Monday, February 25, 2013

The Death Cure (James Dashner)

I finished reading "The Death Cure" by James Dashner - and almost a month later, I am finally getting to writing about it!
The Death Cure is the third (and final) book in the "Maze Runner" trilogy.  (Check out the descriptions of the other two books here and here.)  In the previous two books, a group of kids is basically put through a series of tests and experiments by a group called "Wicked."  We find out that they are trying to find a cure for "The Flare" (which affects the brain and other systems in your body, eventually making you go crazy.)
In "The Death Cure," the children are told that it is the final stage of testing by Wicked - that at the end of this, there will be a cure for The Flare.  At an earlier stage of the experimentation, the memories of all of these children were removed.  Now, in this final testing stage, they are being told that they must have their memories restored in order to find the cure.  Thomas has begun to remember bits and pieces of who he thinks he once was and he is convinced that, despite what he may have previously thought, "Wicked" is bad and he must do whatever he can to save himself and the others around him. 
Having read this book 10 months after finishing the second book in the series, I found I was still able to follow the plot and understand what was going on...  I liked this ending to the trilogy, and while it didn't tie up everything that you may have hoped for in the trilogy, I think it left things at a point where you could draw your own conclusions about certain story lines.  (Other readers in the world of the Internet, however, disagree with me here - they found that there were too many things left unresolved and that there was so much more Dashner could have done with this final book in the trilogy.  Again, maybe this has something to do with me having removed myself from the characters and plot of the trilogy for long enough to forget the "little things" that were left unresolved.)
As far as action is concerned, there are some exciting points in this book, but the first two novels in the trilogy definitely contained more "Oh my goodness!" moments. 
I think this was a great Young Adult series - and I know that I have seen these books read by youth in numerous classrooms while supply teaching.  It was different enough from the Hunger Games (which was the series that initially led me to these James Dashner books) and I think it's the type of book that would appeal to youth of both genders. 
For those who did read this series and want more of Thomas and his friends - the prequel to "The Maze Runner" series, titled "The Kill Order", was released in August 2012.  Maybe this will help clear up some of the questions that people still have about "Wicked" and their trials... Knowing about why the experimentation started may help people understand why things ended the way they did!

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