The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

Putting together the 15 Anticipated Movies for 2015 was great because I got a good general idea of what to look out for.  I never looked up whether the sequel of Maze Runner had gotten the green light to move ahead. Although, judging from the general reviews from the blogosphere, it was generally well received, right? Anyways, I loved it

If you’ve missed my review on The Maze Runner, please see the book review HERE.  In addition, I also reviewed the movie HERE.

When I realized that it would be released in September, I pulled up the sequel from my stack of books to read. Its one of the newer purchases but who cares? I just had to check it out 🙂

THE SCORCH TRIALS (Maze Runner #2)

by James Dashner

Scorch Trials

The Gladers arrived into safe haven.  They found a way to escape and they were safely rescued to a place where they could freshen up, eat and rest.  Except the next morning, Thomas wakes up to raging noise around them.  Some crazies are screaming through the windows.  When they escape the room, he realizes that he can’t connect with Teresa and she’s taken away.  The only message they get is a strange man telling them that they have a virus in their system and they need to get to a safe point in 2 weeks to get the cure.  They have embarked in what the man called the Scorch Trials.  What dangers and challenges lie ahead of them? What is the point of all these trials? Will they make it out alive?

Sequels usually don’t have quite the hype of the first one.  Scorch Trials starts off pretty good, setting off a new scenario, danger and its own set of problems.  Questions and mysteries start to spiral in the reader’s minds almost immediately as one thing leads to another and they start seeing and learning about their new quest.  They still wonder what this virus is and why they are doing these trials and what this all means.

The Scorch Trials leads up to learning what this virus is.  Plus, Teresa plays a heavier behind the scenes role.  The virus is a scary one that turns people in the most extreme forms to crazies.  Hints of zombie apocalypse anyone? These crazies are completely out there: no reason, no care and completely out of control and extremely deadly.  Everything in the Scorch Trials is just like what it sounds like.  Unlike the Maze, where all the factors were controlled and was pretty artificial, the Scorch Trials is more realistic (because they are supposedly in the hottest desert area on the face of the earth).  They experience extreme heat and destroyed buildings and bigger environment.  That should make this a little more interesting. Its a lot of walking and encountering unexpected situations and threats that come up. The Scorch Trials does have one little thing that doesn’t quite live up to the Maze.  Maybe its the pacing of the middle part, because once they hit the final third of the novel, the intense pace of the first comes back into play.

Although Scorch Trials fell a little short in the middle section, its not completely that which bothered me.  I had to take off a few points for Thomas.  That’s right, you read right.  Our main protagonist turned from a fearless and relatively smart guy in the Maze to this slightly whiny and a little wishy-washy boy.  It was a little frustrating to read at times, but he sometimes makes these bad decisions and his characters turns really inconsistent.  Plus, Thomas was always drifting off into sleep or getting beat up.  What happened to Thomas? I just didn’t quite understand why they turned him into this weak.

Overall, it was still a good read. The middle section is a little less action-packed than the entire pacing of the first novel.  The Maze seems to be a lot more intense than the Scorch Trials but the whole deal of why I didn’t like it was how they changed the nature of Thomas.  The idea of revealing hints of what the virus was and the effects it had on humans and how it affected the real world as they went through the Scorch was a good one.  The pacing could have been better.  Still, the ending makes me wonder about the third book.  I’m hoping that its going to notch up the intensity more than this one to have a more engaging reading experience.

 Have you read The Scorch Trials yet? What did you think? Was it better or worse than the first book?

Take Me Tomorrow by Shannon A. Thompson

After updating everything in my rarely used tablet, I managed to get this next e-book to work.

A huge thank you for Shannon to reach out to me and send me a copy of her novel to read and review 🙂 I appreciate it a lot! If you happen to have just dropped by to my little independent writers month (and a half), I already featured Shannon in her previous novel, which was part of The Timely Death trilogy. As I patiently wait for the third book to come out, I’m ecstatic to get a chance to read this!  The synopsis she sent me had me all intrigued.

Lets take a look at Shannon’s most recent novel!

Take Me Tomorrow

by Shannon A Thompson

take me tomorrow

Take Me Tomorrow is a YA dystopian novel.  Dystopian worlds have been the new big thing.  It seems everyone digs them out especially with The Giver’s most recent adaptation into the big screen.  In the whole YA world of reading, its simply hard to avoid.  Although there are many outstanding and wildly popular novels in this genre (like The Hunger Games or Divergent), Take Me Tomorrow is in its own league.  America is now divided in various regions, each in their own downfall and structure. After the events of the uprising a few years ago against the clairvoyant drug Tomo, the government wants to remove it from harming its inhabitants and the person who possesses it has to suffer the worst consequences. The story is set in the Topeka region and we start with sixteen year old Sophia Gray who abides to the strict rules especially as her father works for the government himself.  However, when she ends up meeting up a strange boy called Noah who soon changes her life in the most literal sense, it reveals mysteries and secrets bit by bit about the people who she cares about, both her friends and her own family.  Noah is involved with Tomo but he also has his own mission and Sophia now must make a choice despite all the information overload about her life and what she thought she knew.

I’m trying to be vague about Take Me Tomorrow because I don’t want to spoil anything. If you are a fan of YA novels and the dystopian world, this one has to be added to your reading list.  Shannon A Thompson has always been an outstanding young author whose Timely Death series has me anticipating the next book.

Take Me Tomorrow is absolutely impressive.  Its engaging, intriguing and is an absolute page-turner.  I took every single second opportunity to resume reading whenever I could because I just couldn’t wait to see what happen next with Sophia and Noah as the story unfolded.  The pacing is fantastic and you never feel like there’s too much going on.  The characters all are very distinct and can be related to.  This new America is also interesting to learn about.  It gives a good observation of what is going on not only through Sophia’s observations but also through the conversation of the other characters that are involved.  Gradually, new characters are added in bit by bit and everyone has a different story and something essential to add to the overall plot.

Friendship, family, love, war, chaos, drugs are jumble together in this YA dystopian novel but its never messy but rather its an emotional journey with the characters as they embark on an adrenaline, action-packed mission over what is probably a very short about of time.  Just as the characters done slow down, our minds won’t slow down either and thats what makes this an outstanding and exciting novel to read.

I highly recommend it and I promise one of the best reading experiences you will have 🙂

Side note: I sure hope that Shannon will write a sequel because I’m waiting for one. That ending deserves one as well 😉

Make sure to visit Shannon’s blog HERE!