I liked this series and thought it was interesting enough as far as science fiction YA series go. It thankfully avoided overt use of the standard tropes (even if in the first book the characters were more wooden than in the last two). For instance there was little drawn out romance and only the slightest hint of a love triangle in the second (and that technique gets really old fast - unless written well). My one problem with this series was where it all headed and ended up.
Before I came to write this review this was a four star book. But on further reflection I recognised that I did not like this novel anywhere near as much as other four star novels. In fact I ended up deciding that the second book of the series was by far the best and most enjoyable. But sadly it did not end completely satisfyingly for me.
Throughout the series the motto WICKED is good
is repeated over and over. The attempt being to show that WICKED despite whatever harm they do have humanity's best interests at heart. Of course they come across as the villains of our piece, manipulating our characters all across the chess board of the maze and a disease riddled Earth. However in the end our protagonist becomes just like the very enemy he hates particularly when he shoots Newt.
While I believe this is one of the best written technically of the series it lacks a convincing finish. I doubt WICKED would really act in the way they did. It came across almost as if they author did not know quite how to end his interesting story. Still I do recommend this series as a different type of YA science fiction story. But I do admit that there are better stories available.