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Radiant Shadows

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Series #2)

The Scorch Trials - James Dashner As I start The Scorch Trials, all I can think is, why do they bother? I understand that when pushed, humans have a very strong survival instinct. But I feel like these kids have been pushed beyond the farthest limits you could set, and are still expected to keep going. With no trust in WICKED, and no security in the promise of a safe haven, why bother? At one point, Thomas does mention revenge against WICKED as his motive for pushing through his impending meltdown, but I just can't see revenge being worth it at this point. I guess that wouldn't make me a very good candidate! Anyways, its these thoughts that permeate my experience of The Scorch Trials. I had a hard time getting in to the story, as I felt how tired the Gladers were, especially Thomas, and it made me tired. Their acceptance of their inability to change anything made me feel hopeless and again wonder, why bother?For me, Dashner is unable to distinguish between creating suspense and just being plain annoying. I admit, I was on the edge of my seat for the majority of this book, as the twists were unpredictable. The problem I now face, is that I am left with next to no resolution. I waited in anticipation for almost 400 pages to find out that I have to read the next instalment to get any answers. Yes, bits and pieces were revealed, but nothing that really added to what I already knew from The Maze Runner. This does not sit well with me. I found myself having to put down the book and walk away because I was so frustrated with the lack of answers. And so many of the various plot twists introduced seemed needless and just added to my overall frustration, like Dashner was just making things up as he went. This gave the book an almost careless and unplanned feel, like a lot of the looses ends won't be explained because they weren't given much original thought. I'm sure in the next book I will finally get some type of resolution, but I feel like there should have been something given in this to make me WANT to pursue the next instalment. Instead, if I want to know anything, I HAVE to read The Death Cure. Seems like a pretty dirty and sneaky way to make sure I don't stop halfway through the trilogy.My next problem is that throughout the entire book, there is no sense of time passing...like, at all. When I got near the end, and the Gladers announced they had only 3 days to get to the safe haven, I was genuinely shocked. It was the first indication that any significant amount of time had passed (that I noticed) and the fact that almost two weeks had passed really surprised me. Part of me wondered how it took them so long to get to their destination, then I remembered they were supposed to be covering 100 miles. All the times they spent running kind of blurred together, and I kept catching myself wondering how long the Gladers had spent running, and how it was physically possible for them to run for such long periods of time. I probably missed sections of the plot contemplating how a person could run that often, on such little amounts of food/water in a desert-like landscape.Finally, continuing from The Maze Runner, I don't really care for any of the characters. I was glad to see Minho took more of a main role, but I still can't relate to Thomas (who has next to no personality, considering he spends half of the book sleeping or knocked out), I can't stand Teresa (she's all over the place!) and the other more minor characters all kind of blend together - we don't even know all of the Gladers' names, even though by the end, there's only 11 of them. I did like the introduction of Brenda, even though she freaked me out a couple times, but I didn't care for the love-triangle (kind of) thing that was happening between her, Thomas and Teresa.Overall I feel pretty meh about this, and will only read The Death Cure to find out why they were put through all of this in the first place.Originally published on my blog, Radiant Shadows