Honestly, I wasn't sure what I'd think about this in book form, because I saw the movies first and loved them. I had to wait until the 3rd film came out and I saw how all the movies came together, what they formed, and knew the story, before I delved in.
I'm glad I did. Just like Harry Potter, the books are just as good, if not better, than the movies. And they provide so much back story that is lacking from the movies, which helps make the whole plot clearer and more rounded.
The book is both similar and different to the movie, in the best ways. It gives more detail, it makes the story refreshing, and it makes more sense of the things that weren't properly explained in the movies. However, I do feel that the films better portrayed a "survival" lifestyle better. Here, in the book, they have dishwashers, washing machines, houses with windows, watches, and read food like steak and ham and cheese sandwiches. I get that they can request things from the box, but it makes it feel a little less like a trial and far too comfortable, with the added luxuries. It's no wonder that there wasn't a huge revolt to find their way out of the maze sooner, because they had a pretty cushy life - they had the serum to cure stings, they had the walls to keep them safe at night. It was a perfectly comfortable set-up, rather than a savage and survival training landscape.
Saying that, I loved the way the book differed and made more sense. The conflicts with Gally made so much more sense, and I thought the fight between Minho and Gally was just epic! I also found Chuck to be much sweeter, more clueless and scared. At the same time, I have to applaud the casting of the movies, because the actors fit the personalities of the book characters perfectly. I could envision the actors playing out their parts, as I was reading.
Overall, the plot was strong, well formed, and well paced. Things were explained in a rational and reasonable manner, and timeframe, while the logistics of the discoveries after Thomas arrived were well explained and explored. The ending was nicely rounded off, to provide a complete story arc, while letting us know that there is so much more to come.
A well written, compelling read.
"I swear, Chuck," he whispered to no one. "I swear I'll get you back home."