The Death Cure, the thrilling conclusion to James Dashner’s popular Maze Runner Trilogy, proves to be a fun, engaging read that you won’t want to put down until you turn the final page. Featuring plenty of action, suspense, and shocking revelations, this book is definitely worth picking up.
A young teenager named Thomas has been in the hands of an evil organization known as WICKED for as long as he can remember. He lives in a secluded facility, where he has been put through grueling tests and challenges that have almost killed him. A deadly virus known as the Flare has contaminated the outside world, but Thomas has been sheltered from this world by WICKED. It turns out that Thomas and a small group of teenagers were selected by WICKED to be test subjects for a cure for the Flare. But the tests these teenagers are put through are inhumane and usually deadly. WICKED repeadly claims that they are doing this to save humanity, but Thomas knows that WICKED can’t be trusted. Together, Thomas and his friends must escape from WICKED before it is too late.
Dashner’s greatest strength as a writer is his character development. Thomas is a believable, flawed protagonist that we as readers can’t help but care about. And his interactions with the supporting characters feel just as real. There are plenty of genuine, heartfelt moments between characters that actually prove to be more fun to read than the many battle scenes, which still turn out to be pretty exciting. But the character moments are important, and Dashner makes us care for and understand what these characters are going through. On top of all of the other positives, Dashner can build suspense like no one’s business. Things really heat up toward the end of the book, and readers will definitely be satisfied with how everything ties together.
The main criticism many readers may have with the book is that it reveals too much too early. The first few chapters contain revelation after revelation, some of which may be surprising for longtime fans of the series. But there is no time to register what is revealed, because almost immediately after that, the characters(and the readers) are thrust into fight scene after fight scene. Sure, the various bits about Thomas figuring out his past keep things interesting, but the book would have been stronger if Dashner had revealed certain things later than he did. That way, there would be more breaks between action sequences and the gut punches would be greater and have more of an impact on readers.
Other than that, Dashner has crafted a powerful, thrilling conclusion that will stick with readers long after they turn the last page. Readers(myself included) will be anxious to read whatever Dashner dishes up next.