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  • The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2)
  • The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2)
  • The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2)

Ember

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2)

Ember

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2)

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Phase Two Has Begun, Yet I Want To Go Back To The GladeSure, I thought Thomas was a Gary Stu in the first book, but at least he wasn't a whiny teenage girl. Every second he can spend thinking of a way to reach the Safe Haven, he uses to ponder over his love life. Teresa or Brenda? Brenda or Teresa? Teresa...no, Brenda. Give me a break. I admit, Brenda did have some note-worthy dialogue and kick-butt moments, but most of the time her and Teresa were just shockingly beautiful blank slates. The unnecessary love triangle was a very cheap trick for Dashner to create romantic tension that serves no purpose to the plot whatsoever. I know how incredibly difficult it is for you to choose between two perfect specimens of the female species Thomas, but is deciding who's the better kisser honestly your number one priority? People are dying and you care more about whether or not Teresa would approve of you hugging Brenda?I was perfectly fine with Dashner withholding information in the first book from us. But what I am not fine with, is him creating even more questions then we were giving in the first! If the "plot twists" were actually done well and interested me, then I might've been okay with them...but they weren't. No, the twists just kept digging Dashner deeper and deeper into the hole. As for the ending...forget it. I'll just shut up and hope my questions will be answered in The Death Cure.I've said it once and I'll say it again. I do not like Dashner's writing style. It's beyond amateur. It's...childish. If I can write better than him, then it clearly isn't very good. I. Am. Not. An. Imbecile. You don't need to spell out Thomas' feelings to me, or repeat it a thousand times for me to get the message. And what's up with Dashner and fragments? I can't go 2 pages without at least 5 of them! Here's an example of his phenomenal writing:"The next thirty seconds were a horrible, horrible thing for Thomas. The Crank struggled. Spasmed. Choked and spat."Teresa is only in about 20% of the book. The other 30-40% of the main heroine role is played by this new girl, Brenda. She's underdeveloped, and is just a prop used to further Thomas' (you've guess it!) romantic feelings, because this guy honestly spends half the book either passed out or mooning Teresa and Brenda.The entire book, which happens to be nothing but a series of ridiculous events, could have been shortened to 150 pages at max. I would have been completely content if the only events that happened in the scorch were: A) the Nose crank, & B) the Lightning Storm.Enough ranting, I want to talk about the only people who kept me sane in this book - Minho and Newt. Why, why, why can't one of you be the protagonist instead of wimpy Thomas? You two are the leaders, and the signs in the city literally made me laugh. Newt and Minho kept moving forward no matter what like true leaders. Their bickering and jokes, make this book worth reading. Frypan and Jorge also gave me a nice laugh from time to time.Despite this books many flaws, it still interested me enough to keep reading, and I'm looking forward to the movie. I hope the Death Cure can bring a solid resolution to the trilogy.2weak followup to a not-so-strong book one, those seeking action over characterization and plot logic may still enjoyI wasn t a huge fan of The Maze Runner by James Dashner, thinking its frenetic pace was as much weakness as strength and that its characterization was pretty thin (plus there was the whole let s not have anyone talk to each other or explain things pet peeve of mine). I admit, however, that it probably would meet the needs of a particular reader one who likes fast paced action that blows by any annoying plot holes and isn t particularly looking for a lot of in-depth characterization. That same sort of reader will probably find the sequel, The Scorch Trials, just as satisfying, though again, for my own tastes, it falls mostly short of being a good book. It s going to be impossible to discuss The Scorch Trials without some spoilers for the first book, so fair warning.The sequel picks up almost immediately after the end of The Maze Runner, with the Gladers having been rescued after their escape from the Maze and brought to a dormitory, with Theresa, as the only girl, placed in a separate room. Turns out their escape, however, was only the end of Phase One of these trials, allegedly meant to somehow save the world from the Flare plague (amongst other disasters) by forming mysterious yet apparently necessary patterns, in the test subjects. Phase Two begins with the unexplained disappearance of Theresa, the unexplained appearance of a bunch of dead bodies, and then a task to cross a barren wasteland