The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Posted January 19, 2018 by Amber in Reviews / 2 Comments

The Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trials

by James Dashner

Series: The Maze Runner #2
Publisher: Delacorte Press on October 10, 2010
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch. There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die. The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.



Some mixed feelings on this one?  I’m sort of on the edge of meh, but just curious enough about the plot to continue forward.  That’s weird for me – I’m a character reader, and if I don’t care about any of the characters, then I usually opt out.  Interesting change.

1.  There was a lot of room for incredible world building in this one, but I feel like Dashner fell a bit short.  The characters must have spent half the book in pitch black and after the first time, that got boring.  There’s this whole wasteland of opportunities, but he kept plunging them into the dark. Why?

2.  As a middle book, The Scorch Trials held up well.  I remember distinctly not enjoying The Maze Runner, and although its been several years, I feel like this one was better in retrospect.

3.  Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, or I’m too old, or something, but… anyone else out there think Thomas was irrelevant and boring?  I know he’s the main character and obviously he’s going to end up being a Chosen One, but I’m just booooooored with him.  It feels forced.

4.  I feel like there are some books that need to be about adventure.  Trials.  Self-discovery.  Not weird love triangles?  The romantic relationship in this book is weird.

5.  I do like that we’re seeing more sides of the story.  Evil isn’t always evil and good isn’t always good, and that’s starting to be well-represented.  WICKED’s involvement got complicated in this book, and Minho’s temper made him stand out as a good-guy-who-doesn’t-always-do-good-things.

6.  I have issues with Jorge?  It may have just been the narrator, but Jorge was a very I Saw It On TV-esque stereotypical Mexican representation?  I felt like we were talking to a young Machete or something.

7.  On the other hand, I did quite like other voices the narrator did?  Newt, for example.  I like Newt.  And, apparently, he’s Irish.  It’s been a while since The Maze Runner – is that canon or interpretive?  Whatever it is, I enjoyed it.  Also he’s just a good guy.

8.  The action in this one was so much better.  I’m genuinely interested in the testing now, and I was groaning right alongside Thomas as they had enemies and catastrophes torn at them.  The girls seemed to be doing okay, but the boys needed a break….

9.  I think there’s a lot of potential in the added characters.  Brenda had her ups and downs, but she could be good… as well as the whole new group of girls.  I’d like to see further character development in The Death Cure.

10.  There was a lot of repetition and explaining in this book… and since we’re at the second book, I feel like we should be good and over that.  The addition of the flashbacks helped even out the pacing, but the third time Thomas had to explain who he was, I wanted to slam my head on the desk.

All and all, I have a lot of nitpicks about this one, but it’s not bad.  Not my favorite, but not bad.  Good enough that I’ll read the sequel, but not so good that I’m gushing.  Especially since I think Teresa is a bit annoying and could care less about Aris and Thomas is boring.  So I guess I’m reading for Newt and Brenda and to find out how the mind-mapping plays in with the cure.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★ 1/2
Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★
Writing: ★★★
Pacing: ★★★
Narrator: ★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★

3 Star Rating


Have you read The Scorch Trials?

Which character was your favorite?

Is the movie a good adaptation?

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2 responses to “The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

  1. I loved the movies but because I watched them first I lost interest in the books. I’m trying to read Book 3 before the movie comes out! Sorry it got so boring for you at times

    • Amber

      That’s alright – I don’t expect to love every book. 🙂 I did enjoy this more than the first one. I remember liking the Maze Runner film better than the book as well.