For the most part I enjoyed this book and thought it was fast paced, action packed and enraging. It was a quick read because it left me always wantingFor the most part I enjoyed this book and thought it was fast paced, action packed and enraging. It was a quick read because it left me always wanting to know what was going to happen next and because the chapters where mostly all quite short, whenever I finished one chapter I would think, "Oh the next chapter is only three pages, I will just read one more." There where parts of the book, particularly near the beginning which reminded me of the movie "Cube" which I loved, so I enjoyed that aspect of it. Though I was a bit disappointed that the book wasn't really as much about the actual exploration of the maze as I had originally hoped it would be. But I did appreciate and enjoy the original story. As a lover of dyspotai fiction I think it is nice to see it start to crop up more and more in YA books.
With that being said this book did present certain problems for me.
The author attempts to make use of his own invented slang, which that in itself is fine and can be a good and effective technique, but to be frank Dashner's use of slang within this book was half-assed. It seemed clear to me that he was only using slang as a way to curse without actually using real swear words. Pardon my own language here but it was as if he simply didn't have the balls to use actual curse words (because some people might take offense of such language in a YA novel) and so he thought he was being clever by hiding it with slang. It ended up just being obnoxious because he really didn't commit to developing a new slang language and his use of slang was so inconsistent (and intermixed with already existing slang) that it didn't feel authentic and was too obviously forced.
I felt that he struggled with Thomas's narrative voice. At moments Thomas would come off as seeming to be intelligent and clever, and other times the author made Thomas sound way more stupider than he actually was, and Thomas came off as too oblivious and/or naive. Part of this I think was lack of editing. There where certain redundancies and things that simply really did not need to be there or to be said, of which the removal of would have improved the book.
Also a problem I frequently have with YA novels is that I tend to find the main female protagonists to be insufferably annoying. I think in part because authors (and I find this true of both male and female authors) make their characters seem too much like a cliched stereotype of a teenage girl. Teenage heroines tend to come off as being temperamental know-it-alls. I had the same issue with this book. For reasons of which I cannot fully explain Teresa was just grating on my nerves throughout the book. I did also think that Dashner was trying to hard to force as sort of love story between Thomas and and Teresa. Personally I thought it would be more interesting if they turned out to be brother and sister but Dashner seems to be insinuating something of a more romantic nature.
There were also a couple of annoying inconsistencies here and there that were bothersome. ...more