Okay, folks, here's my long-promised review of James Dashner's The Scorch Trials! (Here's a link to my review of the first book in this series, The Maze Runner.) Here's the cover copy:
Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.
In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.
Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.
The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.
Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?
So. I loved The Maze Runner. It was exciting and fast-paced, and I expected more of the same in The Scorch Trials.
And boy-howdy, did Dashner deliver.
From the first page, the book doesn't slow down. I was riveted the entire book. What made it even more riveting was how much more Thomas, the main character, became real to me. The stakes are so personal to Thomas, yet still give the impression of affecting the world at large. Things build and build and just keep getting worse. Dashner is the king of "what's the worst I could possibly put my character through." I actually teared up at the climax! Poor Thomas...
I loved the new characters that came into this story as well, and I loved the continued characterization of the boys from the Maze. The world, again, was something unique and fascinating, and so well drawn I have a firm picture in my mind of what I think the Scorch looks like.
Overall, this middle book of the series did what few middle books manage to do: it stands on its own. And it does that while still being a perfect continuation of the first book, and leaving you on the edge of your seat for the last book. That's one problem with getting an ARC, I realized-- I have to wait that much longer for The Death Cure to come out!
I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for post-apocalyptic reading, or anyone who is just looking for a highly engaging and fast-paced ride. It's being released October 12.