The Death Cure by James Dashner

Death Cure is the long-anticipated finale to the Maze Runner series. Two of us have read this, and we can't agree on whether this is a good ending or not.


Breaking news from this morning: There is a fourth book!  I was angry, let me tell you. So angry when I read that. Just leave it alone. 
I started this post before I found out, and now I feel like there's no point of writing what we think of the so-called ending anymore...

Thomas and his friends from the Glade are given the choice to have their memories restored so that they can help WICKED complete the final step of finding a cure to the flare, but since nothing from WICKED should be trusted, they decided to escape instead to Denver, where supposedly only the immune and uninfected live...except it is far from a safe place. And they need a cure soon, because one of theirs, Newt, has been infected. He is slowly losing it...

Maze Runner is one of my personal favourites. I remember when I first discovered it, I was telling everyone to read it. I was not super thrilled about the second book The Scorch Trials, because I felt that it lacked motive and action and it had the Cranks. I have no problem with zombies usually, but I thought Dashner could have, should have come up with something better than that, after that awesome first book. As with any series you are passionate about, you approach the final book (::scoff::) with caution.

For me, the third book definitely has Dashner's signature non-stop action and it's more about the ride than what you ultimately find out. I am okay with that. I can see how some readers feel cheated because we still didn't find out that much more, and it's totally reasonable to expect all these secrets to be exposed. I can also see where Thomas ended up sort of nullify the whole premise and point of the series. There are definitely some deus ex machina moments that bother me too, but I feel for Thomas. The way I read it, he started out thinking that he can carry out a noble plan and sacrifice himself for a greater purpose, but in the end, he realizes he can't. He's not a superhuman. He's not a hero. He just wants his friends to be alive. Selfish? Yah, but I can't blame him.

Clearly, no one really feels closure. Maybe so much that they have to put out a fourth book to explain it all!


Well, I'm one of them who didn't feel closure.  I liked the first book a lot too, but one little niggling problem was the fact that all the explanations were always deferred.  "I'll tell you later," someone will say, or "there's no time for that now".  On and it it goes. It got worse in the second one. Even so, there was a pretty appealing premise: was Thomas really responsible?

We find out in book 2 and 3 that he probably was, but never why, never how.  When the chance to find out appears in Death Cure, our curiosity is never sated.  Thomas turns down the chance to have everything settled.  While we do find out about the circumstances in the world, we never get to the meat of Thomas and the Gladers' involvement.

I felt we were cheated. Thomas felt like he was doing what was best for him and his friends, but it does nothing for us; as the readers, we get nada.  Other characters get the answers, mind you, but since the series follows Thomas, we are never enlightened.  What closure does come appears out of nowhere with characters we never meet.  I know Virginia's argument above suggests that Thomas discovers that he may not be so noble and tough, which is fine in real life, but this book never struck me as too concerned about realism.  It felt like the wrong kind of ending to the wrong kind of book.  In an action series, the hero is noble and tough, and would do the right thing.

There are too many unanswered questions: Why was he psychic? Why did he help plan things?  Why did they all change their minds if they went in to the project knowing full well what was going to happen?  If they were all super genius kids before all this, why didn't it seem so afterwards? 

James Dashner is writing a fourth book that will supposedly answer all the questions.  I'm guessing even he felt cheated out of the end.  He'll probably need to write a fifth one to explain that one, and a sixth to clear the fifth one up.

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