Erin's Reviews > The Death Cure

The Death Cure by James Dashner
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's review
May 18, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: action-packed, dark, disappointing, dystopia, one-lone-tear
Recommended for: middle school kids
Read from May 09 to 16, 2012 , read count: 1

1.5 stars

First, to clarify. This isn't an angry one star. I just have lost most of my patience when it comes to all of this series's flaws.

As many people have noted, the Maze Runner trilogy is a bit... mysterious. Throughout the first two books, a lot of stuff happens with little to no explanation. I knew going into The Death Cure that the only way I would like this book was if it finally gave me the answers I was looking for.

Well, as you can see from my rating, it didn't.

(view spoiler)

And it doesn't help that Thomas is the least compelling protagonist to ever draw breath. To me, he just seems a little... slimy. I don't like him.

One last complaint. Dashner was really unsuccessful, at least for this reader, in describing action scenes. This was especially apparent toward the end, when there were some fights/brawls. Trying to picture what Character A was doing to Character B was so confusing. How can you simultaneously wrap your legs around someone's torso and pin their arms down with your knees? Sigh.


Okay, I lied. I have more complaints.

The characters are so... juvenile. Their jokes aren't funny and Dashner never developed them into real live people; they only exist to react to plot events. And since the plot stopped making sense quite some time ago, maybe that's not the best strategy.

And I think there was a theme running through the book of gray morality, there are no "right" choices, etc. But I didn't feel that the author respected his audience (or his writing skills) enough to let that theme seep in through character choices and the problems they faced. Instead, there were multiple instances where a character would think or say, literally, "Things aren't black and white anymore!" Yeah, okay, we get it.

One good thing: ambiguous ending. Not going to expand on that for obvious reasons, but I would have been disappointed if everything was wrapped up with a cute little bow.

Thinking back, that was Dashner's (and the trilogy's) greatest strength. He wasn't afraid to hurt, emotionally traumatize, or even kill some of his best characters. So, for some younger readers, these books could be a revelation.

Final Verdict: I think this series would be (and obviously is, based on how many requests it has at my library) very enjoyable and exciting for kids, maybe ages 11-14. But it didn't work for me. The writing and world-building were too weak for me to like the Maze Runner series. But I think I would recommend it for its target age group.

PS. I put this on my "disturbing moments" shelf because, at one point, a chunk of rock falls on some people and crushes them and their blood trickles out from beneath the rock. That's linked to some traumatic childhood moments for me, most notably watching a Halloween episode of The Simpsons that I was really not prepared for. Bluhd!

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Quotes Erin Liked

James Dashner
“Kill me. If you’ve ever been my friend, kill me.”
James Dashner, The Death Cure

Reading Progress

05/09 page 1
0.0% "Awwww, he dedicated it to his mom because she's "the best human to ever live". Four days until Mother's Day!"
05/09 page 112
34.0% "I'm so paranoid of letting my guard down... James Dashner, you'll never trick me! (And I'll probably be tricked anyway.)"
05/15 page 172
53.0% "This is action-packed, yet I am bored. What?"
03/10 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Emily im reading this right now....i cried about 65% through

message 2: by Erin (new) - rated it 1 star

Erin Sounds like you're enjoying it more than I did!

Lucy Gun omg yes the newt part omg poor poor newt

message 4: by Brandon (new) - added it

Brandon I almost tore the pages when i read what happend to newt

Laarni "Dashner never developed them into real live people; they only exist to react to plot events. And since the plot stopped making sense quite some time ago, maybe that's not the best strategy."

THIS. His characters went from flat to I-don't-even-care-if-he-kills-everyone-off-anymore.

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