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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Death Cure by James Dashner (Maze Runner, #3) - Book Review

3.5/5 Stars

It's the end of the line.

Will anyone survive?




Edition: Kindle
Pages: 338
Chapters: 73 (Plus an epilogue.)
Publisher: Chicken House

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

Mixed. Terribly mixed emotions. I hadn't realised The Maze Runner is in essence a trilogy - I know, it was silly to miss - because I had bought four books in a bundle. And by the end of The Death Cure I can only thank the heavens. Now don't get me wrong, the book isn't that painful bad you're thinking. The action and fast-paced story are still here, the characters - more or less - are still fun and have specific personalities. But the intrigue, everything built in the The Maze Runner, is gone. Not because all questions are answered, but because most questions aren't. Now, I am withholding a lot of judgement, because there is a fourth book that acts as a prequel, so perhaps some of my questions will be answered there. I'll leave the bad for later on.

But absolutely SPOILER WARNING for this review, and don't take the start up above as an indication not to begin, or finish, this series, because the reason I'm upset and passionate is because I love the series.

Thomas remains captive at WICKED's headquarters, and he's slowly beginning to go crazy. He has no contact with anyone, and even simple things like hygiene are taken from him. He understands it's another test, another set of Variables, and he's furious. But he knows, eventually, that someone will come.
Enter Rat Man.
Thomas is assured - again - that the Trials are finally over, and that WICKED will remove The Swipe, the thing that holds their memories under lock and key. But Thomas ain't convinced, all WICKED have ever done is lie to test their reactions, and he's done with it.
Action-packed escaping ensues and bam, Thomas and his friends are out in a world they can't remember ever being a part of.
But the time for sightseeing hasn't come, for WICKED still pose a threat. What Thomas doesn't realise is that they might not be the biggest one.
It's the end, they know it. The world, slowly but surely, cannot cope any longer, and it's about to collapse.
Can they survive?

Let's get to the positives. I enjoy The Maze Runner's world. The post-apocalyptic setting is great and fills me with interest. The sense of everything being on the verge of collapsing is palpable, and it gives the story a good atmosphere to play through. The first half of the book does this well. It's action-packed, and does wonders with world building. The story and pace of the novel grip you, and it's not unpleasant to read through. It also builds up nicely, you can practically taste that something big is going down, that everything is heading somewhere.
And then it doesn't.
That's my biggest beef with The Death Cure. I expected answers, revelations that would have my mind spinning. Instead, I felt built up, only to be faced with an anticlimax. The thing where they're going to take Thomas's brain? It's expected. It's not the 'revelation' the series needed to tie everything together. We've known what was happening since the end of The Maze Runner, the search for a cure to The Flare. And that might have been enough to keep the second book going, but we needed proper closure in this one.
I also hate the fact that at the beginning Thomas refuses to have his memories returned. Something that, one might think, would have answered a lot of unanswered questions. It's infuriating. While I understand his hesitance towards it, I wanted him to either just do it, or be forced to.
Which leads me into my next point: Thomas's dream sequences. I understand their objective, to tether the world Thomas is in to the one he came from, with a loving mother and some semblance of normality. But it doesn't resonate with me, and comes to the point that there is no point.

I do enjoy Thomas as our main character. Mainly because I'm a sucker for standard heroic types. His development isn't as strong as before, but the characters of the novel as a whole seem to develop more than previously. And I like that. I actually like the characters of this series, even when some are a little iffy. There is only one who I don't, and that's Teresa. But my main dislike for her stems from the fact that a lot of book two and The Death Cure are set to make us hate her. To make Thomas hate her. And we do. That when her death occurs near the end, it feels rushed to patch up her relationship with Thomas, but I don't really care. I love Thomas and Newt's arc. I still strongly love Brenda.

But my mixed emotions really cloud this finale for me. That's not to say the author can't do a sequel. The end is so open it could go anywhere, and part of me hopes he does. At least one sequel tying up the loose ends would put my pulsing and eager brain to rest.

Overall I love the series. I love its premise and idea, most of its characters, and of course, the action.
So I still stand by when I said you guys should snatch the series up. Because it's a fun read.

Now on to the prequel, and hope...


Previous Instalment: The Scorch Trials


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