking for an intense and suspenseful action-packed read. Nevertheless, wryly speaking, it is definitely not the perfect book to pick up during the summer because . . . Well, it's summertime, temperatures are reaching the hundreds; I'm pretty sure you don't want to read a book that is set in a terribly burnt up placed called the Scorch. Trust me, I learned the hard way. You'll be "scorching"(wink, wink) along with the book.

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James Dashner is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, as well as the Mortality Doctrine series, the 13th Reality series, and two books in the Infinity Ring series: A Mutiny in Time and The Iron Empire. He was born and raised in Georgia but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains.

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