Friday, December 31, 2010

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials

Author: James Dashner

Publisher: Delacorte Press

4½ out of 5 stars

Note: This review assumes that you  have already read the first book in this series, The Maze Runner.  If you have not yet read The Maze Runner then you may not want to read this review, as it will reveal key points from the first book.  You can find my review of The Maze Runner here.

Thomas has made it out of the Maze. He and the other Gladers, well the ones that survived, are safe. No more Grievers, no more WICKED, and no more codes. But is the world that they have been introduced to any better? People are diseased with the Flare, and the Earth is now a hot crisp. In the Glade everything was provided for them, from clothes to new supplies. Life was okay, until Teresa triggered the End. That’s all over now. Thomas, Teresa, and the other Gladers are finally safe. Or are they? 

They thought that they had been rescued and were out of harm’s way. Now they could go back to a normal life, meet their families, their parents. What would it be like to be reunited with their loved ones? Sadly, they would never get that chance.

As soon as they wake up after their horrendous journey out of the Maze, things start to go wrong. Teresa is nowhere to be found, and instead someone else is in her place. Suddenly they are all alone again, with no idea what to do. But then they get a special visit… from WICKED. What they find out changes everything. Instead of being done running, they are far from it. The Gladers, or Group A as they are now known, must embark on another trial, another test. They must traverse across the most burned out part of the world… the Scorch. They are against another group like them, known as Group B. It’s a race to see who can reach the safe haven in two weeks, and it means life or death because they have all contracted the Flare. Reaching the safe haven means receiving the cure.

All of this means more running, more variables, and even more danger. But this time Thomas and the other Gladers know that this is a test. They know that it is a trial which they must survive in order to come out on top. Unlike the Maze, where they always searched for a means of escape and weren’t exactly sure what they were looking for, they know that they must cross the Scorch before it’s too late. Can they do this? How much harder will it be, and what if they don’t make it? Or do Thomas and Teresa know even more than they are letting on? All is revealed in James Dashner’s epic account of tests, trials, and variables in, The Scorch Trials!

In many ways I found this sequel to The Maze Runner much more enjoyable than the first book in this trilogy. The Scorch Trials had just as much suspense, danger, and a good dose of the weird as before, yet it seemed to be taken one step further. A fantastic read for teens and adults that will make you truly second guess who is on whose side. However, I do not suggest this book for kids, or even pre-teens, as it deals with a good amount of killing, and definitely has some more advanced concepts.

I truly felt that The Scorch Trials was a step ahead of The Maze Runner, as the writing even seemed more able to reel me in as I read it. At times in The Maze Runner, I had felt that the storyline and writing were a bit bland. As I read this book though, my worries of it not being engaging enough were unwarranted. I feel that here is a sequel that genuinely surpasses the first book. I hope that the last installment of this trilogy does the same for me in The Death Cure.

I also greatly appreciated that the bulk of this book, well practically all of it, took place in the outside world. Now I got a look at what the Earth really is like in this future, outside of the Maze. I also got to see how involved WICKED is in everyone’s lives. I was actually quite surprised, as I had expected WICKED to be more of a secret organization that was kept out of the public eye. Instead, everyone knew what WICKED was. Ahh, but if you don’t know exactly what WICKED is, let me give you a brief overview. WICKED stands for World In Catastrophe, Killzone Experiment Department. All of the governments came together to form WICKED and try to find a cure to this illness. Their goal: to save the world. And the Maze, putting these kids through these trials, is all part of finding the cure. Or so we’re told…

One aspect that I felt was not done well at all in The Scorch Trials was the buildup leading to the end. It felt like the story just went down from here, and it seemed to just go through the motions. I felt that this could have been done differently, in a way that would have been more believable, and shocking. Despite this, the ending to this book was absolutely amazing and caused so many questions to sprout in my head! I cannot wait for them to be answered in The Death Cure!

To sum it all up, The Scorch Trials is the next part in Thomas’s larger-than-life journey, in which Phase Two commences. Join Thomas, Teresa, and the Gladers as they travel on a voyage that will either make them or break them in, The Scorch Trials!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out The Scorch Trials website at
The Scorch Trials is available from Amazon here.


  1. Hey, I'm your newest follower and fellow newbie :]

    First, I really enjoyed reading this book and your review! I just want to say that you're writing style is impeccable--I never would've thought you were in eighth grade; impressive! You would be an amazing writer.

    Looking forward to your future posts!

  2. Thank you so much for following and commenting!

    Wow, also thank you so much for the compliment! I checked out your blog too and it's great! Oh, and I love your counting down widget for The Death Cure! :)

  3. I have The Maze Runner on my bookshelf and it's still unread so I daren't read your post. Many thanks for the message at the beginning about spoilers. I so hate it when I start to read a review and it gives spoilers of the previous books without telling first. Heading off now to read some more of your posts :)

  4. I'm really looking forward to reading this and The Maze Runner for my YA Series Challenge, so I didn't read your review because it contains spoilers. Thanks for the warning and good luck with the blog!

  5. The Slowest Bookworm- I like to know when there's spoilers in a review too. I like it also when I am warned about the spoilers beforehand. Otherwise, I tend to read them anyway. :)

    Shannon the BookStalker- Thanks! I can't wait to hear what you think of them!

  6. Hey, I've awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award :]
    You can check out my post here:

  7. Thank you so much! I appreciate it very much, and this means a lot to me, as it is my first award. Thanks again!

  8. Lovely review, Tessa! You've got me excited for this series now :) I have a copy of The Maze Runner, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I think I'll have to try them after all.

    Book Lungs: YA Fiction

  9. I highly recommend The Maze Runner series. They are such suspenseful and fast-paced books. I'm hooked on them now, and I can't wait for the final book in the trilogy, The Death Cure!

    I hope you enjoy them!

  10. this was one of my favourite reads in 2010. Brilliant review! Totally agree with you. I also can't wait till the third book!
    I'll come back for more reviews. Great stuff!

  11. Wow, thank you so much for following and commenting! That means so much to me. I am just itching to read the final book in the trilogy, The Death Cure!

    Thanks again!


Hi, and welcome to From The Bookshelf of T.B.!

I can't wait to hear what you have to say! I do my best to try and respond to your comments, so check back often. Comment away!