filled with Cranks (those affected by the Flare to varying degrees) in order to arrive at Safe Haven. Along with the Cranks, who range from merely dangerously unpredictable to dangerously violent to dangerously-zombies-who-want-to-eat-you types, the Glades must also deal with a blistering sun, lethally violent storms, decapitating technology, and another group they apparently are in competition with in what may be a Only One Group Survives sort of contest.The strength of The Scorch Trials is again relatively frenetic action, though I think the sequel has more pacing issues in terms of lag time, especially early on, where bouts of excitement are separated by somewhat repetitive and overly-long segments with the Gladers discussing what to do about their current situation. As with its predecessor, the strength is also somewhat of a weakness, as once again we move so quickly from excitement to excitement that few of the scenes really have a chance to build. A worse issue for me is that these scenes all feel very random and arbitrary. The background, of course, is that there are a lot of mind games being played with the Gladers by WICKED (the corporation doing the trials), so it s hard to tell at this point whether the randomness will eventually have some cohesive rationale as opposed to the mind games being used as a Get Out of Jail Free card, letting an author just toss up whatever to create some excitement. Plot holes are still an issue at one point I kept wondering why Thomas wasn t using his telepathic abilities, almost as if the author had forgotten he had them, and in another scene a character just escapes just because the author needed him to for a future event. One s annoyance at these moments will vary, probably with age as well as reading experience. I found them incredibly frustrating and evidence of slack writing.Characterization remains slim. A lot of Glader Redshirters die, leaving the reader to care as little about their deaths as most of the surviving Gladers do. The main character, Thomas, is a bit too much of the PROTAGONIST, always stepping forward as needed or turning out to be special in some way. The two primary Gladers beyond Thomas leave little impact. A new female character is perhaps the most interesting of them all in the novel, though she plays pretty strictly to a type we ve seen before.Worldbuilding is just as slim, with little sense of place or rationale behind settings. We re give a barebones explanation of the world, though we re not sure we can trust it, but nothing feels fully formed and lived in; it feels rather like the characters are moving through movie sets.To be honest, based on The Maze Runner, I wouldn t have picked up The Scorch Trials had my son not finished book one recently for his summer reading list and wanted to move onto book two (I suppose that says something about its appeal to 13-yr-old boys: he found it pretty good or OK albeit with some issues). And it turned out to be pretty much as expected a relatively mediocre YA that has a certain action appeal but that doesn t stand up very well under a close eye and won t satisfy those looking for more depth of character or worldbuilding.2A Slog of UggghhhhhhThe first one wasn't a literary masterpiece, but I enjoyed it. This one was just painful. Possibly the stupidest book I've ever managed to finish. A high body count doesn't make for an interesting read.All the bits about founding a society were gone, replaced by a series of events that just felt like sheer randomness. People would get kidnapped only to be rescued half a chapter later. There was no forward momentum, just a bunch of running in place. The kids end up almost exactly at the same place in the end as they started in the beginning, with very few additional answers.A bunch of kids died, but they were all NPCs (literally labelled as having no importance whatsoever) and no one even bothered to stop for even the pretense of mourning. There were what, eleven people in the group and Thomas couldn't even figure out their names.Very few of the puzzles could be solved mentally. Most of them were "press x not to die" - style. Survival seemed to rely on flipping a coin. And when anyone who had any actual story relevance got hurt, it never actually had any effect on the plot. Got massive burns? Don't worry. They won't have any impact on you at all, despite the fact you're running across a desert with no water. (Not that there was much thirst, despite the fact that they were traveling on something called The Scorch.)Instead of learning anything interesting about the world, most of the main character's internal runtime is devoted to the world's most tepid love triangle. I felt like I was being slapped to death by red herrings. Does she love me? Is she going to betray me? No, because you're stuck in a stupid YA book that thinks senseless plot twists cause adrenaline rushes.Then there were the portions of the book that just made me burst out laughing. ARE YOU AFRAID OF ZOMBIES STEALING YOUR NOSE? DO YOU BELIEVE BRAIN DISEASES CAN BE CURED BY FEELZ? DO YOU LIKE HISPANIC PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS ADD MUCHACHO TO THE END OF THEIR SENTENCES? IF SO, THIS BOOK MIGHT BE FOR YOU!!!Or, to reiterate: ugggggghhhhhh.2Great read, but....Having escaped the villainous maze that kept him and his fellow Gladers trapped by WICKED, Thomas believes that he and his friends are now safe from harm. But then Teresa, Thomas' strongest link to his forgotten past, disappears, and the illusion of sanctuary shatters when the Gladers are forced to go on a harrowing quest across the sun scorched earth. Nothing is familiar, everything deadly. Stalked by heinous monsters far more evil than the Grievers ever were, bizarre and devastating weather, the dark, insane victims of the world wide virus known as the Flare, and a mysterious other group of Gladers - who may just want Thomas dead - the survivors of the Maze Trials are running out of time, and may end up paying with their lives...OK, so, I read the first book, The Maze Runner, and was hooked. It was honestly the best young adult novel I had read in a while, and I was on fire to get The Scorch Trials (no pun intended). I was very pleased when the book came earlier than expected, and I began to read immediately.Well...To be honest, it wasn't that great of a story. I mean, I loved reading it and all, don't get me wrong, but it was just the kids walking across the desert, and slowly getting bumped off by new monsters (um..please tell me if anyone else was upset when Thomas didn't save Jack). Maybe Dashner was trying to do away with unnecessary characters... but, if that was a case, he could have tried a tad bit harder. I mean, Jorge - I'm sorry if that isn't how it's spelled - was barely in it, after the initial bargaining scene.Another thing...wow. WHAT was with that movie?4Was Quite a Trial to ReadAfter reading The Maze Runner, which I found absolutely brilliant, I naturely went straight into the sequel. Unfortunately, I found the Scorch Trials quite a trial to read. Whereas The Maze Runner was full of mysteries that I pondered and couldn't wait to be resolved, The Scorch Trials seemed to put the characters through a whole lot of suffering and death for no reason other than for suffering's sake. There wasn't the same degree of mysteries and questions, and the setting of endless desert didn't even begin to compare to the brilliance of the maze in the previous book. Seemed to be a lot less character development as well, but could be explained as a consequence of spending the whole book on a journey. Still, a disappointing read on the whole, and a rather too repetitive ending.3Great Book!(Coming from someone who has read it twice) The 2nd book of The Maze Runner series wrote by: James Dashner The Scorch Trials is without a doubt one of my favorite books that I ve read this year as well as the series! If you read the first book in the series, then you need to read The Scorch Trials . If you are into dystopian novels, action, adventure, survival, and even zombies then this book great for you.(Warning there are spoilers in this review) Thomas and his friends have just been picked up by W.C.K.D The evil corporation that has been putting them through these tests. W.C.K.D gives the kids pizza when they get back from the maze and the next morning wake up in a weird room in W.C.K.D . Thomas is still morning over the death of his best friend Chuck and the rest of the guys that were lost in the Maze . Thomas, Newt, Minho, Teresa, and a few other Gladers escape W.C.K.D after learning that (spoiler!) they wanted to kill Thomas all along and that they put them in the maze. The Gladers escape with the hopes of not being captured and being tested on anymore but soon come to realize just what the Flare is face to face out in the Scorch . This story is amazing and almost seems hopeless for the Gladers but new faces will come into play in the story as well as losing some key character along the way.This story is different from the The Maze Runner where everything was being controlled by W.C.K.D but now Mother Nature and the Flare control them and what they plan on doing in this hopeless story for a cure of the Flare . The choice is yours to whether to read this badass book about survival and zombies! Or you could just not read it at all.4Lame. After a promising start with The Maze RunnerLame. After a promising start with The Maze Runner, this book tries to keep the tension going by not answering any of the questions set up by its predecessor. Unfortunately, this just means it devolves very quickly into not making any sense and the characters lose what little they had to talk about in the first book. So the main character just blunders through a bunch of stuff asking questions that never get answered and repeating the entire story of the first book to everyone he meets. Like, literally! If you cut out all the monologues that are just a synopsis of what's already happened, this book would be half the length. Still confusing and lame, but shorter.2A lack-luster follow up to the Maze Runner. This book does not advance the plot; I feel cheated!I. The Beginning: Did It Hook Me?I can't say