From Page to Screen: The Scorch Trials Trailer

Alright, you guys. The Scorch Trials trailer premiered the same day I did a post about the new movie poster, so I wanted to wait a day or two to post about the trailer. So let me show it to you and then we’ll discuss it after, okay? Here it is:

Now that you’ve seen it, let’s talk about it. This is going to be a little ranty. If you’ve read the book, this movie trailer is NOTHING like it. There are characters with the group that shouldn’t even BE with the group; there is information given to Thomas and the Gladers that was NEVER given to them like that; there’s just a lot of stuff that’s different. It’s really annoying, but at the same time, it does look pretty AWESOME. It’s still going to be a good movie, I think. Now that I’ve seen TMR and separated the book and the movie in the mind, I can go into TST knowing it’s going to be SO different. Also, the Scorch looks EXACTLY like I pictured, so that’s definitely a plus. I’ve seen that James Dashner actually approved all of these changes. Do any of you guys know if that’s true and where I can see that?

What do YOU think about the trailer?

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From Page to Screen: The Scorch Trials poster!

As you may or may not know, this blog started with a review of The Maze Runner by James Dashner, and even though I thought the first movie was REALLY different and some parts of it irritated me, I’m still excited for the next movie, The Scorch Trials, and I’ll definitely be seeing it in the theater. Yesterday, they released the first poster for the movie over on Facebook, and I wanted to share it with everyone because it. looks. awesome.

The Scorch Trials Movie Poster

I’m so pumped about this poster, you guys. It looks A LOT like how I pictured the Scorch, so that’s really exciting. For anyone who’s wondering how much they’ll change the plot though, MTV recently released a behind-the-scenes video in which Wes Ball says they’re basically using the next two books in the series (The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure) as the basis for this movie. You can check out the full video on MTV.com. I thought that would irritate me, but honestly, I’ve kind of separated the books from the movies in my mind because of how different TMR was, so now I’m just kind of excited to see what’s going to happen.

The Maze Runner movie – NEW TRAILER and pics

AHHHHHH!! You guys. YOU GUYS. A new trailer for The Maze Runner was uploaded today! Have you seen it?

You can find it HERE on Yahoo Movies.

I can’t really put into words all the feels and fangirling that’s happening as I type this, so if you give me a few minutes, we can discuss in the comments, k? 🙂 Like, there are obviously some changes, but they seem to have kept a lot of things in that I thought they might take out (e.g. Ben being banished).

Also, we got some new posters! Check them out below. (Look at Dylan O’Brien being a BAMF in the last one)

TMR - Never Stop Running TMR - the only way out is within TMR - Thomas JumpsTMR - Thomas

These are amazing, especially that second one. I’m kind of in love with it. Please say there are other people on here who are as excited as I am. Man, I hope there’s a midnight premiere here. I’m going to be all over that.

Book Review: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

This was my third Bout of Books book! 🙂

The Eye of Minds

 

Title: The Eye of Minds

Author: James Dashner

Genre: Sci-fi, YA

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication Date: October 2008

Hardback: 308

Stand alone or series: First in a series

How did I get this book: Bought

 

Let’s start with a brief synopsis (from Goodreads):

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

What I thought:

Okay, so I was kind of disappointed in this book, and because I am trying to finish/read most of If I Stay today, I’m going to make this review quick.

As you might have seen, I was a HUGE fan of Dashner’s Maze Runner series (you can read my review HERE), so I had been looking forward to reading this ever since I finished that.

I just don’t really know what to say about this book.

I REALLY liked the idea behind it, and I like the fact that Dashner just throws you into the world in each of his books. I think that’s cool because you are immersed in the story right away. Just like in TMR, the world is super interesting: you’ve got this VirtNet, which is a seriously fascinating virtual reality in which you can pretty much play whatever you want. You can play generic (in that we have so many of them already) games like shoot-em-up games, but then there’s Lifeblood, which is pretty much just playing life – you do what you do in the real world: get your hair cut, go out to eat, go to the park. At first I was like “what the heck is the point of this?” but then I realized if there was a game like this in our world, people would actually play this. Dashner’s got all the new tech/slang words like in TMR: the Coffin is what you lay in to Sink into the Virtnet; you go through a Portal to Lift yourself into the Wake (real life). I love that. I love being able to see this new world so clearly.

