BOOK TITLE: The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3)
Author: James Dashner
“I don’t think there is a right or wrong anymore. Only horrible and not-quite-so-horrible.”
Dystopia is a book genre that seems to conquer more and more our literary world over the years. The thought of a different, dysfunctional society (usually a post-apocalyptic one) thrills the reader mostly, I think, because it offers us a glimpse into a “possible” future and shows us how things can go wrong when humanity itself makes wrong choices.
“The Maze Runner” trilogy was my choice for the trilogy category from my 2015 to-read list and after some months of postponing the inevitable happened and I finished the series (be warned, spoilers ahead!)
I will try to stick to the facts from this book, but inevitably I will have to make some connections and compare it to the previous installments of the series. I should also warn you that there are spoilers ahead!
“The Death Cure” begins in an already well-known manner with our hero captive in (obviously) an unknown place, his faith somehow shaken and his trust in the WICKED company, and the outer world if I may say, completely broken. Upon his release from isolation Thomas meets his friends only to be parted again from some of them after an important decision regarding their long-lost memories.
The characters are divided into two groups and both manage to escape the WICKED headquarters and travel to the same place, Denver, where they will face new challenges. From now until the end you will stumble upon plot twists and a lot of action which will keep you waiting and wanting for more.
“What was the point of even having a conversation when words couldn’t be trusted?”
And now, getting to the basics of the book.
Overall, I think the point of the book was to end the series in an unexpected manner and at the same time bring some closure to the (distressed) reader, but when I reached the last chapter I didn’t really feel closure and I still had some unanswered questions (not necessarily regarding the series as a whole, but mostly regarding this last book).
“ ’Tomorrow,’ Minho added. ‘Somehow, some way.’ ”
What I did really like was the way the characters were built, even if I felt that Thomas was losing it a little in this last book. They were really strong characters for some teenagers and reacted with maturity and logic which made them more believable. I have to say that my favourite characters, beside Thomas, were Newt and Minho. The way the trio handles friendship is quite inspiring. The intricacies of the relationship between boys and girls, the capacity of actually building a stable and functional relationship while being constantly lied to never ceased to surprise me.
My biggest disappointment was the different style of this one last book compared to the other two. It was much slower and even if it was “action-packed” it lacked that “je ne sais quoi” that the others had, a special state of mind you have whilst reading them. This enormous difference hit me from the first pages and it kept bothering me all through the pages.
The second issue is one for which I must add a spoiler alert, again. To keep it short, the characters must choose whether they want their memories back or not, and Thomas, Minho and Newt are those who choose not to. Rat Man explains that they will remove a small device they planted in the subjects’ brain, more precisely in their long-term memory area, and by doing so the subjects will receive their memories back and WICKED won’t be able to control them anymore. Eventually, Thomas and Minho are forced to remove those devices from their brains, but no sudden memories seem to pop up (sure, Thomas has some flashbacks while dreaming, but those began before the procedure). Obviously, the question about how this procedure really works has “haunted” me until the end and I still couldn’t figure it out which for me was a setback in reading the book.
Considering everything, I have to mention that this book is my least favourite from the series, but nevertheless, I would recommend it for the sake of the trilogy which should be read until its end. I myself was expecting a more grandiose ending, but besides this the series made an excellent job and explored an interesting idea, it brought out thrilling and strong characters and put them in the most unexpected situations. The series is definitely a must-read for the lovers of YA literature or dystopia.