whether the beginning of this book did or didn't hook me. If anything my love for the first book kept me reading this one. After I got over that, though, the book began to unravel. Their were random events that didn't make sense, all of a sudden Theresa was gone, and we were "told" EVERYTHING that was about to happen in the book. I wasn't sure at the time, but this ended up being the case. II. The Characters: Could I Relate to Them?Not really. In the first book we had character studies of all the main characters, but in this book Thomas (somehow) doesn't know all the people he's with. Wasn't the Glade pretty small, how could he have not interacted with everyone? I was never really able to get over that, but I moved on.There is absolutely no character development in this book. We are given the same Thomas from book one, the same Minho (add in a leadership role), a slightly different Theresa, and a bunch of other people that didn't matter. Whereas I cared what happened to the Gladers in the first book, the characters I loved most (i.e. Alby and Chuck) were gone, so it really didn't matter to me. III. The Plot: Was It Well Paced?I could say yes, but I don't know how accurate that would be. I will say I read this book in one sitting, but I ended up skimming the last 30 pages. This book starts off with a little bit of promise, and then event after event plays out. That's honestly what this book felt like, like the writer was "ticking off" events he wanted to cover before moving on. IV. World Building: Did I "Get" It?Not at all. So the Scorch Trial is them crossing a 100 mile desert...that's it. Not to mention the tunnel they crawl through with the death balls and the evil lightning in the desert. All of that should have had any eerie feel, a sense of impending doom that made me eager to see what happened next; that didn't happen though.Where as book one gives vivid descriptions of the world around them, this book is more focused on the action (or lack thereof). I understand the desert was hot, but after a few pages there was no more mention of it. With all that walking you'd think they'd have blisters at the end of the night, be tired and sun weary, but we really aren't told.This book was seriously one big letdown. V. The Ending: Did It Make Sense?I honestly don't know. While I did technically "read" this book, I skimmed the last 30 pages. After that, I read some dialogue and the message at the end. That's it. I did see something about "things" with extra arms and the desert opening up, but I honestly couldn't bring myself to care. VI. OverallThis book was the biggest letdown. I often found myself wondering if this book was from another series. It was 100% unlike the first book. I know the second books in series are not always better than the first, but this was ridiculous. We had a journey explained in accurate detail before it happened, no descriptions and random deaths of people we didn't even know. This book was just awful.2Subpar SequelSadly, book two was a step down in the franchise. While I still have to give credit to James Dashner for creativity, his inability to execute an intriguing plot or develop poorly contrived characters did not improve with his second attempt.And about half-way through this started to read like bad zombie fiction.Unlikeable characters, weak plotting devices, and really unfortunate writing style had made me want to give up the series for good. But I know I'll finish the last book because I'm too neurotic to abandon it completely. At least they read really fast.2AVOID - Don't waste your time. Huge letdown after The Maze Runner!The Maze Runner (Book 1) included some sloppy writing and some plot points that seriously tested my suspension of disbelief, but it kept me going with intriguing plot lines and a few interesting characters. The Scorch Trials, however, was a horrible mess in SO many ways. The writing was downright atrocious in terms of poor grammar and descriptions / dialogue that might seem impressive from a fourth grade writer, but were completely unacceptable in a published novel by a bestselling author. The plot was simply miserable, with very little character development, ridiculous repetition, and increasingly unbelievable events that had me rolling my eyes to the back of my head nearly every page. Countless mysteries are presented to the reader with pretty much zero explanation or resolution. While a good novel will include tantalizing bits that keep the reader guessing, it will also include clever, satisfying revelations that tie everything together. The Scorch Trials does none of the latter, instead forcing the reader far beyond any reasonable mind's willing suspension of disbelief, without providing any logical/whimsical/supernatural explanation for anything. It seems to have been written by someone who got drunk every night and scrawled whatever insanity came to mind. I wish I could stomach the third book just to see what happens, but I simply can't and won't. Avoid this book even if it's free; your time is too valuable to waste on it.1
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