The Death Cure by James Dashner
Thomas is tired of the lies from Wicked, so when the opportunity for the Gladers to get their memories back arises, he knows there is a catch. Escaping to Denver, Thomas must finally face the reality of the Flare, the disease that is ravaging strangers and friends alike. With the clock ticking and the world dying, Thomas must finally face Wicked and the lies.
After reading Mockingjay, I'll admit I am a little jaded on these sci-fi dystopian trilogies. Never mind that everything is a trilogy these days and endings are already a difficult thing to write. Even so, I had high hopes for this series, confident that Dashner knew where he was going.
I will do my best not to ruin the ending, but I can't promise anything, therefore, read on at your own risk.
The ending was quite satisfying. As is traditional with young adult literature, Dashner offers hope, a chance for a future despite the bleakness and death that proceeded it. Unlike Mockingjay, Death Cure didn't end with a happily ever after or a marriage or a ridiculous epilogue. There was too much pain and death and suffering for that to happen though and Dashner didn't fall prey to that overused literary device.
As usual there were a few elements that I wish had been explained more fully. For example: Thomas never gets his memories back, which was fine, but it also meant that we never learn of his past. Worse, although some of the other Gladers do get theirs back, we still don't learn much about the past. Perhaps this would have slowed down the pacing of the plot which was rolling and quick, but on the other hand, I desperately wanted to know more. Also, I wanted to understand the motivations of Wicked, Thomas included. What led them to believe that torture was the way to cure a disease? It was the one thing that made no sense to me. Lastly, how is the rest of the world dealing with The Flare. Are there true disease free places or is it everywhere?
It was nice to see more of this unraveling world, to glimpse firsthand how The Flare affects the mind and soul. Although the goals are still the same, find a cure, defeat wicked, the adventure felt new. Better yet, Dashner is not afraid to get his character's hands dirty. There is no end to the death and destruction and let me warn you, if you haven't read it already, no character is safe. This is probably my favorite part in regards to this book, the complete understanding that not everyone can survive such chaos and a good author knows when to let their characters go.