Read: December 22, 2011
The good parts: The premise of this book is good. It was creative and executed fairly well. The world and problems of this story were well thought out and consistent. The main character was someone that most teens could identify with. I didn't feel like reading this series was a waste of my time. But there were enough bits about this book that rubbed me wrong for me to ever really like it more than a fleeting nod to the author's writing style.
So with (some) relief, I finished this book in time for Christmas. I am so happy I didn't buy this for myself. It's a very disjointed story and I felt a little dragged by my lapels down a maze of confusion not unlike the feeling I had when reading the last Hunger Games installment. The characters never did develop very much at all. I'd venture to say that all the "development" happened in THE MAZE RUNNER. And people are dying, living, getting shot at, running, escaping mostly, with a dash of mystery (that was more like flat soda compared to the earlier books in this trilogy) that instead of urging me onward, pushed me to care less and less.
The book was a good conclusion to the series, but I never was crazy about THE MAZE RUNNER to begin with. I think it ended up with me praying the story would take off and waiting with bated breath, lightheaded oxygen deprivation, and finally gasping to relieve my aching brain when nothing ever happened. It was like THE MAZE RUNNER was the grand finale that appeared before its time; after that, nothing really crescendoed at all. Sure, I sometimes have very high standards and I am aware of that, but I also try my very hardest to find pieces of books to like when the story falls flat. I could not feasibly find anything I even half way liked about this series.
Yes, this is considered a "young adult" (ages 12+) book, but it is also true that I can name more several young adult books that surpass this series without even trying. And the "made up" curse words were just like saying "what the fudge?" when everyone disregards the editing and reads what was meant. They just really bothered me. Lots of teens curse, I am highly aware of that (my mom is a teacher after all) but come on, the world doesn't need more incentive and encouraging on the matter.
So all in all, if you loved THE MAZE RUNNER and got through THE SCORCH TRIALS, read this and you might actually enjoy this. I will edit this review with what my younger brother thinks as well (he's 15) once he's done (and it might be a long while, so get comfy!).