Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials
Cannonball Read 2011 #3
384 pages

The Scorch Trials is the sequel to The Maze Runner, which I reviewed back in May. This time, the group of boys from the maze find themselves put through another mysterious "trial" while Thomas tries to piece together his past. Again, the plot is extremely interesting to me, but the execution is sub-par.

I still absolutely hate the made-up slang that the boys use. It's so distracting from the story and just makes me think that they're using it as an excuse to add curse words to a YA book. It's obvious that the words are just fill-ins for common curse words (i.e. "shuckface" or "piece of klunk") and it does nothing to further the story or add to anything.

Also, what kind of crack is this guy on that thinks of this stuff? The first book was more puzzles and this one just throws everything out into left field. We have metal balls that eat peoples heads (which are never explained), giant faceless creatures with orange bulbs growing off of them, and diseased crazy people called Cranks - and that's just to name a few. You're constantly being hit over the head with just straight-up weirdness.

I also can't help but wish that James Dashner just sold his idea to a different writer. I hate his execution. The world he created is so creative and so original, but I can't help but think think that everything is going to lead up to a very disappointing ending. You're not going to find any answers in this book. I'm not sure how many books he has planned for this series, but I'm guessing we'll have to wait until the very last one to get any answers. It's almost as bad as Lost.

I'll probably continue reading this series just because I LOVE the whole idea behind the books. I love puzzles and dystopian futures and mysteries. I just really wish these books were as good as I want them to be. All I can say is that there better be a good payoff at the end.

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