Monday, November 28, 2011

The Death Cure by James Dashner Review

"The Death Cure" by James Dashner

*Sorry there are no pics. I'm having some HTML issues with the good ol' laptop. And no...I really have no idea what I mean by that. It's just what my fab blog designer told me. :)**

**There are minor SPOILERS in this review**
When I reviewed The Scorch Trials (book two in the trilogy), I said I was confident Dashner would tie up the loose ends and answer all our questions in this final book. He didn't. I'm still not sure how I feel about it.
For most of The Death Cure, Thomas and his friends running from, fighting with, or trying to escape from either Cranks or WICKED. It felt like one action sequence after another.
Like lots of dystopian triologies, the first book lets you learn about the characters and what makes them tick, the second book sets up the final showdown, and then the last book is all about beating the bad guys (hopefully), and answering questions. Except in this book, Thomas decides that he no longer wants the answers he fought for in the previous two books. He's had just enough flashes of memory to know he was deep into WICKED and their evil plans, and he's scared to know what exactly he did. Thomas decides that it's what a person does now that matters, not what they did in the past. While I agree with this, and get the character's logic, it still feels really unsatisfying as a reader to not get the answers you waited through two books to get. I'm not happy with how Teresa's storyline played out, and didn't really see the point in it. Other reviewers have articulated their feelings on these points much better than I can, so I'll mention a few things I did like:
I appreciated that the book ended on a hopeful note that the human race wouldn't be annihilated after all. I was a little disappointed that WICKED wasn't defeated by the remaining Gladers and their Group B allies, but I was relieved to know that any remnants or their work would soon be gone thanks to the spreading Flare virus.
I was also glad that it didn't appear Thomas and Brenda would be too overcome by PTSD to have a happy future together. That said, it kind of bothered me Thomas never knew that Brenda and Jorge had been planted by Chancellor Page to affect her last-ditch escape plan for the Immune people. It seemed this piece of info was withheld for the sake of another surprise/twist at the end.
I did enjoy the redemption of Galley. The Right Arm being fanatics wasn't something I had really considered, but I liked how Thomas and company were ultimately responsible for saving the other Immunes themselves. Their return to the Maze felt like a full-circle moment.
The book had short chapters that often ended on mini-cliffhangers, which kept you reading to see what happened next. The nearly non-stop action kind of distracted me from how little character development there was. Overall, it was an OK book.

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