#21 “The Death Cure” by James Dashner

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  1. Goose – Dawn O’Porter
  2. Murder in Mississippi – John Safran
  3. Elianne – Judy Nunn
  4. Divergent – Veronica Roth
  5. Insurgent – Veronica Roth
  6. Allegiant – Veronica Roth
  7. The Messenger – Markus Zusak
  8. Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman
  9. The Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons
  10. NOS4R2 – Joe Hill
  11. Hades – Candice Fox
  12. Last Night at Chateau Marmont – Lauren Weisberger
  13. Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
  14. The Maze Runner – James Dashner
  15. The Scorch Trials – James Dashner
  16. The Death Cure – James Dashner
  17. A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby

Today consisted of writing an essay, editing the same essay, watching TV for about two hours before remembering that I had about three hours of online “training” for work to do. The only thing that kept me sane was the music blasting in my ears and sneaking in a few pages of The Death Cure after every few hundred words of that essay. Seriously, remind me never to leave an essay so late ever again. It’s not worth the boredom.

Anyway, so I finally finished The Maze Runner trilogy. Hallelujah. Wait, no, that has negative connotations. I liked the series fine. I’m just glad to have finally gotten to the bottom of all that Flare mystery. I honestly did not see that end twist coming. I thought that the flares from the sun had knocked the disease loose. That twist blew my mind a little bit.

When I reviewed The Scorch TrialsI talked about Second Book Syndrome, and how that particular book felt like a filler. Well, we got most of the questions answered in the final instalment. Which I was expecting, but I was glad for all the same. Except we still don’t know where the girls got their names from. That’s just going to niggle at me. Pretty sure an extensive Google search for famous scientists named Teresa and Sonya and Harriet will be in my near future.

Have you ever gotten to the end of a series that you thoroughly enjoyed but once you get to the final page, you forget almost everything you’ve just read? That happened to me after I closed The Death Cure. I think maybe because I didn’t connect with any of the characters on more than a shock-value basis. I cared if Thomas or Newt or Brenda got hurt because it was still someone getting hurt. But it wasn’t like how I felt when Will found out Tessa was engaged or when Jordan Kyle died or when Bill was turned into a werewolf. The Maze Runner series is more plot-driven than character-driven. And while this isn’t a bad thing in the slightest, I always find character-driven books more memorable.

What I will give Dashner, though, is that he wasn’t afraid to kill off important characters. He wasn’t afraid to give his protagonists a hard time. I have a “love-to-hate” kind of relationship with authors who mess with their protagonists. You always know that the main character will be OK (unless you’re reading Game of Thrones, which is why I haven’t read the series yet), but if one of the main supporting characters gets maimed or killed you get a bit of a shock. I love that, because it means that the author cares about his story and will write it as honestly as they can. Kind of like The Book Thief. Have you guys read that yet? If not, do it now. It is amazing.
All of this being said though, I definitely saw [MAJOR SPOILER] Teresa’s death coming. She’d done so many things to betray Thomas that the only way he would ever forgive her, whether he knew it or not, was if she gave her life for him. That is the ultimate sacrifice, and one you wouldn’t make for someone you were betraying. This was Teresa’s way of proving her innocence, and Dashner’s way of absolving Teresa of all of the horrible things she’d done. Plus, there’s no way Thomas and Brenda would have ended up together if Teresa had stayed. So she had to go.

I really enjoyed the metaphor of the Maze being destroyed. The series begins and ends in the Maze and I thought that the Maze being blown to smithereens at the end of the series was a nice way for Dashner to show the readers that all of WICKED’s scheming was well and truly over. Plus, it added a nice cyclical element to the plot. And, as a Creative Writing graduate, I appreciate me some clever plot devices.

After reading this series, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the whole “dystopian” genre. I loved The Hunger Games and I still have Divergent to get through, but as a whole I think dystopian fiction just hits a little too close to home. Because I see that all of these horrible things that happen in these books as actually being possible. If you look at all of the atrocious decisions that our politicians make, then it is definitely possible that, in a few generations, we could end up with kids fighting to the death for the entertainment of the elite. Or kids battling against unknown elements for a cure to a disease that is wiping out the human race. I’m cynical enough to believe that the powerful governments of the world have biological weapons securely stored for a rainy day. Who’s to say that a massive, unexpected natural disaster couldn’t shake that weapon loose?

Anyway, I know I haven’t really given you guys much to go on with regards to The Death Cure but I blame that on the fact that:
a. I’ve spent all day writing an essay on behaviour modification, and
b. that I’ve actually forgotten most of the details.

So, given that the details slipped away so easily, and yet I kept reading because of the action and the intrigue, I am choosing to give The Death Cure:

★★★

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About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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6 Responses to #21 “The Death Cure” by James Dashner

  1. Deborah says:

    Argh! I always leave things until the last minute. I tell myself I perform better under pressure, but in truth I’m just a bit of a procrastinator!

    • Bec Graham says:

      I always think the essays won’t require as much work as they do and I end up spending at least seven hours in front of my laptop! Never fun. Unless you’re watching movies or something 🙂

  2. I agree that he wasn’t afraid to kill of important characters, but I wonder if that’s because he didn’t care about them. Do you know what I mean? I sure didn’t care that much when they died, because I feel like in this series you never really got to know any of them. Sure, you slowly found out who they were and their stories. But you didn’t really care about them. I put the fault with Dashner in that. I cared if Tessa died within two chapters of Clockwork Angel. I had no idea who she was but I was already connected. Dashner didn’t accomplish that in three books (well, 4 really if you count the prequel). At least for me he didn’t.

    Oh, don’t mind my blog stalking right now. I finally got a minute to catch up!

    • Bec Graham says:

      Nope, I totally agree. Dashner was more concerned with the plot than his characters. And while that’s OK, I still didn’t feel that much empathy or sympathy when Newt and Teresa died. I really wanted to find out more about Chancellor Paige. I feel like her story would have been amazing. She headed WICKED and yet helped the Gladers as they tried to destroy the company from the inside, out. But she was jus this shadowy overload as it were.
      OMG have you read all of “After the Bridge” yet? Wow. Just…wow. I love Jem so much.

      I don’t mind the blog stalking at all! I’ve missed you! How’s bub?

      • Have you read The Kill Order? He wrote it as a prequel to answer all the questions people had, and it totally just left us with more questions. Kind of silly.

        YES YES YES. After the Bridge. I can’t even handle the Jessa feels. I love reading from Jems point of view. He is such an honest character.

        The baby is great! He gets bigger and more self sufficient every day, its pretty incredible to watch. And it leaves me more time to read. Maybe one day it’ll leave me time to blog about what I read too haha 🙂

        How are you? How’s school?

      • Bec Graham says:

        After finishing the Maze Runner trilogy, I felt like I was done with that world. I didn’t need anything else. Which I’m kind of glad for, if we didn’t get any answers!

        Oh Jem! I just really want to give him a hug. Best guy ever. Will may be the literary love of my life, but jem is a saint!

        That’s so cool about bub. They do grow so fast, it’s a little scary! I hope he ends up a bookworm, just like his mum 🙂

        Uni’s been OK. I’m at the business end of my last semester for about a year. Taking some time off. Kind of excited!

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