Thomas finds himself inside a massive maze with other boys who do not have any memory of life before the maze. Each night the maze closes keeping them safe in a center glade. When the doors open the maze has changed. They keep searching the maze every day, but can't find a way out.
So with the paragraph above, you can pretty much skip the first half of the book. I like a good exposition just as much as the next guy, but this intro was really slow going. What made it somewhat intense was that Thomas had no memory, and nobody seemed to tell him anything useful. While that raised the suspense of the book, it was also annoying to me as a reader to not know what was happening. My feelings on this topic are split because I know Dashner wrote it this way on purpose, and he is a very gifted writer, but it was still sometimes frustrating to read.
*Spoiler Alert* Thomas goes into the maze as a maze runner. From that point on the book really picks up and is quite a fun read. I never felt like I couldn't put it down, but I did want to find out how it ended and the story was good.
I liked the character Thomas and felt a good connection to him. Dashner does a good job of developing characters and describing the world he created. I looked forward to seeing what Thomas would figure out, or do next throughout the entire book. He really was a great character and I look forward to what will happen in the next books.
The greatest strength of this book is the originality of the story. What a great idea and such a creative world! I loved the code and how they were able to eventually figure it out. I really was drawn into the story and I'm definitely reading the next books to find out what happens. I'm also very excited to see the movie and watch how they show the things that happened. But if they had split it into two movies I would not go to the theater to see them.
My biggest criticism for this book is how long it took to pick up. I'm not sure what happens in the rest of the series, but I'm pretty sure it could have been condensed into fewer books if the beginning wasn't so drawn out. It also seemed like we had many sequences of them eating or sitting around, or internal monologue of Thomas explaining his memory...again, that could have been trimmed down to make more room for the action.