Thinking Out Loud | The Death Cure – James Dashner

The_Death_Cure (1)

Rating

4,5 out of 5

Title

The Death Cure [The Maze Runner #3]

Author

James Dashner

Year of release

2011

Part of book series | If so, which one?

The Maze Runner

Genre

Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Blurb

It’s the end of the line.

WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends—the Gladers. But it’s finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test.

Will anyone survive?

What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a word of what they say.

The truth will be terrifying.

Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.

goodreads.com

Opinion

Every series stands and fall with its last book, movie, game or whatsoever. Thus, I was crazy afraid of ‘The Death Cure’ by James Dashner (although that wasn’t the reason it took me half an eternity to finally finish the book).

God, and it didn’t ruin anything (still doesn’t, duh). I loved the book very much. It’s not as good as ‘The Maze Runner’ but better than ‘The Scorch Trials’. I’m pretty excited about ‘The Killing Order’, although I’m going to miss Thomas, Minho and Newt so, so much. But since I loved the series, I go all in.

Just like I go all in with my review, so if you haven’t read it yet and don’t want to be spoilered, I’d say you better turn around now and stop reading. If you don’t mind spoilers, well, go ahead, I think? But, seriously, there are spoilers ahead.

So, basically what happens is: They (as in everyone who survived the Grande Finale in TST) are at WICKED headquarters, and our lovely Rat Man tells them (after Thomas had been separated from the rest for a while), who is and isn’t immune. (By the way: Thank you, James Dashner, for making us fall in love with Newt just to rip our hearts out and feed it to the darkness! Thank you!)While Minho, Thomas, Teresa, Frypan, Aris and a few others are immune, Newt isn’t. And no, I don’t care about anyone else right now because Newt. Is. Not. Immune. How? Why? I hated everything. No, wait. Present tense. I still hate everything.

After this horrible truth, the Gladers and Group B can decide whether to get their memories back. Since Minho trusts nobody but Newt and Thomas, Newt basically hates everything and everyone (I feel you, man) and Thomas is basically against everything WICKED wants, neither of them decide to get their memories back. Despite giving them a free decision (ha, ha, ha) WICKED forces them to do it anyway.

WICKED’s plans doesn’t work out because of Brenda. Minho, Newt, Thomas, she and Jorge manage to flee the headquarters with a Berg (a giant-ass airship) and hurry over to Denver, a supposedly safe city. During their escape, Newt gives Thomas a note to read when the time is right (“What is it?” – “You don’t need to know right now. You can’t know. But you have to make me a promise – and I’m not messing around here.” – “What?” – “You swear to me that you won’t read what’s inside that bloody envelope until the time is right.”) I knew back then, that I’m probably going cry my eyes out in the future (Spoiler alert: I did).

Because of tests at Denver’s gates, Newt has to stay hidden in the Berg. Thomas and Minho hate to leave him behind but have to in order to find Hans, who has a history with WICKED and is therefore able to remove the little devices WICKED planted into Thomas and Minho’s brains in order to control them.

On their way to him, they meet someone from an organization called ‘The Right Arm’ who brings them to Gally (I kind of knew we haven’t seen the last of him) who tells them about TRA and a little bit of their plans as well as the disappearances of immunes. Not quite sure about it, the group of four agrees to help them after Minho and Thomas have their devices removed.

After finding Hans, he agrees to help them but as soon as he does, Thomas is trying to kill everything and everyone close enough to hit. WICKED programmed the device to do so, as soon as someone threatens to remove it. They overpower him anyway, and Hans removes the troublemaker. (I actually loved how Minho sleeps on a chair beside Thomas’ bed. Adorable.)

After a coffee shop incident (Curiosity kills the cat, Thomas!), Thomas is found by Rat Man who tries to convince him to get back to WICKED headquarters revealing he is the Final Candidate (as in the last piece for the blueprint). Thomas refuses.

The group leaves Denver again, feeling like something big is about to go down. Back at the Berg, they find a note from Newt but no Newt. Jorge tells them about a place called the Crank Palace. Minho and Thomas immediately order to go there.

Sadly, it’s not really a happy reunion. “(”So let’s say our bloody goodbyes, and then you can promise to remember me from my good old days.” “I can’t do that,” Minho said”) .For one, Newt is closer to the Gone than ever and he’s not only threatening Minho with a Launcher (a weapon which guards use to electroshock people) but yelling at and hating on Thomas, too. Especially, Thomas. The poor boy hasn’t read the message, because he missed the right time. Newt has every right to be angry at him. (“”And you, Tommy” the boy said, lowering his voice. “You’ve got a lot of nerve coming here and asking me to leave with you. A lot of bloody nerve. The sight of you makes me sick””)

Before being chased out of the Crank Palace, Newt reveals that the Cranks are planning to go to Denver. Somewhere on their way back to the city (Thomas and Minho mourn together in silence), Thomas, Minho, Brenda and Jorge get captured. They first think it’s by those how hunt Immunes for WICKED (because they suppose respectively know they want to start the Trials all over again). They soon find out that it’s actually TRA who mimic bounty hunters in order to trick WICKED.

Thomas and Brenda separate from the group (on a side note: Minho doesn’t like to be separated from Thomas.) and go to meet TRA’s leader Victor. He tells them about their plan to overrun and destroy WICKED once and for all. Thomas decides to play the lead role and goes back to WICKED headquarters.

