It's about this young boy, Jonathan, who at 10 years old is still freaked out scared of the dark. So one day he's playing baseball with his friends and the ball rolls into this large drain pipe, so he has to go get it, but these two bullies block up the pipe with a boulder or something, so he's trapped in darkness. At first it's horrible, but then he sees a light coming from the other end, so he goes there and comes out into this magical, perfect wild paradise called Mount Miapu.
I know, I know. The way it just happened was really weird and highly unlikely, so it kind of unsettled me. Anyway, Jonathan tries his best to find his way home, but his journey evolves into this spiritual adventure where he learns lots of personal lessons, such as trusting others and believing in himself and conquering his fears and all that muck. (I dislike blatantly obvious morals.) Oh, and how convenient that time moved much slower on Mount Miapu than on Earth, so when he finally arrives back in his town in Florida, his parents didn't even really miss him.
I thought it strange that not a lot of horrible stuff happened to Jonathan. I mean, every meal he ate was perfect and delicious (everyone only ate fruits and vegetable dishes, because they love the animals, which are very friendly towards the people), he rarely got hurt, and everyone he meets is so nice to him and help him tremendously. Except for this talking tiger, Seebolt, who represents the evil darkness that is taking over Miapu, which Jonathan must eventually save.
Though a large part of this novel was too idyllic for my taste, I did my best to enjoy the book. I think it gave me good ideas for how my Imazia story can go. I believe this will be a series somehow, because it hinted that Jonathan is a kid who can go to different dimensions/ realities/ worlds besides Mount Miapu that might need saving. (Reminds me of 13th Reality, though there's absolutely no contest between the two. Dashner rocks!) One of the characters, Cornelius, an old, wizened teacher who assists Jonathan the most, was way remeniscent of Proffesor Dumbledore.
I'm not sure if people who share my taste in books would be as patient as I was with this story, though I'd like to say that, despite all my quibbles and critiques, I wasn't sorry I read it. At least, I don't think I am. Meh. ~,~