I wanted to read this book before I got any further in the Maze Runner series. I only read the first book, and when I found out there was a prequel I knew I had to read it first. Well, since it's a prequel, people might think that reading this first would be better than reading the whole trilogy and then reading this. IMHO, I think that if there's any prequel it's better to read the whole trilogy/series first before reading the prequel so you don't spoil anything for yourself and have your questions answered afterwards. I would have finished the whole trilogy first but it just happened that I had access to this book first..James Dashner is actually a good writer, really. He keeps you sucked into the stories and suspenseful moments are SO his thing. They keep you on the edge of your seat until it's over. However, what I don't like about his writing (and probably never will) is his attempt at romance. All he does is make them hug and cuddle and kiss and "I love you, you love me, yay," nothing like the romance Nicholas Sparks or any other romance author does. My point is, this story would have done fine without the romance.I found myself not really paying attention in some parts of the book because I was so sick and tired of the storyline. Actually, I'm a bit tired of the Dystopian and Futuristic genre. I need some fantasy in my life. That decides the next book I'm reading... This whole thing was centered on this stupid contagious virus that made everyone lose their minds. I don't like any of the characters. Maybe Alec, maybe Deedee. But seriously. Mark is just so ruthless. He has no human emotions except for crushing on Trina. Maybe the virus was screwing with his brain but no human being can just kill or torture someone like Mark did, and I don't even know how old Mark is. Gosh. Trina. She seems nice enough. But she's really useless. Well, if I were in her situation I would have done exactly what she's done, because I'm a wuss. Which means I would probably hate myself if I were a book character.. She's a wuss too and she's so weak I get annoyed really easily. Alec and Deedee are probably the only characters I don't despise. Deedee acts older than she really is and nothing like a 5 year old should act. If 5 year olds in the future act like that it's just gonna be scary.And yeah, that's all I have to say. I look forward to reading the rest of the Maze Runner series.