I'm starting to lose faith in humanity. How is it that so many of the "#1 best seller" books I read turn out to be such complete disappointments. I had heard a lot of great things about this book, with people comparing it to the Hunger Games, etc. Let me tell you, this is NO Hunger Games. The writing is no where near as good as in the Hunger Games, the character development is either non-existent or completely inconsistent, and the plot and explanation for why the kids are in the maze make absolutely no sense (I consume a lot of sci-fi/fiction, so I'm pretty much a pro at suspending disbelief. There's no amount of suspension of disbelief that would get you to buy any of the "explanations" this book gives you for why things are the way they are). Also, the characterizations of the female characters is horrible. So horrible, in fact, it made me wonder if the author had been going through a bad divorce when he was writing the series. Why does he hate women so much?
Some of you may be wondering, if you hate it so much, why give it 2 stars? Well, first of all, the dude finished writing a trilogy, so A for effort. And, despite all its flaws, I can kind of see why others would like it. So, I'm giving it 2 stars. Though, I reserve the right to change my mind later.
I'll try and leave these spoilers as vague as possible in case someone does some accidental scrolling. BUT OH MY GAWD. Why are the characters soooo flippin' dumb when they're supposed to be some sort of geniuses?!?! I wanted to scream at some of the decisions that the main character made (and not in the fun scary movie "don't go down into the basement!" kind of way. At least in scary movies, you can just assume that the characters are not too bright or are too traumatized to make a good decision. In this book, you know that the kids are supposed to be geniuses who were groomed for this task. So what the heck?! Why the stupid decisions that make absolutely no sense?!?!?!).
Also, the reason they were put through the maze... I don't even have words. I challenge anyone to try and convince me that it makes sense in any way. The science of it all is completely nonsensical, even if you give the author a lot of leeway. I think this author should just give up on writing any book that involves any sort of science. Unless it's just to report some basic fact like "the Earth is round."
And, lastly, the female characters in the book. What. The. Heck. There are basically 3 main females. The first one, of course, is somehow romantically linked to the main character and vacillates from either being completely useless or ruining everything. The second one is supposed to be some great fighter or something, but what's one of the first things she does? She comes on to the main character and is all "come hither, you sexy beast." (well, not in those words exactly, but she might as well have said that). And the third female is that head scientist lady, who, seriously, has got to be the stupidest scientist ever. Actually, I don't even know if she was really a scientist. She was so dumb. No, I've decided she couldn't have been a real scientist. She was just a super manipulative person who ruined people's lives because of some less-than-flimsy theory. And the lesson you learn at the end of the series? No female can be trusted. They are duplicitous she-devils who are just out to manipulate every situation. I would've liked the book much better if they had just left out all the female characters.
Oh! and one more obnoxious thing in the book. What was up with the character Jorge and his constant use of the words "muchacho" and "hermano?" It just seemed so awkwardly forced and very cliché. If you're going to make a character be bilingual, don't fall back on stereotypes from 30 years ago.
In summary... I don't recommend this book. Read it if you want. If you end up not liking it, don't say I didn't warn you. If you liked it, well, let's just take comfort in the fact that we will never have to be friends.