“The Death Cure” by James Dashner (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2011)

Death Cure
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In the final book of the Maze Runner trilogy, James Dashner brings readers once again to a whole new part of his world, this time a look into an actual city outside of WICKED, where readers finally get to see if what they’ve been told so far is at all true and how harsh this Flare virus really is.  Just as with Maze Runner and Scorch Trials, Dashner continues to delve out one surprise and plot twist after another, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat with sheer excitement.

Thomas is now on the outside with the Gladers that are still alive, having been told by WICKED that the trials are over and the time for lies is no longer; now it’s time to see if all this work was worth it.  But he’s sick of waiting around for something that might or might not happen, and will the help of some others, they flee the WICKED confines for a slice of the real, Flare-ridden world.  It is a harsh place of haves and have nots, where society is crucially divided by those who are infected or not.  Then there are those, like Thomas, who are immune and are hated by some, revered by others.  But as the Gladers memories are given back to them, Thomas starts to remember a lot more than WICKED expected, and knows what he was involved in, which horrifies him, as he finally comprehends what WICKED is truly about.  As things come to a climax and Thomas realizes now what he must do, he must make the ultimate decision.

For the first three quarters of The Death Cure, the surprise and action is going at full steam, and as it approaches the end, things wind down a little and the finale arrives and is revealed.  It seems a little anticlimactic, after this lengthy build-up of three books that may leave some readers wondering: “Wait, why did they go through all this again?”  Nevertheless, for other readers it will feel satisfying and complete.

Originally written on April 24, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

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