I actually finished James Dashner's exciting and action packed Maze Runner trilogy quite a few months ago, but with college, work and other book reviews needing to be pushed up the to-read pile this draft got lost in all of the mess. Alas, time has come to finally say goodbye to Thomas and his gang.
But Thomas has already remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can't be trusted.
The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Let's start with the things I loved. Cranks, cranks and more cranks.
Basically all that I thought was missing from making The Scorch Trials uber fantastic was included in The Death Cure. I absolutely love the idea of the Flare virus and how it turns human beings into maniacal, crazed monsters.
The nightmarish society of Cranks was thankfully explored so much more in this novel and provided some of the most page-turning parts with their attacks against the immune part of the race, known as the 'Munies', and some rather stomach churning cannibalism. Even though they frightened the living daylights out of me and sent shivers down my spine, the Cranks were definitely the highlight of the book for me.
Learning more about WICKED was exciting and as much as I despise the organisation, I can see their motives behind it. I do enjoy reading about apocalyptic situations where science is willing to make these rather twisted sacrifices in order to save the human race. There are still some good hearted people at WICKED and the epilogue, an e-mail sent by Chancellor Ava Paige, provides some of the answers that I've been thirsty for since book one. What surprised me was the origin of the Flare virus and how it was a means of population control by the government! It's always the government's fault! (ha ha)
Janson, aka the Rat Man, makes a return in this novel and also becomes the most annoying character I have ever encountered. Seriously, I Get Knocked Down by Tubthumping could be this guy's theme tune because no matter what crazy capers Thomas and Co pull on this dude, including beating him bloody, he never gives up on WICKED's mission. He's one dedicated employee.
The return to the Maze to save a bunch of new Immunes was nostaglic, not just for Thomas and Co, but for me, the reader, as well. It's the place where we first met the characters, saw them develop and, for some (Poor Chuck :( !), die.
It was a little lacklustre at parts. With some events, like Newt, I already knew they were coming and even if I hadn't, they were pretty inevitable. None of the revelations or deaths really shocked me or left me heartbroken. Although, it was pleasing to see good ol' Captain Gally back! I actually loved him in the first book.
I never liked Teresa and I have been suspicious of her since she did a 180 on her personality back in the Scorch, but [SPOILER] I didn't like how Thomas dealt with the whole situation regarding her death. [END OF SPOILER] He kind of just waltzed off to paradise (quite literally) with Brenda and I assume that they ended up being a happy couple assisting along with rest in beginning mankind afresh. I'm indifferent towards Brenda as a character, but I wasn't fond of the whole love triangle/jealous of Teresa thing that her at Thomas had going on.
All the ending needed was a "and they all lived happily-ever-after" and it would be complete because that's exactly what it was. I personally felt that it weak ending that didn't do such an amazing trilogy justice. Sure, it wrapped it all up nice and most of the characters ended up out of harm's way in a happy, idyllic environment. But I was left staring at the page practically wanting to scream, "Is that it?" because, for me, it doesn't solve anything.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking for Thomas to cure the Flare with one wave of his hand, but they're not going to work towards a cure after all. They're just going to live in the Garden of Eden, do a lot of the horizontal tango and, as Chancellor Paige hopes, begin civilisation anew. Come on! There's a still a whole world out there with deadly Cranks. What's going to happen to them?
I adored the first two books and James Dashner's writing is always fun to read, but The Death Cure has to be my least favourite in the trilogy. Four stars because I'm feeling generous!