Rat Man reveals that they need Thomas’ brain to complete the blueprint. The whole plan almost goes horribly wrong, and Thomas has another near death experience. Luckily Chancellor Paige is a nice woman and helps Thomas find his way back to the others, rescue the kidnapped Immunes (who are trapped in another maze which collapses due to TRA’s bombs. By the way, hello Grievers! Welcome back, you little f*ckers) and find a way to somewhere save.

Everything ends in a short battle with Rat Man, who has the Flare (surprise!) and a few of his soldiers, Thomas kills Rat Man, Minho pulls him with him, Teresa dies, they run through a Flat Trans – and find a green paradise (I Actually imagine Iceland or Greenland, or Alaska maybe), plus the chance to start all over again, to build a new civilisation.

Most of you will probably sit in front of your macbooks, notebook, computers, iphones or whatever you are reading this on and think: Girl, you have forgotten something.

Let me tell you, I have not! I will never forget about Newt. His death was one of the worst deaths in history. It’s very, very high on my top ten on the “Stop killing everyone I love!” – list. I dread page 250. I dread chapter 55. The sentence ‘With his heart falling into a black abyss, Thomas pulled the trigger’ seriously killed me. I needed to close the book, two to six teas and almost a day to bring myself to open the book again. With Newt gone, the pages felt horribly empty. All the time, I feared for Minho and Thomas’ lives. Every timey they have been separated, I was sure I’m not going to see Minho again (and one time I was so sure when I turned the page, it won’t be Thomas who is telling me the story anymore).

And I don’t know how I feel about Thomas not telling Minho about Newt’s death. I mean, like, after all they have been through, I feel like he deserves to know. Then again, maybe Thomas tells them. I imagine them sitting together one evening. Just the two of them, and they talk about Newt. Maybe Minho wonders where he is, how he is, whether he is still sane. So Thomas just tells him. He tells him because he cannot stand the pain on his best friend’s face. And maybe Minho will be angry at first, but he’ll understand why Newt hadn’t asked him to do it (because Newt knew Minho wouldn’t be able to kill him. Thomas, he was sure, could, he was sure he’d understand, and that’s why he’d been so furious at the Crank Palace), and Minho will be grateful, because one of his best friends doesn’t have to suffer anymore.

So yeah, Thomas will tell him, and they’ll bond even more over this horrible truth.

I imagine them building a memorial place for everyone who’d died, so they are able to remember them. And there will be a place for Newt, and for Alby. There is going to be a place for Chuck, maybe even for Ben. Everyone who hadn’t been able to reach the Save Haven will have their own special place.

Okay, to come back to what actually happened in the book.

The ending, which I have been very scared of, was good although a little hasty in my opinion. So, so much happened on the last hundred pages, it was sometimes a little hard for me to keep track. Newt died. They met TRA. They freed the Immunes. Thomas infiltrated WICKED headquarters. They fought. They found peace. It’s just a lot to take in. Nonetheless, I liked it.

Actually, I liked especially the idea of some kind of paradise nobody knew still existed. It is way better than any sort of open ending, or WICKED finding the Cure and everything will be good and perfect. I mean, okay, they are in a place Thomas describes as paradise but they are far from good. They still have to survive. They have to organise, they have to be on their own (again). They have to build a new live in a foreign place. They have to plant and grow food. Looking back on it now, isn’t it exactly what they had to do, what they learned to do, in the Glade? I like the idea, that maybe Chancellor Paige had this plan all along, that she trained them to survive on their own in case something goes wrong.

Again, I can only swoon over the relationship Minho and Thomas have. I love how they never stop fighting for and with each other. I like Minho staying at Thomas’ side all night to watch over him as he’s out cold. I love how Thomas cares all the time what Minho thinks of him, that Minho thinks good of him, approves what he suggests. I like how they mourn Newt, how they suffer in silence but with the other by their side. I love how Minho pulls Thomas away from Rat Man and away from insanity and rage. They anchor each other. And I love even more that it’s two friends being each other’ anchors and not two lovers. It’s just them keeping each other sane, grounded and save.

I think it’ so important (almost ground-breaking) that in this book it is friendship and not love which is the key to everything. I don’t mind love. It’s nice to have, of course, and lovely to read if it’s well written. I’m not over the moon with the implication of a Brenda and Thomas romance (Thomas doesn’t need romance, he needs a therapy!) but I’m far more comfortable with those two spending the rest of their lives together as Thomas and Teresa. I seriously dislike her. I couldn’t help but be with Minho on this one. Brenda is just there. She worries about him, she steadies him. But in the end she is just there, waiting for Thomas to make a move. She isn’t expecting anything from him. Teresa does. Although he has every right to distrust her, to be angry with her, she always complains about it. She wants him to understand her, but she never actually tries to understand him. Also, she is annoying as hell. I’m sorry to everyone who likes her but she just, I don’t know, she just rubs me the wrong way. I can’t do anything about it.  

All in all, I love (and hate, jeez, loathe it so much. Especially page 250. Seriously, eff this page. It only has five lines anyway. Screw it. Ignore it) the book. From the trilogy, it is the second best to me (none of them came close to TMR, sorry). Like I said before, I’m glad it ends the way it does. It will forever be one of the greatest series I’ve read. That’s how much I love it. Yes.

And I will now leave you alone and pretend that Newt, Thomas and Minho live happily ever after.

We’d love to hear your opinions!

What did you think about The Death Cure? Do you agree with the ending or would you have preferred something else?

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