Hardcover, 325 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Thomas knows that Wicked can’t be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they’ve collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It’s up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.
What Wicked doesn’t know is that something’s happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can’t believe a word of what Wicked says.
The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?
The Death Cure’s end gave us a new hope, didn’t it? A hope for survival. It was plainly obvious to me that WICKED was bad, but in the end, they did (or Chancellor Paige did) one thing good–they transported our Gladers, Group B-ers and the rest of the Munies to the last Paradise on Earth, the last place where they could be free and not ruled by an evil corporation claiming to do good.
I couldn’t help but to smile when I read the last few pages of The Death Cure, though it admittedly was tainted by a frown. The without-a-doubt epic saga concluded with death, and while expecting it to be this way, I did not want it. I did not want a “happy ending” for this story, because after all that Thomas and his friends had been through, there was no possible way for it to end happily. I just wish that the three main characters who died… didn’t have to. Chuck, of course, died during The Maze Runner. He symbolized youth and innocence–2 things that *did* die inside the Gladers by the end of Book One–and it’s hard to smile when youth and innocence die.
Newt and Teresa died in The Death Cure. Newt symbolized friendship and loyalty, even when the whole world went insane. His death did not have me producing tears, for it was a mercy, but he should not have had to die. Shame on WICKED, not on Dashner. Newt wouldn’t have been so Gone had they not made him that way.
Teresa’s death upset me. I couldn’t “see” it coming, but I did feel it coming. I hated her as Thomas did when she betrayed him; loathed her as Thomas did when she tried to convince him that WICKED was good, and that she was sorry. But ultimately, as with Thomas, I forgave her… just in time for her to be crushed by the ceiling of Wicked as the Munies were escaping. Really, though, her death did not quite “surprise” me. Thomas gained closure regarding his previous best friend, and closure is only had in death, be it a metaphorical death or not.
I wanted none of them to die; they did. There is nothing more to say on this count.
The premise of The Death Cure can be defined in three words– death, rebellion, and insanity. Looking at the Flare-ridden world for the first time, it hit home for both Thomas and myself that a cure was needed desperately, but not by WICKED’s means. No “good” company dedicated to the preservation of mankind does everything it had done to the Gladers and Group B.
Besides, I think they were looking for a cure the wrong way (obviously). You can’t torture a cure out of immune kids with memory loss–that just doesn’t work. Really, the way for a cure to be discovered would be to examine the disease, and find a way for it to stop spreading and wreaking the horrific damage.
But on that note, the damage of the Flare confused me. A man-made disease based on controlling population suddenly turns into a pandemic that makes people become crazy zombies? It seems… unlikely.
And based on that hole in the plot, another one sprung out at me–why, exactly, were we readers told that the sun caused the Flare, and then have the information revealed that it was actually mankind? Was this “WICKED telling the kids and Thomas, which is how we know”, or was it just poor writing? I sincerely hope it was the former.
Hey, by-the-by, how exactly did the sun flares fit into all this anyway? Like I just said, everything seemed sun-flare related, and then we were just told that Nope, sorry, we lied. Mankind did it all. Didn’t mean to allude ya.
By the end, I felt like there were numerous plot holes and misgivings, and this was one of them.
Aside from the fact that I don’t like plot holes, nor do I like characters I like dying, I did not like how it was essentially just Thomas in the third book. Minho (who I absolutely adored), Brenda (who I’m kind of mad at, because the epilogue revealed her to be a kind of traitor) and Jorge were there throughout the book, I guess, but it felt like they were moved to the sidelines a bit, you know?
I did not like the fact that Aris was only mentioned, what, four times total in the ‘Cure? I did not like the fact that Group B suddenly vanished from the plot. I did not like Teresa’s explanation for why they left the WICKED compound in the beginning sans Newt, Thomas and Minho–it made no sense. Also–uh, if lots of brain activity make the Flare get worse inside the killzone, then why, exactly, did Newt not go crazy in the first two books? The sun couldn’t really activate it, since Newt had spent two weeks running a hundred miles in the Scorch to get to the safe-zone, and he didn’t go crazy then. So how exactly *DID HE GO CRAZY?!* It was like “Hey, guess what, Newt, you’ve got the Flare”, and only after this announcement, for no real reason, did Newt go crazy. What do you think–Plot hole? Or the doing of WICKED?
But I did like the book as a whole. James Dashner did a fantastically fantastic job of writing. He made me feel every single experience along with the characters, so that I hurt when they hurt, survived when they survived; I literally felt *everything* they felt, throughout all of the series, which made it so fantastic.
Because of the fact that I did not re-read the first two books before reading this one, I cannot say that I would feel towards The Death Cure what a person who did read all three in a row would feel. This was an excellent ending to the series, I think (again, I wanted happy endings for all, but hey, that just wasn’t feasible), but this view could almost certainly be different for that person. I hope that those of you who read the three books in a row will appreciate them the way I do, but I can only hope for this.
Finally, I mention the irony of the title with the ending of the book. The note Chancellor Paige left to the members of WICKED finalizes the fact that yep, the world’s going to hell, and there was no cure, so only the Munies can survive. (Though I am curious–there is bound to be hundreds more Munies left outside the hidden paradise Thomas and crew inhabit at the end of the Death Cure, so what happens to them? Could there possibly be a spin-off series relating somewhat to this, or to the eventual reunion between the Paradise Munies and the Wasteland Munies [because yeah, undoubtedly there'd be a reunion]? Thus, the only cure for the Flare is death. Ha ha ha. Ah, irony, how we so love you.
-Ana @ SoManyBooksSoLittleTime