THE SCORCH TRIALS by James Dashner


by James Dashner

published by Ember

Heads up: I'm writing this review in the wake of the third book, which was a massive disappointment, so I'm still a bit bitter.

This book, the middle one, is where things start to go haywire. It's subtle, but if you listen hard enough, you can actually hear the sound of the avalanche that starts in this installment and continues into the massively-fucked next one.

Once again, let's start with what I liked.

What I Liked 

Just like in the last book, Dashner's writing is perfect for the style. It's brisk, but it's got style. It's not Dickens, but it's not stupid, either. It conveys information and it grips. If nothing else, this series as a whole is at least written well.

The plot, for the most part, held onto its bearings and didn't go all haywire (*cough* book three), although things do start to get a bit implausible here.

For example:

What I Didn't Like 

The mess that is/was the "love triangle." (I use both "is" and "was" because, at this point, I'm still not sure whether what I read was or was not a love triangle, whether it actually existed, whether it only existed for a brief period of time, whether it was a figment of my imagination...

What the hell?

I'm going to spoiler-tag the rest of my discussion about the "love triangle" because I'll actually get a bit more in-depth (highlight the text to read)
(This is a spoilery zone. Are you aware of that? Just checking.) Okay, what in the hell is up with the fact that Brenda comes in and literally(I wish I were joking) says "I like you" in her first conversation with Thomas and is considered a legitimate love interest within thirty pages? What happened to female characters, or any characters for that matter, having substance? What happened to real love triangles? What is this garbage??? Also, the fact that there are so many cheek-kisses cracks me up.

Okay, diatribe over.

This book was kind of a mess compared to the first one, but Martha-Stewart's-kitchen organized compared to the third.

Verdict: Really, you could live without this one. You really could. If you were really into the first one, though, it wouldn't hurt to go on, I suppose. Just don't say I didn't warn you when you get to the last book.

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