Title: The Death Cure
Author: James Dashner
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Teen/YA, Dystopian
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thomas and the Gladers have been lied to again and again by WICKED – first in The Maze Runner and then in The Scorch Trials. But then WICKED does something shocking – they tell Thomas and the others that the time for deception is over. WICKED wants to return their memories so they will remember everything. Thomas is unenthused by the idea; while he is interested in what lays forgotten in his memory, he doesn’t like what he knows about the person he used to be. Thomas must decide if he trusts WICKED or if he wants to take his chances on his own in the Flare-addled world.
In the final book in the Maze Runner trilogy, it seems as though Thomas might finally be getting some answers. And indeed, The Death Cure is packed full of little revelations, tidbits any reader of the series will enjoy knowing. The novel moves at a fast pace, cramming an impressive amount of story and action into a small package. The glimpses of the world provided in the book make for a frightening discovery; at times, the reader wonders if Thomas might be better off under the protective shield of WICKED. They might be untrustworthy, but at least they provide safety.
Thomas falls easily back into his role as a natural leader in The Death Cure, but as the novel progresses, he becomes more unsure of himself. It’s one thing to make decisions in a WICKED-controlled environment, where he was shaped to be the leader of the Gladers. It’s quite another to do it in a world he is unfamiliar with and doesn’t understand. He also makes poor choices; over the course of the novel, the reader is reminded again and again how smart Thomas is, how his intelligence tests were off the charts. “For such a smart kid, Thomas sure is stupid,” I kept thinking to myself as I was reading.
The Death Cure didn’t quite live up to the incredible story that was The Maze Runner, but it was a satisfying conclusion to an exciting series. Once again, Thomas must deal with serious dilemmas and ethical situations that keep the book complex. Even if you don’t love the novel’s story, the book is worth reading for the Epilogue. I wasn’t expecting it and I was left reeling by its implications and thought it was an ingenious way to end the story. It was a great way to tie the books together (and I loved the homage to the first novel towards the end of The Death Cure); overall, I think the Maze Runner trilogy is one of the better YA dystopian series I’ve had the pleasure of reading.