But then the world wasn’t really developed. At least, not the Wake, the real world outside of the VirtNet. Dashner makes it seem like the outside world is kind of screwed up, but there’s practically NOTHING about it. Michael, our main character, goes to school one day, but we don’t really get any descriptions (which I suppose makes sense in the end). I’m hoping that we get more of it in the subsequent novels, much like we did in the TMR series.

Also, I’m sorry to keep comparing it to that, but that’s what I was doing as I read it. Maybe that wasn’t fair, but this is the same author, right? I am surprised that this is what came AFTER TMR. This book seems less polished and well-done as TMR. It definitely felt like this was a less experienced Dashner, which doesn’t make sense. The writing style felt…well, clunky. There was a lot of repetition or sentences that didn’t need to be there.

Honestly, I hate this, but I just couldn’t care less about the characters. Michael is our main character, and I couldn’t get involved with him. I actually ended up like the secondary characters, Bryson and Sarah, more than Michael. And I didn’t even really care about them either. As I was reading, I was just thinking how much more I should have been involved with their emotions/plight. But I couldn’t. I didn’t relate to them at all. This sucks because I really did want to like them and care about them. The plot and what was happening to them was so interesting, but they weren’t. However, I did enjoy their sarcasm and they made me laugh a few times, which was good. And I will say part of the reason I want to read the next book is to find out what happened to Bryson and Sarah, so that’s something.

I do want to say though that I really loved the end. I wasn’t surprised with the twist we had in the middle of the book; I had actually predicted that one. But I can’t believe I didn’t see the end coming. It was perfect, such a good idea. I thought it wrapped up well and paved the way for the next book. Because of the ideas in the book and the ending, I know that I will buy the next book when it comes out this fall.

The bottom line:

Really interesting and cool ideas for the plot and world in which the novel is based. Not so great characters; I didn’t really care about them the way I wanted to. I’m kind of brokenhearted that I didn’t love this like I was hoping to. I do recommend reading it though and I will buy the next book when it comes out.

Rating: 6.5 – first time I’ve given a half point, but it wasn’t quite a 7 but wasn’t a 6 either.

Reading next: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner

Image

Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Speculative Fiction, Young Adult

Publisher: Delacorte Books

Publication Date: October 2009

Paperback: 375 pages

Stand alone or series: First book in a series

How did I get this book: Bought

Do you ever have a book on your to-read list for a long time, but you just never seem to get to it? Well, for me, that was The Maze Runner. I have heard great things about the series and have wanted to read the books for years, and yet I always had other books to read. I think it was the impending approach of the release of the movie based on the first book in the series that pushed me into finally buying them.

I wish I’d done it sooner.

Let’s start with a brief synopsis:

The book begins when a boy awakens in a darkened elevator, ascending into the unknown. He is unable to remember anything about himself or where he is from except for his name – Thomas. When he reaches the top, he is brought into the Glade – a giant courtyard that includes a farm, a slaughterhouse, and a homestead where a large group of teenage boys lives, all of different ages and sizes. These boys are like Thomas: they were sent to the Glade with no memory of themselves but their names. The Glade is surrounded by a giant labyrinth, called the Maze, the walls of which move every night after the doors leading into it close. Most of the group of boys tends to the Glade each day, farming, cleaning, killing. But there is a small group of boys that head into the Maze every day to try to solve it, making maps of what they find. They believe that if they solve it, they will find the way out. Only the fastest and smartest boys are able to be Runners, because they must be quick and get back before the doors close lest they fall victim to the monsters that roam the Maze, the Grievers – large, blubbery, half-mechanical beasts that can sting you with their various metal arms.

