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GUEST BOOK REVIEW – The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Guest Reviewer: Ami  (@mama_roach)

Dashner has Thomas and the remaining Gladers literally ‘dashing’ through The Scorch after being told that the next phase of the trials are about to begin. The maze was only the beginning. Faced with blistering heat and citizens who have been infected with the ‘Flare’ (a deadly virus that sends people mad), Thomas and the Gladers must decide who is worth their trust. WICKED is good. Or are they? Thomas doesn’t know and neither do the readers, as we, alongside Thomas cannot believe everything we see (or read).

Dashner pushes the boundaries, for both the characters and the reader. Having loved the first book, despite its oddities, such as telepathy and mechanical creatures, its mysteries have remained with me and it is now something I want to solve, alongside the characters.

The book starts positively, with twists and turns along the way, but after a while, the clue-finding gets a little repetitive and disjointed. There are almost too many new characters to keep track of, but we, along with Thomas, must work out who is trustworthy and who won’t survive in The Scorch, so this just adds to the sense of mistrust we feel for WICKED. I only hope that the new characters and plot-twists are relevant to the third and final instalment in this series.

Once, like Thomas, you get used to being outside the Maze, the pieces of the mystery start to fit together… then Dashner throws in some more pieces of the mystery to solve!

Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from Chicken House Ltd
ISBN: 9781909489417

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GUEST BOOK REVIEW – The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Guest Reviewer: Ami  (@mama_roach)

Thomas wakes up and has no recollection of who he is, where he has come from or what will happen next. The reader is in the same position as Thomas at the start of the novel- dazed, confused and slightly apprehensive. As Thomas enters ‘The Glade’, an area of land inside a vast maze, the secrets and mysteries unravel further.  He has a feeling he has been there before…
Dashner sets a dark tone from the outset – we automatically dislike whoever has put Thomas and the Gladers inside the maze and want to know why. Dashner’s style at the beginning is fast-paced, tense and full of unanswered questions. The plot is what keeps the pages turning, once you get used to the characters’ names and their unusual colloquialisms.

However, as another character, Teresa, enters the maze, things get a little wacky. I can cope with the bizarre ‘Grievers’ (half-machine, half-creatures) and I can cope with unexplained memory loss, but telepathy takes the story into other dimensions, and perhaps genres. There is a supernatural element to this novel, which doesn’t quite match its dystopian sci-fi feel. Despite this, as you read further, the story does develop well, with an excellent twist. Chuck is, by far, my favourite character, providing a sense of realism to the novel. It was also because of Thomas’ friendship with Chuck and the sense of mystery and tension, as to why I couldn’t put this down.

I certainly enjoyed The Maze Runner and highly recommend it for fans of dystopian fiction, such as Collins’ The Hunger Games and Roth’s Divergent. It was quite refreshing to read a novel of this genre with a male lead. I am also glad to report that the movie was also exciting to see, even if there are significant adaptations (fortunately, no telepathy). Despite my ‘book before film’ policy, I am not sure, this time, which I prefer. Both were equally exciting and I eagerly await the rest of the series to absorb more of Thomas’ world.

Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from Chicken House Ltd
ISBN: 9781909489400