I read The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials probably about a year ago now. It took me a while to get through the second book and I didn’t end up going on to read the third. However, my interest in this series has been sparked once again as a result of the most recent film adaptation. Anyway, I decided to pick up The Death Cure and I’m glad that I did.
The whole basis of the series plot becomes clearer in this book. From the very first chapters we learn that WICKED is running the trials to produce a blueprint of the test subject’s minds in order to find a cure for the flare. Thomas is immune. He is a very important test subject.
From the get go this book delivers so many twists and turns. The Rat Man takes Thomas from his mind crippling cell to say…
“That’s right, ladies and gents. You’re about to get all you memories back. Every last one of them” – page 18.
At this point I was looking forward to hearing about Thomas’s backstory in more depth, but he never actually regains his memories after all. On the plus side, this keeps the mystery of WICKED alive.
The next twist is that Newt isn’t immune. He is “The Glue.” WICKED needs variables to measure the results of their experiments. He is one of those variables who holds the whole experiment together.
“I’m a Crank. Doesn’t matter what I bloody think” – page 104.
But this also means that one of our beloved favourite characters is in an even more precarious position that we first imagined. Suspense and emotion is built around Newt’s character in this book because we don’t know how much the flare is effecting his mind. We also don’t know what is in the note he gives to Thomas.
So they escape WICKED (again) and go to Denver. This next bit that we find out is one of my favourite plot twists of the whole series – because it involves the resurrection (sort of) and redemption of my favourite character from book 1. Gally.
Gally is a misunderstood villain, which is my favourite character type of all-time and it cannot be an easy feat to pull off for an author. To make the readers hate a character and then make them forgive them, even feel sympathy for them, is something I really enjoy when reading. Having said that, I always liked Gally anyway.
“It made Thomas sad to think that the world would probably recover from the sun flares just fine someday, only to find itself uninhabited” – page 168.
The world is built up so well in this book also. I enjoyed exploring it as the main characters figured out how to find their safety from it. When you actually stop and think about what it be like to be in their position – it is terrifying. I think this may win the prize for the most undesirable fictional dystopian world, just a cut above the rest. Dashner creates a realistic sense of uncertainty and a lack of knowing who to trust within his world.
“He’d killed Newt. He’d shot his own friend in the head” – page 257.
I have to talk about this. The moment before Thomas pulls the trigger is so effective. It is a heart-breaking chapter because Thomas will never know if Newt meant the things that he said or whether it was just madness talking. However, the last moment before his death hints that it wasn’t the real him talking until those last three words.
I really like the way the plot loops back around the maze at the end. The final chunk of chapters are so dynamic and fast-paced, so exciting that I couldn’t stop reading. The descriptions of the maze and the WICKED headquarters falling down because of the explosions are so well written I could hear crumbling stone and deafening booms in my head.
We end this book with Thomas and his surviving friends reaching a sort of paradise. I found myself considering the motives and actions of WICKED several times when reading The Death Cure. In a way, I can understand both side. Thomas and the other immunes are being mistreated for something that may not even work. WICKED are taking all the world’s resources for an impossible pursuit. But what if it isn’t impossible? Are WICKED bad or are they just seeing the world from a different perspective?
Sometimes I think about them and hate them with every bone in my body. But other times I think they must be a bunch of people who are just stuck in the same messed up world as Thomas and his friends. Also, Chancellor Paige does save them at the end and, as she reiterates in the epilogue, WICKED do save the human race. So, are we any closer to determining whether WICKED is good?
Have you read The Death Cure? Let me know what you thought in the comments! Also, does anyone else think The Maze Runner series would make a really awesome graphic novel?
Lots of love,