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The Scorch Trials - James Dashner Really poor writing on top of a weak plot, resulting in a book that fails to sustain the intrigue and success of the debut novel, The Maze Runner. Torture to get through and so dissatisfying that I don't have much interest in reading the third book nor the prequel.

I gave the first book four stars mainly for its plot and made some similar comments about how the writing was very lazy. It only gets worse with the second book. The author writes things like:

'"How many of the ones left do you think are still viable Candidates?" Thomas sensed the capital letter in the word - Candidates.'

"But even though Thomas wasn't a doctor and had no clue about such things, his instincts told him the burns were manageable and would heal pretty quickly."

The author relies too heavily on instinct and other unsubstantial "senses" and hunches to carry the plot or explain the unexplained. The writing was laughable and it got to the point where there were so many examples of terrible writing that I stopped keeping track. I'm not even requiring the author to be revolutionary. The Hunger Games were books for young adults but didn't come across as they were written by 6th graders for a creative writing project. That's exactly how The Scorch Trials come across.

The events in the book are random and desperately strange. There is no sense in what happens and the only explanation readers get is "We were told to" or "These are the variables." Half of these explanations seem to be disqualified by the fact that they are made evident to the characters. For example, at the end of the first book, the Gladers are "saved" from the Creators by a group of vigilantes only to find the vigilantes killed at the beginning of the second book. Moments later, a mysterious Rat Man tells them that the Gladers' rescue was staged. Nothing came out of manipulating the Gladers and telling them it was a hoax shortly after before anything happens. It was just stupid.

The rest of the sci-fi garbage that Dashner writes was aggravating to read. I was so bored throughout the entire book and only finished for the sake of finishing. Unlike the first book's epilogue, this one wasn't gripping at all. Even though I know there is a third book and a prequel, I have no intention of reading them anytime soon.

The one thing I did like about the book was the little bit of action at the end. That was one of the few moments that I felt a thorough picture was developed; it wasn't lengthy, but the description was good. Other than that, like I said, I really disliked this book.