Tag Archives: the maze runner

The Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trials Book Cover The Scorch Trials
The Maze Runner, Book 2
James Dashner
Juvenile Fiction
Random House LLC

After surviving horrific conditions in the Maze, Thomas is entrapped, along with nineteen other boys, in an experiment designed to observe their responses and gather data believed to be essential for the survival of the human race.



Once again, there is a second in a series book that I found more enjoyable than the original, though there was more character development and plot in the first, making “The Maze Runner” a better novel all around.  The action is where the appeal is in this one, with “The Scorch Trials” picks up immediately where “The Maze Runner” ended, with the Gladers once again being thrust into a situation they do not understand and have no chance to stop and ponder.

“The Scorch Trials” has action that literally does not stop.  No time is left to think, and the panic felt by the characters becomes very real.  The violence is raised to a higher level than in “The Maze Runner”, so those with weak stomachs should most likely stay away.  In fact, it is taken to a high enough level that the target age group seems to be older.  Gruesome is a good word for it.

The writing is solid and as I said, the plot moves rapidly, making it a good choice for reluctant readers.  There is not much time spent on character development, but it is not neglected, either.  It simply builds naturally on what has already been established in the first book, with a couple of new characters thrown in.  Don’t go in expecting any answers.  “The Scorch Trials” brings nothing but more questions, but it does so in a way that left me eager to find out what is going on, as opposed to frustrated that too much was happening.

A solid read, and I am looking forward to seeing where it all leads.


Content Warning:

Language, Violence

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner Book Cover The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner, Book 1
James Dashner
Juvenile Fiction
Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.



This book is difficult to put down from the first page.  Thomas arrives with no memory of anything aside from what happens from when he opens his eyes forward.  As readers, even though it is written in the third person, we are left to discover things exactly as Thomas does, leaving us to feel his fear and confusion as though it is our own.

The plot has quite a bit of action, but also some moments where things go slowly.  That could create a problem for the reader were it not for the ever-present questions slowly being answered.  While most are resolved, it does leave some unanswered, and brings up new ones.  It’s a real cliff-hanger.

This is a good book for reluctant readers while still being sophisticated enough for adults.  I recommend it for grade 6 and up.


Content Warning: