Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Scorch Trails - James Dashner

After their escape from the Maze, Thomas and his companions are unsure what to expect of a world destroyed by the sun, with disease taking over what’s left of the population. Can there be anything out there for them? Did the experiment work, will they make a difference to those that are left?

Once they are given food and a bed for the night, they see a glimmer of hope in all this madness. However, when they wake to screams and the faces of those infected by the Flare, known as Cranks, they are soon thrown into another world of pain and suffering. They have to travel across the scorch plains, where the infected are sent to slowly lose their minds and eventually die.

The group face the heat, the cranks and Wicked in order to find a safe haven and the cure for the flare, which they have been told, each and every one of them now has.

As with the last book, the pace is fast and flows well, yet it never takes a breath, never slows down for the group or the reader. For me the constant attack grated on my mind. I understand that the trails had to be continual in order to confuse Thomas along with the group, but it needed some time to slow, even if it was for a minute or two, to look for the answers though it was obvious that there were never going to be any.

It was long, bogged down with action, as good as it was, and nothing at all was answered other than the fact that Thomas and Teresa are a lot more involved in Wicked than they wish to be. Teresa’s change in personality is a nice twist, though she seemed to take what Wicked told her without question, unlike Thomas.

I must admit that I put the book down a couple of times, just for a break from the horrendous ordeal they had to continually face and hated the fact that nothing was answered. Maybe James Dashner could have given us something, anything to cling onto. I will probably read the other books, as I need to know exactly what influence Thomas has in Wicked, I have a feeling that it goes all the way to the top, but I won't be in a rush to do so.

Friday, 24 April 2015

The Here and Now - Ann Brashares

Prenna James moved to New York when she was twelve but not from a different country rather from a different time. A future where catastrophic conditions and a blood plague have left a world no one wants to return to.

Prenna and the rest of the travellers follow a strict list of rules. They have to blend in, be part of society without ever standing out as different. There can be no interference in the past, no one can ever know when they are from, and they can never be intimate with anyone outside the community, known as time natives. She feels isolated and unprepared for the outside world. Who and what is being done to irradiate the plague of the future? She wants to make a point, be heard but no one is listening or are they?

Ethan is a local boy who knows there is something different about Prenna, and it’s not just because he saw her enter his time 4 years ago. There are other people who know the truth, others who know that the leaders of the community are hiding rather than trying to rectify the problems of the future.

With Ethan’s help, Prenna will take a stand, alter the future and hopefully change her destiny and that of her family.

Time travel is always a hard thing to write about, the cause and effect of the simplest changes make mapping it out so difficult. This book doesn’t do a bad job, it paints the picture of the future and how Prenna turns it with the little things she does.

The relationship between the main character and Ethan is very one sided at first, however she quickly falls for him and lets him influence her without much question. The bleak future and Prenna’s story telling when she explains it to Ethan was well written and at times it flows nicely.

I wanted a little more from this read, it was gentle and not too taxing and I did want to know what happened to Ethan after reading the newspaper article, and it set it up for a possible second book. For me it needed something more for me to dig my teeth into but was enjoyable enough.