Friday, February 21, 2014

Review - The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

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?
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner picks up right where The Maze Runner left off.

The boys and Teresa have been rescued and taken to a place where, hopefully, they'll be able to prepare to live regular lives and try and find the loved ones they left behind and forgot. Thomas and Teresa can discover just exactly what part they played in all of this and everyone can go about their business.

But that's not what happens.

Their rescue was just another "variable" in WICKEDs quest to completely torture these poor guys (and Teresa). Shoot, life in the Glade was a piece of cake compared to what they're up against now. Bodies hanging from the ceiling, silver globs of gel that eat your face and decapitate you, the worst thunderstorms ever imaginable, air so hot and dry you can barely breathe.... and to put the icing on the cake, Cranks. People who once were normal, just like you and me, who have been taken over by The Flare and have forgotten themselves in their insanity and will now do whatever it takes to take from YOU whatever they want.

Body parts included.

Teresa is gone and the boys have found out that they aren't the ONLY group of people who were implanted in to a Maze. Only, the other group is all girls, save on boy. Who seems to have taken Teresa's place. And it seems their purpose is to kill Thomas.

You don't know who you can trust in this book. You don't know if they're saying the thing they say or doing the things they do because they want to, or because they're being forced to. Someone is lying, but you don't know if it's to you or to the others. There's no way to tell for sure. It's incredibly confusing and frustrating.

There are a few new characters introduced. Jorge and Brenda. Jorge got under my skin right at the beginning, but I believe that was his purpose. And Brenda seemed to be able to hold her own and seemed genuinely friendly and helpful for Thomas.

Some of the scenes in this book could have been straight out of a horror movie. The kind that haunts little kids in the middle of the night, ya know? It didn't take much to imagine things playing out in my head as I read them in the book.  Seriously disturbing the kind of imagery a story like this inspires.

Every time I thought I had this book figured out, it basically laughed in my face and told me I was wrong. After a while, I stopped trying. I stopped trying to predict what was going to happen at the end or guess what a character was really thinking because it always ended up being the complete opposite. Go figure.

If you read the first book, you have to read this one. I think I take back what I said about it being ok for younger readers... some of the things in this book are DEFINITELY not for younger readers. I mean, they were hard for ME to read. But if you got through book one, definitely grab book two. But be prepared to have more questions than answers at the end of it all!

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