Title: The Scorch Trials
Author: James Dashner
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Teen/YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Picking up right where The Maze Runner ended (and thus this review contains spoilers for that book), Thomas and his friends are safe inside the place they were taken after they were rescued from the maze. But just when they are starting to relax, it begins all over again – they are told that they must face another trial, one that will be even more difficult than the maze. As he tries to figure out what’s going on and the mystery behind the world as it is now, Thomas struggles to remember as much as he can about his role in creating it.
The Maze Runner was one of those surprise books for me. I had been hearing good things about it for a long time, which is why I chose to read it. I don’t think that I would have taken that leap based on the summary alone. However, when The Scorch Trials came along, I wasn’t about to wait around to read others’ opinions. I wanted to be first in line to read this one, to see what happens to Thomas and his group of friends and to find out more about the world they come from.
The Scorch Trials was at once exhilarating and infuriating. There was so much action and adventure in this book, which made it an incredibly exciting read. From beginning to end, I was completely and utterly hooked. However, it was infuriating because of the hell that Thomas and his friends are once again forced to face. We’re supposed to trust that there’s a reason they’re undergoing such torment, yet it’s difficult to deduce any real logic behind it. A little more is revealed about the dystopian world surrounding them, but not enough to really satisfy.
Thomas is really tested in this novel and it’s satisfying to watch his character grow. He is once again put on the spot, and he really measures up. He’s pushed and pulled so many ways, it’s interesting to think about where his character is going to go in the final novel of this trilogy.
James Dashner has really set the stage for an explosive conclusion to the trilogy. I think he did an excellent job ensuring The Scorch Trials doesn’t suffer from classic middle-child syndrome – it’s just as exciting as the first book and is a solid read in its own right. It doesn’t exist merely to set the stage for the finale, as so often happens in trilogies. I’m really looking forward to Dashner answering all those questions I have – he has a big job for the third book, but he’s shown that he’s up to the challenge.