Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Book Review of The Death Cure by James Dashner

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It’s the end of the line.

WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends—the Gladers. But it’s finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test.

Will anyone survive?

What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a word of what they say.

The truth will be terrifying.

Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.

The time for lies is over.

Series: The Maze Runner (Book 3)
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press (January 8, 2013)
Page Count: 352 pages

This is the last book of the Maze Runner series. Tears. It makes me a bit sad that the series is ended, but the movies coming out gives me a bit of hope for reliving the series, so lets dive in!

What I liked: The opening is definitely intense. As per usual James Dashner grabs you from the start. I feel so bad for Thomas and all the hell WICKED has put him through and now he's gotten to the point where he's just tired of running around in circles. Though Thomas has grown a bit callous through all of his suffering, he still keeps a good heart.

The plot is very intense, but with good resting points. Several spots had me gripping the book from crank attacks to WICKED lab experiments. The pacing has definitely improved and now we finally see what WICKED wants--which I won't spoil for ya. But some much needed answers are finally revealed and it's so great to finally know! There are lots of twists that will throw you for a loop. 

In this book, a rebellion is introduced called the Right Arm. This is interesting, but like a lot of science-fiction stories Thomas and his band of friends are on their own side which is all right, but I like it when the rebellion lines up with the characters so it's a united force (Star Wars for example). 

I like that we see the Gladers far more in this book. That's one thing that frustrated me in the Scorch Trials is there were long periods where you don't see a single Glader, and I missed the boys! Newt and Minho are more in the spotlight in this book--especially Newt for reasons I can't tell you, but just know your feels will be shredded. Both of them bring some levity to the story.

I didn't really care for Brenda much in the Scorch Trials, but I do grow to like her more in this book though still not as much as Theresa. Theresa is awesome so there. Rat Man whose real name is Janson (no spoilers there don't worry) is a great villain. He is so ... aggravatingly polite yet evil at the same time. Also I definitely felt for the regular residents of the dangerous world, the Munies, and even the cranks.

One of my favorite things about this book is that we finally see how the normal folk in the Maze Runner world live in cities and Crank Palace. As characteristic with the other books of the series there is much good creepiness such as laboratories, more cranks, and lots of creative devices like electrocuting grenade launchers, gel casing, an interesting machine that checks people for the flare, and this drug called Bliss which reminds me a bit of Doctor Who

Though James Dashner doesn't have my favorite style of writing, he does some things especially well like ending each chapter with a cliffhanger that makes you have to read on. His description really makes you feel like you are in the scene. You feel very close to Thomas. Some of his lines make you see very clear if not creepy visuals. This is one of my favorite lines of description: 

"A smear of blood dripping down his face like red tears." (Page 243) 

I also like the circularity (elements from before coming into play) and how the book ends where it begins if that makes sense and if not good, you'll find out when you read it.

The climax is very intense with some big twists and the series does end pretty well, except for one thing that's a major spoiler. But the ending isn't horrible, I promise you that. It left me with a bittersweet yet mostly satisfied feeling. I would have liked an epilogue, but it was pretty good all the same.

The two most resonating themes of the story are letting go of the past and trust. Thomas deals with this a lot with Theresa and what she did to him in the Scorch Trials. It takes until near the end to finally move on from this. Also the Gladers deal with what they did in the lives they didn't remember. 

"I don't want to know anything. Not one more thing. All I care about is what we're going to do from here out, not stuff about my past or yours or WICKED's. Nothing." - Thomas (Page 139)

Because of the things they did in their pasts that put some rifts between them all and finally Thomas says to Minho, "Trust me like you did when you wanted me to be the Keeper of the Runners." (Page 216)

Trust is such a key point for relationships without trust we can't be as close to anyone. The Death Cure definitely shows much about this.

What I didn't like: Despite all the good things about the book, there a few things I didn't like so much. There were a few instances where I felt were a bit illogical. At one point Thomas is about to be sedated, but he gets away fairly easily. If the baddies just strapped him down like they had been doing before I felt like he would have just been sedated. At that part, I actually wanted the characters to fail so I could get some answers.

Some of the writing bothered me. It felt it out of place for Thomas to think of the other Gladers as "boy." There were several action and reaction errors and though some of the settings were wonderfully described others weren't established barely at all. I also wanted more variation in speech with the characters. They all talked basically the same. The biggest differences were from WICKED to cranks to Gladers, but I wanted more variation within each of those groups. The only one that stood out within the Gladers was Newt.

Aspects about some characters annoyed me. I felt like majority of them were unfeeling and mean and I wanted a little more kindness. It's one thing I enjoyed more about the Maze Runner film than the Maze Runner book. I wish Thomas also was more forgiving than he was toward Theresa earlier. I know she did something horrible to him, but I got to the point where I thought, "Geez, Thomas, get over it!"

I hate that one character died. I could handle the other major death, but this one dropped out of nowhere and I just thought, "Seriously?"

Like I said before, I wish the ending lasted a bit longer and we had a bit more.

Content Cautions: There aren't many huge cautions in this book, but there are a few. H*** is used about eight times and d*** about eight times also. Some crude humor about butts are included. The cranks are scary and have a degree of gore, nothing extremely graphic, but it may be disturbing to some.

Over all the book was pretty good, not my favorite of the book, but a satisfying conclusion to the Maze Runner series. Three point eight to four stars!

About the Author:

James Dashner is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series that includes The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and The Kill Order. He has also written The Eye of Minds (book one in the Mortality Doctrine series), the 13th Reality series, and two books in The Infinity Ring series: A Mutiny in Time and The Iron Empire.

Dashner was born and raised in Georgia but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains. To learn more about James and his books, visit, follow @jamesdashner on Twitter, or find dashnerjames on Instagram.

Do you want a review of the other books in the series? Check out my reviews of the Maze Runner and the Scorch Trials!
If you enjoyed this review, you can find more over on the Book Reviews tab of click the link. :)

Do you want to read the Death Cure? I'm giving away a kindle copy of the book (Little trick: ebook copies can be read on your computer even if you don't have a Kindle)!

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To get the entry points, you must complete the displayed task even if the Rafflecopter widget says you did I will not count them. Like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, follow my blog (you can click the follow button to follow me via Google+, click Join this Blog to follow me via blogger or regular Google or enter your email in the Follow me by Email box to get email updates) or tweet about the giveaway (if you have twitter you know how to do that). I've had entries already where people have not done the tasks and that is cheating.


  1. It's been a long time since I read this book (like two or three years) but I remember feeling kinda like you did at the end, that there should've been more to it. I didn't think he explained the purpose behind it all thoroughly enough.
    And eep! *squeals in pain and covers mouth* Yes, about the character death! I think I know which one you're talking about (the thing that happened at the end?) and I basically had the same reaction. It just felt so random.


  2. Oh good. I'm not alone. I'm hoping the movies will perhaps expand upon it more a bit.
    Yep that's the one. I was just mad. So close to throwing the book lol.
    Thanks for commenting. ^ ^

  3. Yeah, that would be good. So I can at least understand what I even read it for :p

  4. GAhH i still haven't read this one!!! Can't wait to get my hands on it!!!