Review | The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

Lots of action, familiar characters and a strong narrative arc make The Scorch Trials another quick, entertaining read.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner book coverSPOILER ALERT! As this is the second book in the series, it’s pretty hard to talk about it with spoiling the first book for anyone who hasn’t read it. Proceed with caution!

You can also read my review of The Maze Runner here.

What it’s about:

The maze in Book 1 was just the start. The survivors are now thrown into trial 2: a 100-mile trek across a post-apocalytic, sun-baked wasteland with all sort of nasties between them and a supposed “safe haven”. And all in the name of helping to produce a cure for a disease which threatens to wipe out mankind. Who will make it? And who the heck are WICKED, the organization behind the trials?

My take:

I enjoyed this as much, if not a little more than The Maze Runner. I think it has better structure, probably because Dashner has cleared off a lot of background stuff in Book 1 and can just focus on the action. And the nature of trial 2 also helps. Whereas in Book 1 the characters were stuck in one place trying to get out of the maze, in The Scorch Trials they have to make it from A to B, a linear quest which forms the backbone for a strong narrative arc.

My criticism would be that we still aren’t told enough. Near the end of the book, when one of the characters realizes that, once again, they’ve gone through a lot of bad stuff only to be sent back to square one (or has he, who knows?), he starts screaming and screaming and screaming. I felt his pain. I think the reader could be let in on a few more secrets without spoiling the big mystery around the trials and how they are apparently going to help save humanity.

I really, really hope the third and final installment in the series – The Death Cure – isn’t a let down. If the great mystery around all the trials is resolved with “And then Thomas woke up. It had all been a dream” you will probably be able to hear my screams.

My review of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas coming up next!

 Claire Huston / Art and Soul

8 thoughts on “Review | The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

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