This is the final book in James Dashner’s Maze Runner trilogy. As with many trilogies in recent years, I have found the third book to be my least favorite. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I did. I would definitely recommend it and I was desperate to know if there was any chance of survival for the main players, but much like the third Hunger Games book, it just didn’t have the same page-turning suspense as the earlier books.
The Death Cure continues to follow Thomas and his shrinking band of Gladers. In this final installment, WICKED is up to their same tricks, manipulating the emotions and actions of teenagers in a misguided attempt to save the world from the ever-spreading Flare. This time the powers-that-be swear that the games are over, the trials have been completed and they are nearly done with the brain maps they insist will save the world. The problem is, Thomas and his gang have heard this story twice before. They are left to wonder if they should now fall into line and acquiesce to the final requests of WICKED or if they should make a run for it, hoping to be able to find a niche of their own in a world that is quickly crumbling.
In this final installment, Thomas is forced to confront the horrors of the Flare in the real world. While the world created for him by WICKED was a horrible one, filled with torture and death, it was all controlled. Once Thomas is allowed to witness what Earth has become, and the uncontrolled and uncontrollable consequences of the disease plaguing mankind, he realizes that things are worse than he ever imagined. While he has an enviable immunity to the virus, the same can’t be said of his entire group of boys. This realization and the choices he is forced to make because of it are devastating.
Thomas is forced to face some new realities in this last book, which help fill him out as a character. He has always been a leader, although not necessarily by choice, but suddenly we see his infallibility falling apart. In the previous books, even when a minor character or two are lost, the main group is able to stick together and persevere to face the next threat. The Death Cure puts an end to that predictability.
While this book wasn’t my favorite out of the trilogy, I was still thrilled to find out how this whole saga turned out for the Gladers I had come to root for as they faced trial after trial. James Dashner’s The Death Cure, the third and final installment in The Maze Runner series earns: