We Might As Well Be Walking on The Sun: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

May 3, 2013 Book Club, Children's Fiction, Coming of Age, Dystopian, Frightening, Mystery, Psychological, Young Adult Fiction 24

Hola Bookworms,

The other day I reviewed The Maze Runner by James Dashner and I was all WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?! So of course, I continued the series and just finished The Scorch Trials. Here’s the deal y’all. It’s kind of impossible not to spoiler the heck out of The Maze Runner and still review The Scorch Trials, so if you want to read them and know nothing, then stop reading this review right now.

The Scorch Trials

Alright. When we last left the kids of the Glade, the guys had been “rescued” by a protest group that didn’t approve of WICKED. Then they were fed pizza and given showers and clothes and bunk beds and all was well… Until the EPILOGUE where you learn that they’re still under WICKED’s thumb. Dun dun DUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!

So the kids find out the morning after the pizza and the sleep that they have more to do (more horrors, not just intensive psychotherapy which they will ALL NEED for PTSD and whatnot!) After, you know, starving everyone for a few days, WICKED deposits the children in what is known as “The Scorch.” So the world ain’t right, that much is clear. It would be awfully hard to have elaborate mazes in which to trap and study children in a functioning society… As it turns out the earth has suffered from a series of deadly, destructive solar flares. They’ve managed to literally scorch everything between the Tropic of Cancer and The Tropic of Capricorn. It’s a freaky desert prone to intense lightening storms. It’s impossibly hot and there is NO SUNSCREEN. (I know, I was very upset by this, but I guess a group willing to kill kids with evil monsters probably doesn’t have a lot of scruples about the possibility of skin cancer down the road.) Anyway. The kids are supposed to traipse through this desert and find a safe haven. They’re given vague instructions, because when you’re an evil scientist, you don’t explain your process to the rats.

LIGHTENING! (image source)

LIGHTENING! (image source)

But it wouldn’t be that easy! The solar flares also seem to have caused a PLAGUE known simply as “the flare.” They don’t explain how you contract it, but to me it sounds like a cross between leprosy and syphillis, so it’s pretty nasty stuff. There’s no cure either, so they dump the infected in The Scorch (kind of like they did with Moloka’i and the lepers!) In addition to battling the elements, the lightening storms, and the tribe of girls who were apparently in ANOTHER maze, our brave little Gladers have to take on infections insane people who REALLY WANT THEIR NOSES! (I’m not even kidding about that part, the flare like eats your face and stuff.)

Guys, I’m hooked. Seriously. There’s a third book and a prequel. This girl is going to be reading them. I simply must know what happens! I’m usually pretty good at predicting things, but the plots of these books have me guessing all over the place. Maybe I don’t read enough thrillers, but I’m all confused about who to trust and what is good and what is bad and who is evil… It’s so frustrating- in the best possible way!

On an unrelated note, I have decided that I’m DEFINITELY going to start us up a book club. I’ll choose a selection once a month. We will read it and then I’ll post discussion questions that are WAY more fun and interesting than anything you’d find included in a normal “book club guide.” After that, we’ll just comment the mother loving heck out of the post and chat and it will be fun and interactive and awesome and you can attend in your pajamas. Refreshments will be served from your own kitchen, which is cool because I’m a terrible cook and you can’t send out digital food… Yet.

I’d like to make June the inaugural month, so anybody with ideas for book selections, let me know! Also, if you want to get your little brain wheels a-turning, I am planning on holding a contest for y’all to NAME the book club. Save your ideas, you know, write them down on a post-it note or something. The contest will take place at the end of the month. Prizes will be epic, if you’re in the US. If you’re not, it’ll probably be an Amazon gift certificate (because postage OMG.) So. Exciting things afoot!

24 Responses to “We Might As Well Be Walking on The Sun: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner”

    • Words for Worms

      Thanks! I thought it only fair to give the warning. Impossible to talk series without ruining what’s come before. I’m glad your son is a reader! Yeah!

  1. lostinliterature108

    YAY!! Glad you’re going ahead with the book club! I will be totally following along even if I don’t get to read them all. (I’m sure I will get to some). Here are my suggestions:

    The Great Gatsby-Fitzgerald
    Paper Towns-Greene
    Stranger in a Strange Land-Heinlein
    On The Road-Kerouac
    A Prayer for Owen Meany-Irving

    • Words for Worms

      Thanks for the book suggestions! I’m going to be compiling a list, and TRYING not to read them all immediately. I have issues with delayed gratification when it comes to books…

  2. ashley

    Have I told you how happy I am that you are reviewing this series? I’m sure I have! I already have some ideas of what to name the book club!

  3. June

    That is the same reason I like this series – I can’t predict it! A lot of future dystopias can get pretty predictable so I’m glad this one is different. I just got the third book and will probably start reading it this weekend!

    Also, I heard they are going to make The Maze Runner into a movie. I think it’s supposed to come out next spring. Yay!

    • Words for Worms

      I wonder how the movie is going to turn out. I’m interested in how they’ll make the monsters look, but I’m sure I’ll be annoyed when they inevitably change stuff… We should go on a nerd movie date and throw popcorn at the tweens, because we’ll probably be the only grown ups in the theater…

  4. Kathleen

    A book club with awesome, funny people? And I can do it at home, in my pajamas with whatever I want to eat? I’m there.
    First book to review: 13 Reasons Why
    And I’ll be predictable and say we should call the book club: Bookworms 🙂

  5. Megan M.

    NO SUNSCREEN?! I would probably spontaneously combust. If I was lucky. If not, I’d be bright red and in a wholllllle lotta pain. Not cool, evil scientists.

    Book club, yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! I’m excited!

  6. Jennine G.

    These books completely work on suspense and it drives you crazy thing to predict them. I haven’t read the prequel yet, but really want to, as I hear it clears up a lot of stuff that even book three doesn’t.

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