The Death Cure by James Dashner

The Death CureSource: Own Collection
Format: Paperback
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Thomas knows that Wicked can’t be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they’ve collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It’s up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn’t know is that something’s happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can’t believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

******SPOILER ALERT******

And so now I’ve read the final book in the main trilogy of the series.

I’ve seen too many people lose the plot by this point in the series, so some spoilers may be in order here to give some of my thoughts on what happened here.

First up, Thomas, Newt and Minho choose to not have their memories returned to them. They no longer trust WICKED, something that Thomas’s memories indicate to him. He may have revived the organisation after the original people running the experiment had killed themselves (due to having the Flare) but he knows that he was never happy with the methods being employed to try and find a cure for the Flare.

We learn early on that most of the teens are immune to the Flare, but that some were controls. Newt is one. He has the Flare, and early on in the book its effects begin to show. Then unfolds a scenario that I still haven’t decided was a set-up or was simply how events unfolded. Theresa and the other teens flee the WICKED base, but apparently of their own accord, and head to Colorado. Thomas, Newt, Minho, Barbara and Jorge (the latter two characters working for WICKED who were introduced in The Scorch Trials) head for Colorado too, because there is apparently someone there who can remove the devices in Thomas, Newt and Minho’s brains – but Thomas’s in particular.

On reaching Colorado, they soon learn of a faction called the Right Arm from Gally (who we last saw at the end of The Maze Runner), who has left WICKED to join them. They’re intent on taking WICKED down.

I won’t go into much more detail except for one thing. Towards the end, Assistant Director Janson is intent on studying Thomas’s brain structure – a process that will kill him (the “death cure” of the title – apparently going through dying might give them the missing piece for the cure) – and is thwarted by the Chancellor, who tells Thomas where to find the new unwilling participants in a “repeat trial” (dubious because of the sheer quantity placed in the maze), and also how to get out of the WICKED headquarters. The impression that I got from this part was that whatever Janson is up to at this point, it is certainly not finding the cure for the Flare. My view is that Janson has a personal vendetta against Thomas (for whatever reason) and simply wants him dead, cures be damned. It is the only real explanation for his sheer doggedness – right up to the last – and also for why the Chancellor works to circumvent him and save as many immunes (Munies) as she can.

This was an excellent book. I really enjoyed all the action and the pacing was once again spot on. Some very sad bits, but ultimately a satisfying end to an excellent trilogy. Still kept me asking questions, and thinking about it afterwards. Especially the real question of the whole series: does the end really justify the means? I think that Thomas would argue “NO!”

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