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

The Scorch Trials

The 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.

My Review:

You can read my review of book #1, The Maze Runner, here.

After reading The Maze Runner, I was extremely anxious to start The Scorch Trials and continue this amazing story, however, I was very disappointed with book #2. For one, there were several cuss words thrown in (h*ll and da*m), in addiction to the crass talking. There were also several (I think I counted 3) kissing scenes that were not overly detailed but I did not care to read them none-the-less, as they were NOT your “I love you so I’m going to kiss you” type kisses, they were more out of vengeance. But the main cause for my disappointment would be the violence, which was awfully close to horror.

*I am about to mention some of the biggest scenes in this book, but I am leaving out names or anything that I would consider a spoiler. However, if you want to know nothing about the major scenes (which I totally get), then please skip the next TWO paragraphs. But if you are considering buying this series for someone under 13 or 14 (which I highly recommend you NOT do), please read the following paragraphs.*

It is one thing to read a book and watch the main characters rush into battle where many are killed brutally, as was in The Maze Runner. But it is entirely another thing when people start hanging from ceilings with nooses around their necks; having strange metallic balls sere the heads of unsuspecting teens completely off; and lightning striking helpless boys so that they are burned to crisps. All of the above is spoken of in GREAT detail, down to the smell, the feel, the sound, and obviously the sight. I do have to salute the author in this area as he made me see and smell everything that happened even if I didn’t want to, which I have never seen in any other authors’ writings. I have always had the power over my brain to control whether or not I wanted a visual, great job Dashner!

There was also the issue of the “Cranks”, who are basically people overcome with rabies, because when they catch the disease called the Flare, they turn into “less than an animal”, going completely insane. There are several instances in which our main characters have to battle these “psychos” and some scenes are rather gruesome as the “Cranks” have cut parts of their own bodies off. Once again, it is really hard to read this without getting a visual.

Setting aside all of the above however, Dashner progressed this story in a way where I never knew what was going to happen next and kept me on the seat of my pants through the entire story. Dashner is an amazing writer and I am just in awe at the power he has over his readers because of his wording and imagination. Definitely one of my top authors, though I wish he did not write so much violence. But, because of all violence, I am only going to be rating The Scorch Trails 3.5 (3 on sites who don’t except “.5”) stars out of 5 and hope that The Death Cure will be more like The Maze Runner instead of this one.

Thank you all for stopping by and hopefully I will have the review for The Death Cure up soon!

Author Bio/Website:

James DashnerJames is the author of THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy and THE 13TH REALITY series. He also published a series (beginning with A DOOR IN THE WOODS) with a small publisher several years ago. He lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains.

Link for Purchase:



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