I was extremely confused when I started the first book, especially because of the Glade slang. I read the book three whole times to get the hang of it. And it was more confusing because I read it in Korean - and it translated WICKED into 'wicked' (umm, it's not easy to explain, but the translator translated WICKED as the word 'wicked' [사악] and made an acronym).
Also, this book gave me a sinister feeling, and I was honestly scared of Grievers. I didn't even see the movie that time, but I was afraid of those biomechanical creatures. Anyway, let's go back to critiques.
Thomas is that typical main character in which he is the hero, and to be honest, I don't like main characters. My favorite HP character was Hermione/Luna, not Harry, my favorite Narnia character was Susan, not Lucy, I don't like Percy Jackson (I don't like the character's personality), I like Prim in The Hunger Games, not Katniss, and I like Christina and Uriah in Divergent, not Tris (actually I haven't read all Divergent series, but for now I like those two). I want authors to diversify main characters as not egoistic, but more humble characters.
The first characters that made an appearance on The Maze Runner were Alby, Newt, and Chuck. Their characters were well-developed, but I think Alby's personality changed 180 degrees since I've read other volumes such as The Fever Code, so that's something we should think about. Newt somehow looked like an exemplary friend - I did not weigh his character significantly while reading the first book, though. Chuck was kind of annoying at first (probably because we were reading from Thomas's point of view), but I think he was a good friend for Thomas and deserved better in the Glade.
Then there was Minho - I was first surprised because most American/British authors do not put Korean characters in their books. His sassiness is just like my classmates, so it was relatable. I liked Minho's personality development, but that should be discussed in the later reviews.
Also, there's Teresa - I liked her first because there was no single girl character in the book, and hey, why not a pretty female main character? She was definitely different from other main characters, and maybe that's why I liked her, too. But Teresa clearly has a suspicious side, for example, she knows what Grievers are when nobody told her about the creatures.
I hated Gally in the first book, mainly because I was immature when I first read the books. But I think it's right to get suspicious of Thomas - he was the one who created the maze, after all. I now think Gally is not an inherently bad character.
Lastly, I have to add this. Chuck's death was so shocking. It was in the last few chapters, and I thought every 21 glader could make it, but yeah, James Dashner had to be cruel and kill the innocent character (like Suzanne Collins did to Rue :( ).
Overall, I thought the book was not bad, and I especially liked the sarcasm and how the Gladers solved the maze (Chuck's "push that button" was, like, really great). The Maze Runner is a book full of funny sarcasm and a good storyline. My impression of this book changed midway because a) when I first read it I was a die-hard Harry Potter fan, b) the third time I read it (when I became a fan), I was a whole lot better at English and I had nothing to read. Anyway, this book made me want to read more, and it's sufficient for an individual to like the book.