Book Review: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

For anyone who doesn’t know, The Scorch Trials is the second book in the Maze Runner series by James Dashner. I read the first book, which I wasn’t super fond of, but decided to read the next book in the series since Maze Runner ends in such a crazy cliff hanger. I admit that The Scorch Trials was a book I actually had read several months ago, so my memories of it are a bit blurred, but my family decided to rent the newly released movie this past weekend. I figured I’d write a combined book and movie review!

Here’s the excerpt from the book cover:

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.

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My thoughts on the book?

Meh… I was unimpressed. Dashner created a unique labyrinthine world with its own distinct rules in The Maze Runner, but I was somewhat disappointed with the scenery in this next installment in the series. Granted, most of the story occurs underground or in desert ravaged cityscape, but I felt there was something lacking. Events were scattered and seemed entirely disconnected throughout most of the story. This book answers none of the questions we were left with at the end of The Maze Runner, only managing to created more questions and a very disjointed, almost hallucinogenic ending.

On a positive note, I will give the author credit for creating some rather nightmarish underground scenes and creepily simplistic monsters within the darkness. This book once again leaves the reader with loads of questions, giving you the misguided urge to continue on with the story.

Overall I’d give this novel a 2 out of 5. I was not a fan of the disjointedness and messy feel of the book overall.

So, what about the movie?

This is one of the few times I can ever say I liked a movie significantly more than the book. The casting was well done and the acting felt more natural than I’m accustomed to for most of the current YA novels turned movie. Now, as a warning, don’t expect the movie to have anything to do with the book. Maybe that’s why I actually somewhat enjoyed the movie. It was as if they dropped the characters of the book into an entirely different plot line. Overall I’d give the movie a 3.5 out of 5. I enjoyed it, but wouldn’t watch it again.

Now, excuse my geekiness, but I must take a moment to give a shout out to Marvel’s new Ant Man movie. We rented it at the same time as The Scorch Trials. I was a bit skeptical, because Ant Man has never been my favorite superhero. I always found the concept a bit stupid actually, a superhero who’s power is to shrink super tiny and who can talk to ants… But the movie was amazing! The cast was hilarious and I found myself laughing throughout the entire movie. I now also feel slightly guilty for all of those times we’ve poured bug killer on our back patio… Would definitely recommend this movie. 5 out of 5 stars!

 

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

  1. I’m actually a fan of this series, at least story-wise, but I’m inclined to agree that the movies are better in general. I completely agree that the book felt a bit unresolved and disjointed, but I like the horror of what happened — I guess the premise is just interesting for me in the first place. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The horror was done well; that was one part of the book I really enjoyed. The metal spheres… Ugh… And even though I’m not a fan of the series, I loved the world building that we saw in Maze Runner 🙂

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  2. The Maze Runner movies are WAY better than the books. The books are not really written in a style I enjoy, tbh. I don’t know. I find them hard to get into. They are very cinematic though, and adapt incredibly well to the screen. I think that series is one of the best, if not THE best, YA movie series currently being produced. And I think it was very smart of them to make the Scorch Trials into more of a travel/action movie, because it seems like nothing much happens in the book.

    I enjoyed Ant Man too 🙂 I am a sucker for the MCU in all its forms.

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