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  • Writer's pictureLaura L. Zimmerman

Book Review: “The Scorch Trials” by James Dashner

I was debating writing a review on this one, since it’s an older book. I had actually read the first book in the series – “The Maze Runner” – a couple years ago. But I’m bent on finally finishing this series and already have book three in hand, so I figured I’d pass along my thoughts on the trilogy, so far 😉


“The Scorch Trials” is the second book in a YA dystopian series written by James Dashner, preceding a third and final book in the series, as well as a prequel that was just released last year. If you haven’t read the first book (or seen the recently released movie!) then stop reading – spoiler alert! 

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So, the first book focused on a group of boys trapped in The Glade, surrounded by a maze – all of whom had lost their memories. At the end of the book they escape the maze, assuming they are safe at last. We the readers, however, know more is in store for them, as the maze was referred to as the first trial.

Book two picks up right where the first left off. The boys that survived the horrors of the escape are well rested and fed, and are under the impression that their lives are going to get better. Except… not so much. They are immediately thrown in the second trial, instructed that they must cross ‘the scorch’ in two weeks or they will die. Once again, WICKED has stacked the odds against them and they must fight to stay alive, and try to solve the mystery of who they are and what exactly WICKED wants with them. Again told through the eyes of Thomas, we see friendships tested and loyalties broken, as ‘The Gladers’ stumble upon a town overrun by ‘cranks’ (crazy people that oddly resemble zombies).


I’m going to be honest here: One of the main reasons I didn’t read this book right away, after having read the first, was because of the terrible reviews I kept reading about it. I mean, some really bad stuff. People seemed downright mad about this book. But then I saw the movie they made about the first book and felt like I wanted to go back and re-read it. (Side note: Book one is fantastic! Highly recommended read – much better than the movie!) So, here’s my verdict of book two…

I give ‘The Scorch Trials’ 3.5 stars! 

The short: I liked this book enough to finish reading it and definitely want to move on with the series.

The long: I actually like Dashner’s writing style, although there were a number of other reviewers that had issues with it. I think he kept the characters true to their personalities and did keep the story moving along, although I will admit I found it a bit more boring than the first book. There were definitely times where I stopped and said, “What the?” because I couldn’t figure out why he put a specific scene in or something just didn’t make sense. And looking back on it, I still don’t understand why he added a few of the things he did. But maybe I’ll understand better after having read book three? Time will tell. I do see some of the issues that others had with the book but overall, I liked it and am glad I read it. 

Stay tuned for a review of books three and four. I might as well finish reviewing, since I already started 😉

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment below and share what you liked or didn’t like about this book!

Happy reading, friends! 🙂

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