The Death Cure, By James Dashner, acts as the finale to the Maze Runner trilogy, a job that it does to varying degrees of success. A brief summary for those who haven’t read the series: the world has been destroyed by a giant solar flare and a zombie apocalypse (also, confusingly called the “Flare”) and has been reduced to Mad Max like wasteland with a few safe havens scattered throughout. During this, a world government forms, WICKED, with the goal of finding a cure for this disease by … capturing teenagers that are immune and putting them in giant mazes? I’m honestly not sure how that works, but apparently it does and now, after more tests and infecting them all with the zombie virus, the teenagers are finally introduced to the full situation by “Rat Man”, a WICKED researcher.
Thomas is one of the teenagers who, understandably, are not very trusting of WICKED, so when Rat Man offers to give them some free brain surgery to ‘remove’ microchips that WICKED implanted in their brain, it seems fair that Thomas and several of his friends refuse. Unfortunately, this wasn’t really an ‘offer’ and Rat Man sends guards after them, resulting in a chase and their eventual escape on an aircraft with Brenda and Jorge, two WICKED employees who have gone rogue. Now this ragtag group of teens must find a way to overthrow WICKED and prevent them from abducting more children, with their first stop being Denver, Colorado which happens to be one of the only safe places left on earth.
As the final book, The Death Cure has the difficult job of giving some closure to an excellent series … or to just say “nah, that’s too hard” and end in some sloppy fashion to tie all the loose ends up by killing off characters. Unfortunately, spoiler alert, I felt as though The Death Cure is more of the latter. However, I would definitely say that the book as a whole is fairly good, and is a great continuation of the Maze Runner. Unfortunately, things start falling apart at the end, and it feels as though the final parts are shoehorned in because so much happening and simply not enough pages to expand on it all. Overall, I would recommend the Maze Runner series for being fairly solid, and the Death Cure is a good book. However, the ending is, in my opinion, a huge letdown after several books of buildup.