The Death Cure – James Dashner

Please don’t read if you’ve not had the chance to catch this series of novels, as this is the last in the trilogy (not counting the prequel novel) there will be spoilers, though none for this novel.


The Death Cure marks the end of Thomas, Minho, Newt and Teresa’s adventure of misfortune that began in the maze two novels ago. They each come up against their own battles in this novel, separated and brought back together at certain moments, though the focus remains on Thomas.

There is a distinct problem I have had with this series of novels. I have grown to increasingly dislike the main protagonist and all his decisions. This isn’t like with the Hunger Games where Katniss became frustrating at points, at least there was a whole backdrop of people and circumstances to balance her. In this novel I disliked the group Thomas was placed with, the characters didn’t make me want them to succeed.

This is a huge issue for the enjoyment levels I was likely to have whilst reading. Really I was trying to get to the end, find out what the heck was going on, and most importantly not have the future film versions (if it gets beyond The Maze Runner, Dylan O’Brien fans will probably ensure this) ruined for me on Tumblr by those posting plot spoilers.

The story itself is very good. It is such an interesting concept and ends with a real believability – maybe one day mankind will go down the route presented in this dystopic trilogy. The writing is also good. Dashner is definitely not in the league of Rowling or Green in the ability to write a teenage voice, but he isn’t far off Suzanne Collins’ skill.

Perhaps my issues with the books stems from my age and my gender. I’m not a teenage boy who I am sure would thrill at the battles, the conflict and the comradery. I wanted more from the relationships formed by Thomas, especially Newt and Teresa. Truthfully, I wanted a Peeta character.

Peeta in the Hunger Games represented all that was good and right with the world but was treated appallingly. I think Newt was supposed to be this character in this series, but he wasn’t given enough of a voice.

Sometimes you just don’t connect with a book or characters as the author intended you to. I am one of those for The Maze Runner series. Though I am really pleased I read them, especially as the last five or six chapters of each book were thrilling, I am equally pleased I did not purchase them and instead utilized my local library. I just would never read them again, because Thomas is not enough to bring me back.

I think these books will translate onto the big screen with less bumps and a better reception from book readers than most other book adaptations. It will have engaging actors making the audience want to get behind them in their struggle, especially as Thomas will be played by Dylan O’Brien who is a major component of why the Teen Wolf TV show is so successful. The story too is less complex and laid out like a movie or television series, and I am really looking forward to watching these novels on the big screen.

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