This has been the way of the Maze and the Glade for two years. Until Thomas arrives. The day after he comes out of the elevator, what the Gladers call The Box, someone else comes up, something that shouldn’t happen for another month. But that is not the most shocking part to the Gladers; what is frightening is that it’s a girl. She brings with her a disturbing message – everything is going to change. Though they cannot explain it, Thomas and the girl are connected, and they believe that it is their responsibility to figure out the Maze and lead the Gladers to safety.

What I thought:

This book consumed me from the beginning. The world that Dashner has created is frightening, intense, and everything I look for in a dystopian novel. The characters are isolated and fighting for their lives, and there is basically non-stop action the entire book. There are a lot of questions to be asked in The Maze Runner, but each time one is answered, another, bigger question is left in its place. I have to say that I have read books that have done the same thing and it has irked me to no end. However, Thomas is in a similar situation as the reader; he cannot remember anything about his life, so he is asking all of the same questions that the reader wants to know the answer to. Thomas is a well-rounded, developed character. He is clever, curious, and brave, and he knows the questions to ask. As Dashner keeps us guessing, Thomas keeps asking, making this an effective, and not-at-all annoying device to keep readers just out of reach of the truth. I don’t want to say too much about the questions that Thomas is being forced to ask, but let’s just say that Dashner can write! His prose is crisp and irresistible, keeping you turning pages and unwilling to lay the book down.

As for the world, it’s terrifying. Somehow, from somewhere, this group of boys has been transported into the middle of a gigantic maze, which is miles across. Its walls are hundreds of feet high and look to have been there for hundreds of years. Weirdly, none of the boys can remember anything about their lives previous to their time coming up in The Box. The Maze’s walls change every night and there are huge, frightening creatures that roam inside it at night. The reader will be just as curious as the Gladers – have they been sent there for an experiment? Is there actually something outside the Maze, and if so, what is it? Is this a prison that these boys have been sent to for crimes they cannot remember? How was this place created? The Maze Runner keeps the reader guessing, keeps you turning the pages to find answers. But don’t worry; the questions are addressed. I think there is something to say about an author who confuses you constantly, but makes you want to keep reading anyway.

One of my favorite things about the novel is Dashner’s made up slang employed by the Gladers; they use words like “shank,” “greenie,” and “shuck.” It is somewhat strange at first, just as it is strange to Thomas, who has no idea what the other Gladers mean when they say these things. And these other Gladers are brilliant characters, each with their own distinct personality. There’s Newt, Minho, Chuck, Alby, and the hostile (though we’re not sure why at first), Gally. Some of these characters are leaders in the Glade, while others are relative newbies, giving Thomas and us a range of knowledge to be had in the ways of the world. Throughout the novel, these other characters are developed just as well as Thomas, and the reader connects with them and empathizes with their situation.

Then there’s Teresa, the girl who was sent up in The Box to deliver the ominous message that everything was about to change. We don’t get much of her in this book, as she’s in a coma for part of the book and then ostracized for much of the rest of the book. However, I can say that this is remedied in future books.

The novel takes us on a journey while Thomas, Teresa, and the Gladers work to solve the Maze and find their way to safety. I won’t give anything away, but I will say that you will continue to be surprised until the very end – watch out for that cliffhanger, guys!

The bottom line:

If you couldn’t tell, I LOVED The Maze Runner, and I flew through its pages on the edge of my seat. The fast-paced, thrilling plot, engaging characters, often confusing answers to questions, and Dashner’s brilliant writing makes for a very successful novel. Almost immediately after finishing Book One, I began reading Book Two, The Scorch Trials, as I couldn’t handle that cliffhanger and needed to know what happened next. I’ve currently read Books One – Three, and I’m reading the prequel to the series, The Kill Order. At the same time that I was wanting to read them even faster, I wanted to take the time to savor them. I would highly recommend this book, as well as the entire series, for anyone who likes post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, action packed, thrilling adventures, especially if you’re into series. They are unputdownably good.

Rating: 9 – Practically perfect

You can read an excerpt from the first chapter of the book HERE 

See more from James Dashner on his website 

Reading nextThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman