Book Review: The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?

I am surprised at how much I ended up liking this book.  I enjoyed The Maze Runner, but thought the book was a little slow at times.  The Scorch Trials starts at a fast pace and does not let up until the end of the story.  There is a total Catching Fire-type ending here: at the end of the last page, Dashner writes: "END OF BOOK TWO just like Suzanne Collins did.   I'm hoping the series will end with a third book, and not more than three books.  I really like trilogies better than long, drawn out series---especially when I have to wait a year between releases! 

Thomas is starting to regain some of his memories and is trying to piece together his past and the meaning behind the Trials and WICKED.  He is shocked several times by people he thought were his allies.  There were definitely some "DREAMS SHATTERED" moments in this book, especially towards the end.

One of my complaints about The Maze Runner was that there was a lack of love story.  The Scorch Trials, while far from being a book about love, did have more of a romantic element to it.  Thomas is loyal to Teresa but meets Brenda and starts to have feelings for her too.  The love story element is not a central part of the story but is nevertheless a nice addition.  

I would recommend this series to fans of dystopia.  Fans of Scott Westerfeld and Suzanne Collins will love it.

Just One Gripe: 
This book is pretty gory.  There were several times I got pretty grossed out (admittedly, I do have a weaker stomach now that I'm pregnant).

The Best Thing About This Book: 
The intricate and intense plot.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 
It's about the same level as The Hunger Games series.

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 5/5
Setting/Imagery: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Total Score:  23/25


  1. I loved loved loved this book - I thought it was so good, especially being able to live up to The Maze Runner. Great review! :)

  2. I'll have to give this another shot. I tried before but everything started too quickly and I had trouble remembering who people were. :p

  3. I read the first book, and just haven't gotten around to the second book. sounds like a cliffhanger book.

  4. I've had TMR on my TBR list forever. I even saw it at the library the other day but didn't pick it up. I have the feeling this is one of those books not to be devoured so feverishly so right now is not the time for me to read it. I've gotta knock out some RR's first.

    Gory, eh? Interesting. I can't wait to read this series.

  5. I sort of love when there is no love story. Thanks for the great review. Happy weekend!

  6. Yay!! The Scorch Trials is awesome!! I actually wasn't a huge fan of The Maze Runner - those Grievers were just so creepy/gross. But I loved The Scorch Trials! Happy you did too :)

  7. This is great news because I liked The Maze Runner, but was worried I wouldn't enjoy this one. I'm glad it turned out to be really good. I'll have to read it!

  8. I loved it because i think its a great book for anyone of any age to read, especially teenagers. It has a little bit of everything in it, horror, suspense, and mystery. The maze runner is set in a world called the Glade, but no one knows where it is or when it is. All Thomas and the other children know is that they need to escape. The author does a great job of making you really feel what the characters are feeling and lets you know what it would really be like to be trapped in one of those situations. Another reason this book is so amazing is because it really keeps you on the edge of your seat when they are running through the maze, dodging the greivers, and trying to find their way home. The only downside of this book is its probably less enjoyable for girls than it is for guys because of the violence and action.


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