He's been on the New York Times YA best seller list...WHY? Dashner's books were juvenile, ridiculous, confusing, and way too violent. I'm sorry, YA readers, but I was not impressed by Dashner's trilogy, I was highly disappointed. I just now put down the third book, walked into my kitchen and told my roommate that this "may be the worst trilogy I have ever read." Harsh, I know, but that's how I felt.
First off, lots and lots of hype was made about these books. I was interested of course. The trilogy is yet another distopian one. The world is ending and in chaos and only a few can save it. Typical, yes. But, Dashner did get a good spin on it by not answering any questions until basically the epilogue. Actually, that's not a good spin, it's just frustrating to the reader to be 100% in the dark through the bitter end. I don't think Dashner himself knew the answers. Honestly, I'm still a bit confused on who's who and what's what.
The violence was a bit over the top in my opinion. I understand that it fit the story line really well and was actually realistic for the world-in-chaos idea, but this is YA fiction and I think Dashner went a bit too far. Too much killing, "blood spurting," things like that. It was gross. The only good thing was that he rushed through the intense and significant killings. Which is bad writing, but good to get through the violence. He rushed through the deaths of important characters so much that I didn't even feel anything at all. No sadness, no relief, no nothing. Looking back, I don't think I cared about any of these characters. ... Nope, I don't care about them at all. I have no way to connect to them because they can't even remember their lives before all the chaos. Lack of characters you can relate to = bad.
I'm sorry if you loved these books. I was not impressed. I thought they were badly written and I don't feel satisfied at all. The ending was frustrating, and not just because of who ends up with who. I almost feel like I, as a reader, was tricked. I also felt like Dashner was growing into writing as the books continued, but he's already written the entire 13th Reality series, so he should be better at writing than this trilogy was.
Again, I'm sorry if Dashner is your inspiration, but I cannot recommend these books. They were so disappointing and awful.
Hopefully the next book review I do will have a better response.