Well, I know how many people were expecting and anticipating this post (including the author himself! ^_^), so I'll just get it over with already. I read 5 chapters the evening I got the book (after I'd finished blogging about how excited I was and everything), and used practically all of yesterday just to finish the much awaited ARC. That meant a lot of reading for me. It was almost too much! But I didn't care. Every minute curled up with that book, turning page by page, moving ahead chapter by chapter, until the very end... I think it was all very much worth it. ^,^
But good-golly-gosh, how on earth can I describe such an awesome book without spoiling it for everyone else?! When I remember that I'm among the only people who knows what happens before the rabid general public even gets a single copy... I find myself smiling extra widely. But then again, this makes it so much harder to say how much I liked this book, because most of you would have little idea what I'm talking about. I'll do my best, though, and I promise I'll do my best not to reveal anything you'd rather wait to read to find out...
From the start, I should say that this book is recommended highly to the young male population. I'm not saying that girls wouldn't enjoy this (because I surely did), but for a long time, almost the entire book actually, all the characters in the story are teenage boys. Except for one girl, who seemed pretty tomboyish. And except for the very end, which I promised I wouldn't spoil. ^,~ Another thing I'd like to say (and I'm congratulating Dashner on his immense creativity here) is that I thought it was really funny how these boys, living in the middle of a giant maze, made up such interesting slang for themselves. Words they could curse with, so that the young boys who read this book won't use real curse words and make parents ban Dashner's book from stores. =P
I really liked the story, because it had such a unique and original feel to it. Like, every once in a while I'd be reminded of certain elements from other books I've read, but it felt very new and cool. I remember thinking, when I was in the middle, "Why does James need to make this a trilogy? I mean, these kids are in a maze, right? If this story is any good, they'll be out of the maze by the end of the book, and then what?" Well, I was half right, half wrong. Around the last several chapters, I realized that as each chapter got me closer to the end, I could only guess at what would happen next, and I knew that Dashner would not fail in leaving me begging for the next volume in the series.
I'm only sorry that I can't bring myself to reveal any more details. In the meantime, I hope this keeps people occupied for another couple months. ^,~ James, what you've written here is amazing! I'm sure that you've penned an instant classic. I'm just tickled that this book gets to remain on my shelf even after I've finished reading it, since I'm usually content with borrowing from my library. You'll be thrilled to know that my younger brother has shown interest in Maze as well. I guess my excitement was pretty contagious. =P I'll let everyone know his reaction when he finishes it (although he usually takes a lot longer to read books than it takes me, so don't hold your breath).