Friday 31 January 2020

Book Review - Scorch Trails

Title: The Scorch Trials
Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner (book 2)
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Release Date: 5 Jun. 2014
ISBN: 9781909489417

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escaping meant he would get his life back. But no one knew what sort of a life they were going back to...
Burned and baked, the earth is a wasteland, its people driven mad by an infection known as the Flare.
Instead of freedom, Thomas must face another trial. He must cross the Scorch to once again save himself and his friends.

My Review

I enjoyed Maze Runner overall but had a few reservations, but I was intrigued to find out more so started to read Scorch Trials. The Gladers are out of the maze, but it's not the comforting end they hoped for, instead the experiments continue, but on a much larger and more dangerous scale. Thomas and his friends must once more band together to try and overcome all the trials and adversities that are put in front of them. 
THe book is fairly fast paced and has plenty of twists and turns, Teresa becomes a bit of an Enigma which started off as an interesting mystery, but one that i soon got bored with. I didn't really care where she was or whose side she was on. I just wanted them to get on with it and make a decision.
The setting of the plains was interesting and offered a lot more opportunities for danger, the characters mostly stayed true to themselves and developed in a way that you would expect. There was some very intense scenes and one in particular that made my skin crawl so much I nearly put it down. Dashner is very good at setting scenes and creating tension, and being a bit creepy. 
I liked the addition of Brenda and Jorge, they offered an interesting dynamic and another layer to the story. I am interested to see where they go in the next book and what part they really have to play. 
The main frustration I had with this book was that I still haven't learnt anything more about WICKED, this added more questions, but didn't really help to answer any of the hundreds I had from the first book. It was enjoyable enough as a story but I feel like it's just padding out situations. I hoped for a bit more. However, saying that, I did enjoy it overall and am intrigued enough to proceed onto the third book and hope I get some answers.

My Rating

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Book Review - Maze Runner

Title: Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Series: Maze Runner (Book 1)
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: 6th October 2009
ISBN13: 9781909489400

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade - a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there - or what's happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything - even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out. 

My Review
I've had this book on my shelves for quite a few years and I've never seemed to have time to get round to it, but I've always heard quite good things about it. I was bought the films as a gift and being the book nerd that I am, I can't watch a film if it is based on a book, until I have read it. So I figured, now was the time. 
The premise of the story sounded really intriguing and I love a good Dystopian novel so I was quite excited to get stuck in. I was grabbed from the first page and knew that I wanted to know more. Thomas wakes up in a strange maze, with only the knowledge of his first name, he is surrounded by a group of boys who have all experienced the same situation, but have been in the Glade a lot longer, some of them a couple of years. They have set up a sort of society, they have their own rules, routines and even way of speaking. But it isn't an easy life, every night the maze doors move, and monsters lurk inside. Thomas has to work out why he and the others are there and how they are going to get out. 
The story is quite fast paced and there are enough events to keep you interested in the story, the characters aren't the best developed but I still found myself liking some of them. Thomas is quite relatable and you can see that he will grow as a character and I looked forward to seeing that happen. 
It took a while for me to get used to some of their language as they had different terms for normal things, such as 'shanks'. However, it didn't take me too long to get to grips with it. The only thing that bothered me was the repeated refrain of 'good that'. I'm not sure why it bothered me that much, but the boys say it so often that it just irked me. 
Other than that, i found the story fast paced, exciting and each page made me wanted to read on. The ending was not what I expected and added a good twist. I definitely enjoyed it enough that I want to continue reading and I have book 2 ready to go already.  
If you are a fan of Dystopian YA, I would highly recommend it as an easy, enjoyable read.

My Rating