Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book Review: " The Scorch Trials " by James Dashner

My Review

I decided to skip the intro here because I posted it in the contest opening.  This was a really tough book for me to review only because it is difficult to discuss much without giving too much away.  With that said, I hope you will enjoy what I have to say and hopefully it will just get you that much more excited to tear through this!

I stayed home from work today because I woke up feeling horrible.  Since I have been laying in bed all day resting, I was able to really think about the Scorch Trials and what's going on from a macro point of view.  I believe that many authors/people have this vision of the world being faced with some sort of mass scaled destruction one day.  I do have to say, James has gotten very creative in his vision.  

In the Scorch Trials, all of the Gladers that have made it through the Maze have a terrible next "phase" of the Trials where they are faced with the Scorch.  It is a large, desert like area of land that is inhabited by people who have this disease called the Flare.  These people are very dangerous, and with the heat reaching ridiculously high degrees in the Scorch, the Gladers have a tough task ahead of them.  The actual task sounds easy- get to a safe haven 100 miles north of where the Gladers are dropped in the Scorch in 2 weeks flat.  Yeah, good luck with that one!

The characters in The Scorch Trials are your old group plus a whole slew of new people that we are introduced to.  There are others who can speak with their mind, others who are just as strong as the Gladers, just as dangerous if not more, and even a love triangle/quadrangle/who knows what angle goin on!  Besides some of your favorites like Thomas, Minho, Frypan, Teresa, you have some new people you have to look forward to- Aris, Jorge, Brenda, and Group B (yeah, the infamous Group B!).  Jorge is a somewhat leader of a group of peeps with the Flare (The Cranks) that Thomas and the gang spend some quality time with and go through a lot with.  Now, Aris and Brenda... oh boy, I am not going to say much about these 2 because they are HUGE in Scorch.  By the end of the book, I had been through a few cycles of liking/disliking these 2.  Excellent character playing here Dashner!

Ok so, WICKED.  Well, a TON is learned about their purpose and their experiment with the Gladers.  What was interesting is that as much as I learned about them, I ended up having twice as many new questions about them by the time the book was over.  This is cool, trust me.  What  I will tell you about WICKED is that they are powerful, rich, and basically have unlimited resources for their purpose.  Dashner shows us this with their advanced technology (LOVE THE FLAT TRANS!) to their ability to create this experiment in its entirety!  These people are no joke.  They have the ability to create the most gruesome lightning storms that made me feel like I needed to take cover! Cool stuff.  I was left with many thought about WICKED and most of all I was left wondering exactly what function Thomas and Teresa serve with them.  This is not a spoiler at all because you will not know why I think this and it is just my opinion (for now)- Dashner made me wonder if Thomas and Teresa were actually in charge of WICKED and put themselves in this experiment in order to achieve maximum results.  I almost felt like they did this whole thing to themselves, which is either really crazy or it is the maximum sacrifice for all of man kind.  Weird thought but it has crossed my mind several times.  Hmmm.  

Anyway, back to my review....  Scorch Trials is really about everything I mentioned above tied up in to this 2 week journey.  There are endless tunnels, high tech transport devices, some strange dudes, and an awful place Dashner creates in our minds.  Have no fear, just when you are wondering where the next set of horrible thig-a-ma-jigs like the Grievers are, BAM- Dashner's new set of evil monsters come at you from all angles.  

There was one part of the book that I am going to tell you about that I thought was a totally great twister and has stuck in my mind as a really cool scene.  It won't mean anything to you until you read the book but may leave you with something to think about....  At one part in the book Thomas gets hurt. (not telling you how or what is wrong with him)  Now keep in mind that people have been killed before in the book and many have been hurt to some extent, including Thomas and it is what it is, right?  Ok, so Thomas gets hurt and it seems like it could be dangerously fatal or at the least, slow him down a bit.  Out of nowhere, WICKED kind of like puts the experiment on pause, goes and grabs Thomas from the Scorch (how they get him is classic!), and take him somewhere and quickly make him better.  They totally heal him and dump him back in the Scorch as if nothing had changed.  I don't know... to me that was totally cool.  It was like something unexpected, an uncalculated error had occurred and WICKED had to quickly fix it.  What it showed me was that WICKED was 1000% in control.  Considering that The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials are part of this huge scenario, it amazed me how easily they were able to manipulate things.  Again, these people are NO joke and I totally can not wait till book 3, The Death Cure to hopefully (and finally!) find out what they are all about.

Alright, so there was a quick review of Scorch with a few little previews of what you have to look forward to.  Trust me, what I wrote about above was almost nothing compared to the whole story.  The book is a non stop reader and even a re-reader.  If Dashner can WOW us with The Death Cure, I definitely feel like he will have created a new legacy in the sci-fi arena.  His writing was fantastic, tight, and pure.  Just think, if he wasn't writing The Maze Runner series, this guy would actually be practicing accounting!  JAMES- THANK YOU for realizing what your purpose was.  Thank you from all of us!



  1. Dave- I hope you get feeling better soon. At least you had an awesome book to keep you company. If James didn't detest accounting, he would have never stuck to writing like glue. It's funny what motivates.

    Thanks for the review. I look forward to reading this one!

  2. I am so excited for this book! Just reading your review made me all the more pumped for it, I don't know if I'll be able to wait until October. I hope you start to feel better soon!

  3. Great review Dave. I'm so excited for this book and this review has me itching to read it. I wish October wasn't so far away! I love your theory about Thomas and Theresa running WICKED. It makes some sort of crazy sense in my mind and I think it's a possibility.

    Thanks for the review! I hope you're feeling better soon :D

  4. thanks for the review dave! I must say I almost read it with my eyes squinted so I could shut them fast just incase there was too much information, but you did great! hope you feel better soon ; )

  5. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  6. Can't wait for The Scorch Trials!

  7. oh my god this sounds completely epic. I know that this probably doesn't sound... ehem... proper... but.... Well, let's just say that I would BEG you for the ARC, but I don't want to look like an idiot. Even though I probably already do (punches self in face). But anyway, hope you feel better soon! I can't wait for this book, whether I'm the lucky one, or if I have to wait an excruciatingly long 2 months.

  8. +1= 13 pts

    Wow this sounds amazingly awesome I'm so pumped to read this now!!!

    Ahhh ARC contest ends tomorrow!

  9. This is the first review I've read of The Scorch Trials, and I just can't wait any longer! The Maze Runner was just fantastic. Loved how in depth your review was without revealing too many details. Looking forward to this one more than ever now. =D

  10. Nothing like a great book to keep you company while sick in bed.

    Your review makes this book even more enticing! I can't wait!