Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WICKED, You've Got Some 'Splaining to Do ...

(Image from Indiebound)

(Note: While this review will not contain spoilers for The Scorch Trials, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from The Maze Runner. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Thomas and the other Gladers thought beating the maze would be the end - of their confusion, of their suffering, of their fear. They thought wrong. Escaping the maze brought a little respite, but not much and not for long. Now they are, once again, fighting for survival in a treacherous arena, under the watchful eye of WICKED. Once again, they have no choice. Once again, they're battling for their lives.

In The Scorch Trials, James Dashner continues expanding the world he introduced in The Maze Runner. It's a world gone wrong, a world where the too-hot sun beats down on the Earth, relentlessly frying everything in its path. It's a world where a deadly virus has been unleashed, ravaging the few humans that remain. It's a world controlled, but not totally, by WICKED. As Thomas and the other boys navigate the strange landscape, they will encounter everything from zombies to blistering heat to homicidal, man-made monsters. If they survive, they win both information and freedom. If they don't, well, death might be a kinder alternative to life in this crazy new version of the world.

While The Maze Runner offers some heart-pumping action, The Scorch Trials kicks it up a notch. Or two. Or ten. The book's an intense, action-paced thrill ride that just doesn't stop. Ever. I raced through it as fast as I could to see if - and how - the Gladers would survive this impossible challenge. WICKED's cruel manipulations throughout the "trial" make the story even more twisty and turny. I loved all the conflict and intrigue, so much so that I almost didn't realize how little the overall plot advances in this volume of the series. Because, really, we don't learn a whole lot about WICKED, its intentions, or even the overall state of the destroyed world. A little bit, yes, but not a lot, which left me a mite disappointed in a novel I otherwise really enjoyed. Still, I'm counting down the days until October 11, when The Death Cure makes its appearance, and all the answers are finally revealed. All I can say is, WICKED, you've got some 'splaining to do ...

(Readalikes: The Maze Runner by James Dashner and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins)

Grade: B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG for mild language and violence

To the FTC, with love: I bought The Scorch Trials with some of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger. Ha ha.

2 comments:

  1. I got to hear the first three chapters of The Death Cure at LTUE (nyah, nyah). Also got to see the cover. You're gonna love it!!

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  2. I'm excited to read this one. I read the Mazerunner and it was crazy! I'll definitely be purchasing this one soon! :) Great review!

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