Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mini Reviews: The Scorch Trails and The Death Cure by James Dashner

In April for my dystopia month I decided to read The Maze Runner in anticipation of the upcoming movie. I was totally blown away by how action-packed, mysterious, and fantastic the world-building was so I decided to get the audiobooks for my drive to BEA to finish the series. And while the next books were good they didn't quite have the magic of The Maze Runner.

Title: The Scorch Trials
Series: The Maze Runner #2
Author: James Dashner
Published: 2010 by Delacorte Press (Random House)
Amazon Goodreads

Synopsis: 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

The Scorch Trials was just as good the first book is this series and continued to build the captivating and mysteries world that the first book created. 

In The Scorch Trials the book takes a much more of a post-apocalyptic world as the characters leave the maze for the larger world that is inhabited by crazy people infected by a deadly disease, difficult and treacherous conditions, and the ominously named government entity WICKED who is putting them through all these challenges in the name of survival and science. And like The Maze Runner this book was all about survival but it is all becoming harder and harder. The book is full of non-stop action as the characters attempt to survive all of this and more.

And of course this book had great cast of characters. We catch back up with some of our old favorites like Minho and Newt but we also get to meet a bunch of interesting and compelling new characters. Many of the new characters made me question which side they were on, even some old characters made me think that. But there was also bunch of new characters that were fantastic and easy to root for (TEAM BRENDA).

The best part of The Maze Runner was the mystery. Everything in this world made me question what was happening and why. In The Scorch Trials things got even more interesting and confusing. As the world grew so did the mystery. I spent so much of this book confused and curious about what was happening. It wasn’t quite so mysterious as The Maze Runner but unlike that book, the solutions didn’t feel so obvious. Nothing in this book was obvious.

I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in the series and despite the fact that the narration wasn’t completely enjoyable (it made the characters seem much too old) this was a great book to listen to as an audiobook. The action and crazy world-building kept me on the edge of my seat, encouraging me to keep listening.

Title: The Death Cure
Series: The Maze Runner #3
Author: James Dashner
Published: 2011 by Delacorte Press (Random House)
Amazon Goodreads

Synopsis: Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

This book had some serious feels for me, some good and some bad.

 It continued the trend of veering more towards the post-apocalyptic side of the aisle. This series is similar to Divergent in that every book the world continues to grow and change. There is more mysterious things happening in this book than I would have suspected. Normally I wouldn’t complain about something like that but in the last book in a trilogy I expect more answers than questions and that isn’t what you get in The Death Cure.

 But oh this world, this interesting and terrifying world. It’s a scary view of the future with an even scarier organization and government entity that continues to confuse me on whether it is out for good or for evil. In this book just when you think you have them figured out something happens to change your mind. But what The Death Cure did do was keep me interested and excited with so much action. Just like the other two books it was all battle scenes, explosions, and narrowly escaping with your life. Many people were not so lucky and one death in particular hit really hard.

 And of course this book has its dubious and interesting cast of characters. But while the world continued expanding, we only ended up following a few characters from the previous books. Many of the others were shoved further into the periphery only to return in the very end. And while a few returned with a larger role many ended up disappointing me with the way their story concluded.

 But on the whole The Death Cure didn’t quite have the satisfying ending that I expected. It attempted to take things full circle by bringing back some characters, settings, and experiences from the first book which was quite exciting but when everything was all said and done it seemed more confusing than satisfying. The odd thing is that it may have turned its back on what it had been saying all along but I didn’t quite have a problem with that. It just felt a little uneventful and left me longing for more.

 This is definitely the series for people who like me, enjoy their books heavy on the theatrics. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games or Divergent then check out The Maze Runner.

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