Book Review – The Death Cure

7864437The Death Cure

(The Maze Runner #3)

by James Dashner

Genre: young adult, dystopia,

Read: 5.11.2015

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star 2.5


It’s the end of the line.

WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends—the Gladers. But it’s finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test.

Will anyone survive?

What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a word of what they say.

The truth will be terrifying.

Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.

The time for lies is over.


Well, this was underwhelming. In fact, the last book and the whole conclusion make the rest of the series kind of pointless. The starting book had its flaws but it was far from the mess we have here. The plot holes! The inconsistencies and boring explanations that make no sense bogged down the narrative that tried so hard to be exciting and action-packed. Frankly, the sacrifices throughout the books became pointless in this one. A book should never make a character’s death pointless! What were you thinking Dashner? I now understand perfectly why the movies changed so many things – if they had not, the plot would collapse completely. Like here.

“I watched as that kid died. In his last few seconds there was pure terror in his eyes. You can’t do that. You can’t do that to a person. I don’t care what anybody tells me, I don’t care how many people go crazy and die, I don’t care if the whole shuck human race ends. Even if that was the only thing that had to happen to find the cure, I’d still be against it.”

There’s not much to say about this book except that we should have seen the struggling cities far sooner in the series – it would have given us an idea of the devastation they were fighting against and an explanation to the ruthless WICKED organisation. The division of society into ordinary people who are subjects to the infection and then the Flare, and the immune people is fascinating but the treatment of immunes makes one wonder. I have no idea what kind of flawed logic makes them dismissive of the immunes. Wouldn’t you wish to be close to them, to have your children marry them and pass on their genes? I mean, is there anything more moronic than killing off a population that is immune to the most threatening disease you’ve ever faced? Being racist against immunes and happy to offer them to WICKED to experiment upon and even kill is perfectly acceptable to them. I don’t get it – it goes contrary to my logic. Instead of protecting the perfect genetic pool and expanding it, the societies are doing everything to destroy them in the search of a cure. For a disease they created as an attempt to control the population after the solar storms devastated the Earth.

“You’ve seen what I can do,” Thomas replied, trying to sound as dangerous as he felt. “You’ve watched me in the Maze and the Scorch.” He almost wanted to laugh at the irony. They had made him into a killer … to save people?”

The division of our group of fellow Maze survivors continues with Teresa still being suspected of alternative plans. That the scientists wish to cut open a few of them in order to study their brains (instead of *ahem* their genes) does not go down well and a rebellion is soon in place. The poor teens have special chips installed in their brains – it serves as a monitor device but also suppresses memories, makes them puppets of the scientists at a certain range. Now this is scary stuff and what we should have seen more of in the book. The way our guys have to fight out of the compound is great action and makes for an easy read but the plot holes and dropped ideas jar too much. It is a shame.

“Thomas: Is it [my brain] fixed?
Brenda: It worked, judging from the fact that you’re not trying to kill us anymore…”

Teresa is replaced as a central female role by Brenda. It is an odd turn for a series to break up initial friendships but I didn’t mind that much. I suspect I did not care that much about Teresa since she was mostly absent – out of sight, out of mind? They were both very much alike and even Brenda lied to Thomas for a very long time so it is surprising he forgave her and not Teresa. Book Teresa is completely different from the movie one so I have no idea why the author decided to change them.

“Awww,” Minho said. “That’s almost as sweet as that time she slammed the end of a spear into your shuck face.”

The boys are still super tight friends and the news about his non-immune status makes Newt retreat into himself. You already know what will happen once they get outside and are no longer protected from the virus. It’s inevitable and the author milks the drama. I personally did not appreciate it since Thomas’ actions make him look like an insensitive prick.

“We’re all going a little craz—” He stopped; he couldn’t possibly say anything worse. “I mean …” “Just shut it,” Newt said. “I know something’s started in my head. I don’t feel right. But you don’t need to worry your buggin’ panties off.”

The ending – with countless immunes gathered in the maze as crop for a new cycle – is something we should have dealt with from the start. The unsuspecting people have to fight their way out of the maze whilst explosions by a rebel group determined to end WICKED make it collapse in an eerie echo of the first book. Of course grievers come into play again, making for some super tight moments. Then they reach a teleporter and end up in an idyllic place where they can safely rebuild society. This is an alternative plan that should have been implemented ages ago. It is somewhat disappointing because the trials of our group become meaningless for the most part. Why did other boys and girls have to die? Why did they have a control group of people susceptible to the disease with them? Why kill them too? So many questions and so few satisfying answers.

“Vince couldn’t stop talking, spilling thoughts that had obviously churned inside him for years. “We could’ve stopped the spread of the disease a lot better than we’ve been able to cure the disease… Thought the magical cure would save them in the end. But if we wait any longer we’ll run out of people to save.”

The Maze Runner series ends with a whimper and some feelings of betrayal on the part of the reader. Everything we believed or suspected turns out to be false and this sense of having the rug pulled from under your feet is not at all nice or satisfying. So while I enjoyed the first two books I wouldn’t recommend the series as a whole to future readers. Sorry, but you might skip this one or only read it if you’re curious.


One response to “Book Review – The Death Cure

  1. Pingback: Small Books Reading Challenge – finished | swytla·

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