08 May 2014

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

So, here we are again.  The Scorch Trials is the sequel to The Maze Runner.  As promised, I did indeed get it from the library, and I did read it.  It didn’t have that urgency to it that other series have had on me - most recently, the Divergent trilogy - but it is getting better.

The Scorch Trials picks up right where The Maze Runner left off, and it keeps on running.  It still keeps that Dan Brown feel to it, that sense of moving straight from crisis to crisis - or, occasionally, to a brief respite that proves to be a lie.  If anything, the focus seems tighter than The Maze Runner did, and that’s both good and bad.

The narrow focus in The Scorch Trials gives a lot more depth to the character of Thomas, something that I felt was missing in large part from The Maze Runner.  I came to understand him better and grow fonder of him.  However, that same narrow focus also intensified the feeling of the story being on rails in some parts.

That’s not to say it was worse; in many ways, Thomas became more active in The Scorch Trials, thinking for himself and actively trying to outwit his tormentors.  This was a welcome development.  And yet, when it turns out that no matter what choice he made, the outcome would have been the same, the choice becomes less satisfying.  We know more about Thomas, and we understand the decision, but suddenly its meaning is lessened.  That’s disappointing at times.

The world Dashner built is further fleshed out in The Scorch Trials, and to me it was one of the book’s great successes.  The world is compelling and chilling.  Despite the occasional frustration - with the book, with the plot, with the characters - it drew me in and held me.

The Scorch Trials is a book that I really want to love, and yet all I can do is like it.  I don’t think that’s necessarily bad.  After all, there’s no accounting for taste, as they say, and that goes both ways.  It just doesn’t align with my taste as well as other books, but I think it has fine qualities and I will indeed be reading the next book, which is apparently The Death Cure, though there is also a prequel called The Kill Order which I requested as well, since I couldn’t tell at first which was supposed to be the next one.


Books: Reading The Kill Order.  Then Love Letters to the Dead.

Bottles: Ovid 2008.

Writing: Over 25% done!

Guitar: Same.