The Death Cure by James Dashner

Release Date: October 11, 2011

Publisher: Delacourte Press

Format: ARC

Source: Emily's Reading Room

Parental Warnings: violence

*may contain spoilers if you have not read the previous two books in the series*

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?

This is the third installment in the Maze Runner trilogy. If you're a fan of the Gone books or the Hunger Games, you will love this. Any dystopian fan, fan of high-action scifi, adventure, or action, will seriously worship this book. I read James Dashner's other book series, the 13th Reality books before this and I was a huge fan of them. They're on my favorites list. I'll review those another time. Anyways, I was anxious to read this one because he always leaves us with a huge cliffhanger and I know that I'm in good hands when I'm looking for a great book to read.

Thomas has been separated from the Gladers for days. Scenes from the Scorch keep echoing through his mind and he can hardly keep time anymore. It's like WICKED wants to keep him disoriented. He exercises by running in place. Soon after hitting his twentieth day in solitude, the door opens.

WICKED has told Thomas that he is not infected with the cure. In fact, there are a select group of people who are naturally immune to the Flare, and generally disliked by the population. A few Gladers however, do have the cure. When a list is read of those select people's names, the group starts fraying. WICKED said that there would be no more tests.

They lied. They claim that they have decided to give back the Gladers their full memories. Curiosity about their parents, backgrounds, and friends weighs on them. But what if WICKED implants false memories? What if their pasts are too painful to remember? WICKED needs the Gladers for one last test. They need a blueprint for the cure, a last stretch for the Gladers to commit to.

This novel brings up the endless question - do the ends justify the means? Will the discovery of the cure justify the vicious deaths of all the Gladers killed in the Maze and Scorch? Thomas knows that he used to believe WICKED, but the memories resurfacing prove that he can't believe a word that they say.

Thomas is a very strong character. His cleverness and intelligence makes me like him. Brainy and brawny. He is loyal and just a nice guy in general. He was worried about his past because he was one of the creators of the Maze and he knew that that was a piece of darkness in his past that he wouldn't be able to get rid of. He's changed though; he knows what's right and what's wrong, and he's not just another brainwashed person under the influence of WICKED.

I love the characters. All of them really have some importance. If you think that one character is going to be unimportant, in the next chapter, he or she introduces an intense plot twist! It's ridiculous although I kind of love it because it gives all of them the spotlight.

Minho is a special favorite of mine but he is very confrontational with people that he doesn't like or agree with. Sometimes he just uses his fists instead of his head. I don't know why he's my favorite, but he's loyal to Thomas and willing to do whatever it takes to make things right, even if his...methods...aren't the best ways of getting things done.

Newt was also a favorite of mine because he was the rock. He kept everybody calm and always had his head in things. He seemed to be a natural born leader and very smart when making decisions.

My only problem with the characters in this novel was that I would have liked to see more about the girl Gladers. After The Scorch Trials, they aren't mentioned, and that made me feel kind of offended. They're sacrificing just as much as the rest of them, and yet the focus still lay on the boys. It wasn't a huge factor, but it still irritated me how Dashner just didn't mention them throughout the book.

This book was incredibly fast past. It was thick enough to be satisfying while still a very fast read. This last book felt like a very quick read, but part of that may have been because there was so much going on.

I'm in awe of James Dashner. I can honestly say that I would kill for his writing ability. He has a sixth sense for how to twist his plotlines together. He has the suspense-bit down to a science. He's so completely unexpected, and everything that happens makes you freak out.

This book devastated me in a good way. The problem with third books is that although I really want to read them, I DON'T WANT TO LET THE CHARACTERS GO! Or the world that the author has created. If I ever end up becoming a published author, I don't know if I'd be able to end my books! This book made me cry, many many times.

I loved this series so much that for it to end makes me want to throw the books against the wall and scream in frustration. I actually think that this series is so much better than The Hunger Games and seeing as I hated Mockingjay, the ending to this one was so much better. I'm not going to make a comparison between the two though because each book deserves to be thought of as themselves.

Teresa bugged me so much in the previous books. She was more of an enigma because although she was connected to Thomas, she was the one who was really the catalyst for the Maze and all that. She also slightly deluded herself into thinking that WICKED was good and it almost seemed like she hated Thomas sometimes. After the events of the previous book, I just didn't trust her. Her changing so much made me not believe what she said and throughout the entire book I was wondering what was right and wrong when it came to her. I'd say that James Dashner did an excellent job of character building with them. I was blown away by Teresa. She seemed both fragile and poisonous to Thomas, and that was one of her most engaging qualities.

The first half of this book was more figuring out what was going on and making guesses about what would happen to the world. The constant debate of whether WICKED was actually trying to help or not was one of the main plot points, as well as who was and wasn't immune to the Flare. Relationships were tested, barriers were crossed, and the world was falling apart.

The second half of the book was more of executing a plan to save everybody and try to save the world. There was intensity and suspense and heartbreak, all the things that you expect in a final dystopian book. By the time the ending rolled around, I understood what had to happen and watched it unfold. Everything was pulled together so well and tightly that I have to give James Dashner some applause for his method of making people happy while still staying true to the story and what had to happen.

I've recommended this book to so many guys in my grade, it's ridiculous. Some of the girls in my grade love this series to, because it is a crowd-pleaser. This book has caused so many people to want to read and I love that. James Dashner has created a hit and it's persuaded many teens to actually pick up the books! Even Elizabeth Banks (Effie in the Hunger Games movie out in 2012) decided to accept the role because she loved The Maze Runner. Not only is that awesome, but it shows the far reach that the series has.

This book blew me away.

Recommended for anybody who likes: The Hunger Games; Gone; The 13th Reality; etc,.

Possible book club questions:

What do you think WICKED was like? Do you believe that they had good intentions?WICKED's name leads us to believe that it is bad, but the phrase brought up that "WICKED is good" is an oxymoron. Why do you think James Dashner meant for it to be this way?Do you believe that the ends justify the means? Use examples from the story to back up your answer.Do you believe that people can change? How might losing one's memory cause Thomas to change completely?Imagine that you were a Glader. Would you have wanted your memory back? Why or why not?


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