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.
Thomas and his brave band of Gladers are nowhere close to safe. Thrust into the Scorch, where the sun fries the skin in seconds and lightning storms leave behind charred remains (if you’re lucky), Thomas has to make it to the Safe Haven by the two-week deadline—or die. Not only do the Gladers have to deal with the intense elements, they have to survive the Cranks, humans who have been reduced to decaying zombie-like rabid animals by a mind-destroying disease.
I loved The Maze Runner so I was looking forward to finding out what happens next, to getting some answers about the mysterious WICKED and the purpose of the trials, but I found The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (Delacorte Press) to be more a trial in patience.
Don’t get me wrong, if it’s action you want, this book has it. The action scenes are fantastic and gory with the same high-intensity I enjoyed in the first book. Dashner does a great job of making the reader feel as frustrated as Thomas, unsure of what lies ahead. While that is great for creating tension and atmosphere, it just kept failing to see the logic behind such needless deaths of children for the sake of science. Maybe it’s because I don’t have enough information yet as to where this series is leading, but I really struggled with this all the way through. If WICKED can predict what the characters are going to do before they do it, why can’t they follow the variables without killing all these kids?
The Scorch Trials felt very much like a middle book, like a holding place between being in the maze and whatever is coming in book three. It didn’t stand out on it’s own for me. I can imagine this book as a video game, with a series of obstacles thrown at the players without much direction, and you have to beat the levels before you can challenge the boss. That’s all well and good, but whereas Thomas has to keep moving forward or he’ll die, I could have just as easily flipped to the end (something I never do), sated my curiosity and walked away without consequence. I didn’t—but I wanted to.
I won’t give away the ending, but I will say, just like Thomas, I wasn’t surprised.
Will I read book three? Possibly—but it’ll have to step up its game for this reader to keep moving forward.
♥ ♥ (2/5 hearts)