My experience with this book turned out to be a unique one: for most of the book I was thinking that it had some redeeming ideas but that it just wasn't good enough, but the last third really turned everything around. Let's discuss.I bought this book over a year ago because of the Dystopia craze.. having read so much dystopia though, I wasn't able to pick it up. It's been a while though, and I picked it up at a time where I was excited for it which turned out for the best.I was first stricken with how fascinating the whole world concept for this books is: it's very reminiscent of The Lord of the Flies in that you have a bunch of kids desperate for life but not knowing what to do. I've always enjoyed reading and thinking about how bodies of people govern themselves, and this made an interesting study. Also, of course!, you have this epic arena: a huge maze infested with giant lizard-robot creatures and no seeming escape, it's great! But here lies my problem with this book: you understand the world within the first few pages, you pretty much understand what's going on. Therefore, I expected "Okay, I get it! Cool.. what's going to be the plot in this interesting setting?" .. and you don't find out for 300 pages. SERIOUSLY! Most of this book is the main character, Thomas, asking questions and NEVER getting answers. It was infuriating! I felt all this potential for the story, it honestly has such an exciting prospect, but then you learn nothing further about the world and the plot goes nowhere. A couple of people have told me that this was all necessary information needed for the sequels, and I completely disagree. It's always good to set an over arching idea with details for a series, but that shouldn't take up over 2/3rds of this book! I will not budge on my feelings that this book had a lot of wasted time merely standing around the Glade that should have been cut out to make the story an actual story: I want plot, something to follow!However, and this is where I was so happily surprised, the last hundred or so pages of this book WERE exactly what I wanted (expected). They were completely action packed, very suspenseful, and absolutely thrilling to read. I at first wondered if it would be "too little, too late" but my final verdict is no.. it was so very exciting that although it was close to not being good enough, it definitely brought the whole book up for me. The writing in this book was overall enjoyable: one thing I HAVE to praise is the descriptions... they were never too lengthy or distracting and they always left a clear image in my mind. A lot of the time when action scenes are described in books I'm really confused as to who is kicking who/where someone is running/what is attacking them but this writing really nailed good description. However, I do have to point to the lack of suspensefulness: I could feel that the James Dashner wanted things for the first 2/3rds of this book to feel suspenseful, but instead they felt slow, dragged out, and actually kind of annoying. Overall, it was a tough read for most of the way through, but the ending portion really made up for it. I DEFINITELY want to read the next book, The Scorch Trials, and look forward to seeing where this story progresses.. I'm scared that the slow world building won't be eradicated though because we are completely changing arena's, but we will see! I have my fingers crossed! At least I know to push through the slowness because I'll probably have an exciting ending waiting for me!Note on the epilogue: IT WAS PERFECTION. I really appreciate when an author ties of a book well, especially when it's part of a series: I don't want to be left completely hanging having no closure at the end of a book. This book did sum up really well though, it had a conclusion, this chapter ended. The epilogue gave the perfect twist though, absolutely unexpected and brilliant.