Review: The Scorch Trials
Published: October 12th 2010 by Delacorte Press
Rating: 2 stars
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.
Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.
There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.
"The betrayal meant he couldn't trust her anymore, and his heart told him he couldn't forgive her."
-- James Dashner, The Scorch Trials
Without trying to turn this review into a rant, I would like to express my feelings about what a downfall this book was. I wasn't expecting much of the follow-up to James Dashner's The Maze Runner. As stated in my review about it, I'm not a fan of the characters - with a few exceptions -, and the writing isn't my cup of tea. The plot of that book is, however, something original and action-packed. It stands out in the dystopian genre. Besides the fact that it still had this fascinating plot, there was almost nothing in The Scorch Trials I really enjoyed.
When there were still very likable characters in The Maze Runner, this one had none. Thomas's Gary Stue-ness became more and more obvious with every page I read. How he's so special, and how the rules were broken for him to survive. They can put the group through everything, have a million deaths, and Thomas will be the one to survive. It's not that I had many Gary Stues to compare the character with, but it's so obvious here and I absolutely hate it. I still don't get what Teresa's deal is. Maybe she does have that split personality Thomas mentioned, but it seems most unlikely after the ending. Her character was so unstable and hard for me to follow. One time she's in love with Thomas and a chapter later she's out to kill the guy. In the end I didn't know what to think anymore, because there was so much confusion I really didn't like them more than I did in the first book. Both Minho and Newt had very little importance, which is sad. I just got used to like them. Minho was supposed to be the leader, and I was really okay with that. It wouldn't be all about Thomas for a chance. But then something happened, and Thomas became the centre of attention again. After a while I lost interest because I wasn't particularly interested in reading about a perfect and special boy.
The new characters were in my opinion not very likable either. Jorge is okay, so is Aris. Brenda, on the other hand, is someone I felt this special connection with: hate at first sight. I don't get what importance this character has to the trilogy. The chemistry she and Thomas had can be compared to a broken light bulb. What the author created here felt so unnecessary to me. Teresa and Thomas could have had such an amazing relationship, because I really did like the two in The Maze Runner. It's like the author decided he was tired of Teresa after one book, and introduced Brenda as a supposed replacement. What we have here, is a special love triangle I wish didn't happen.
There's no denying that The Maze Runner had an awesome plot. It was intriguing, and brought up lots of questions I would have preferred to receive answers to. I can be honest and say that the answers in here are so little it's almost unbelievable. Questions kept piling up. I had expected to have some answers to come soon, yet they never did. I'm not even bothering to read another four hundred pages from the last book, because I know that would be a waste of time. Instead, I searched for everything I needed to know on The Maze Runner wikia, and even that brought me very little satisfaction. The plot itself in The Scorch Trials was everywhere. I usually do enjoy suspense and action, but not when the suspense is built up by the so many questions, and the action were basically tons of disconnected events in order to keep the novel going. When I looked at the actual plot itself, it was just teens given the task to cross a desert in two weeks. There's nothing special about it, and I'm really sad because with a little more originality it could have been so much better. It was literally all over the place, with unnecessary and confusing twists at every corner.
The Scorch Trials wasn't the sequel I expected it to be, despite the negative reviews. There wasn't any improvement on the writing, nor the characters. The plot took a not-so-interesting turn I would have rather avoided. The only reason I'm giving this two stars, is because it was still action-packed and the need for answers kept me going. Instead of dystopia, confusion seemed to be the main theme of the book. There was nothing that really made any sense, and for me a perfect excuse to stop right here instead of reading the third book.
Aurélie Cremers is an eighteen-year-old living in Belgium. As an active member on Goodreads, Edelweiss and Amazon, she's always spreading her reviews to express her opinion and influences her followers to read the books she fairly enjoyed. When she's not writing, you can find her at her local bookstore or in a classroom. With her blog, "Exploring Pages", Aurélie hopes to gain a larger public in the near future and to continue that what she'll always love doing: writing.