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

4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads
I reviewed the first book in this series, The Maze Runner, back in January. I spotted this one in my local library – I wasn’t planning to borrow anything, but I knew I had to pick this one up after enjoying the first so much. So I’m a sucker for YA dystopia.
Picking up right where The Maze Runner left off, The Scorch Trials is a whirlwind experience, once again letting the reader know only what the protagonist does, and moving on so quickly that sometimes it is a little hard to really take things in. The Gladers are safe – or so they think – and there is a real sense of relief. But this doesn’t last long, and soon things are just as crazy as they were in the Maze – however, this time they seem a whole lot worse, without the shelter of the Farm, and the familiar schedule of their daily life there. No walls surrounding them, no gates closing precisely at sundown and keeping the bad things out – just miles and miles of empty, ruined space.

With much more of a post-apocalyptic setting than the previous book, and really a lot darker, this has a sort of Fallout/Borderlands-esque feel to it. There were actually a couple of moments that made me feel a little sick – Dashner cuts off his descriptions of certain events before they get really bad, but when your imagination runs away with you it is hard not to imagine! Also, to me, there is nothing more terrifying than groups of people becoming feral and turning on one another. Sure, the Grievers from the first book were horrible. But people are intelligent (well… mostly), they have emotions, souls. To go from being human, to something truly animalistic, is a scary thought.

I would have preferred a little more of some of the other characters – Minho, Newt etc – but the focus was very much on Thomas and Teresa. There was also a rather shocking moment that, once everything is explained to him, Thomas seems to just accept far too easily. At times the pace of the story was too quick – as with the ending of The Maze Runner – and although quite a lot happened, it didn’t always feel like it.

However, the ending was exciting and I had such a vivid image of the carnage in my head – and it definitely set up for the next book. But it was the same sort of cliffhanger as the first book – the frustrating kind that reveals almost nothing, compared to the kind that gives you just enough information.

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