In my opinion, very interesting premise with an acceptable execution.
Some of the writing is lazy. For example, a lot of the mystery in the book hinges on characters refusing to talk about certain things for (what appears to be) really weak reasons. In fact, the whole first quarter of the book remains mysterious on the basis of characters shushing the protagonist when he asks legitimate questions. That I found incredibly unconvincing, especially since all the characters in the book have had a similar experience of entering the Maze with no idea what's going on.
In my opinion, another example of lazy writing was when Dashner tried to describe telepathy. He literally describes it as something along the lines of “something [the main character] couldn’t describe,” which to me, was a big cop out.
Another weakness in the book is the way slang is incorporated into the culture of the book's characters. Eventually, the slang reads as natural, as though they were words that are used regularly in life. However, for a majority of the book, the author saturates every sentence with these slangs, making the effort too obvious, like he is shoving those words down the readers’ throats.
The end of the book was hectic. I felt like it was straying a little too much from the original premise I had been hooked by, and the novel’s “necessary” heroic actions were melodramatic. However, the epilogue brought it back together a little bit and was a good, if not last-minute, segue into the next book in the series.
All in all, I found the book very intriguing and captivating. I didn’t have to finish the whole book in one sitting, but I was very curious about what would happen next. In that sense, the book is very successful as part of a series. I’m excited to read the next two books and even more excited to read the prequel.