James Dashner is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series that includes The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and The Kill Order. He has also written The Eye of Minds (book one in the Mortality Doctrine series), the 13th Reality series, and two books in The Infinity Ring series: A Mutiny in Time and The Iron Empire.
Dashner was born and raised in Georgia but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains. To learn more about James and his books, visit JamesDashner.com, follow @jamesdashner on Twitter, or find dashnerjames on Instagram.
*Warning -- potential spoilers below. You have been warned.*
I struggled with this book.
On the one hand, it's a good read. Fast, page-turner. I couldn't set it down, and arrived at work today tired for lack of sleep. Curse you, James Dashner!
In each installment of this series, we get to see more of the world around Thomas and his companions. From the insular maze in the opening pages of "Maze Runner" to now, our view of the world has slowly pulled back. We can see more.
Really, this is interesting stuff. So THIS is how the rest of world is dealing with the zombie apocalypse! (And let's not kid ourselves, that's basically what this is about). There are answers, finally. But not enough. I don't mind stories that are full of questions. I don't mind characters and groups with plots so thick, with so many twists and turns you'd need an entire fourth book just to explain it. But it got tiresome. Not a single character can make any kind of decision whatsoever without another character asking "But what if that's what WICKED *wants* us to do!"
And finally, when we get to the truth...
...except we never really do.
Thomas never does get his memories back. Hints are dropped that he was a mastermind of the whole thing, but we'll never know. What a wonderful struggle that would have been, as old-Thomas and new-Thomas tried to reconcile what one had planned and the other had experienced. Now THAT would have been interesting. Alas, it was not to be.
Other characters do choose to recover their memories, but that's essentially the last time the reader sees any of them. Sure, they show up at the end, but they show up just to show up, or to get killed off.Read more ›
The more I read dystopian/speculative fiction, the more I realize just how difficult a genre it is. Everything has to be placed so perfectly, all plot twists in a nice, neat line. There has to be a great deal of logic to the world that is created and, when the final chapter is closed, all must be revealed or the author runs the risk of leaving the reader confused. Unfortunately, as I finished the last word of this book, my first thought was, "Huh?" Spoilers will follow, so don't read any further if you don't want to know any of the details.
When I read The Maze Runner, I thought it was a really innovative, creepy idea. It was interesting to speculate about who had thrown the boys and Teresa in the maze and why they were there. The small details that were doled out really helped this atmosphere. When I read The Scorch Trials, though, I felt like things started to fall apart a bit. There was still so little known, so little that made sense. And now, with The Death Cure, I can't help but feel unsatisfied with the story overall. There is still so much of it that I don't understand. As I read the book, I realized that a few things should have been happening: for one, more information should have been doled out over the course of the series. I didn't want Dashner to give everything away in the first book, but there should have been more flashes of memory on Thomas's part, particularly after he went through the Changing. This would have helped solidify details about the world, which would have gone a very long way toward making the events of The Death Cure make sense.
The biggest problem I had with The Death Cure was that it felt to me like Thomas was just flailing along the entire novel, with one instance of sheer dumb luck after another.Read more ›
I'll be the first to admit that books with this level of violence and horror do not generally appeal to me, but I took a chance with Maze Runner and found it a gripping and a wholly unique tale. The story was well written, creative, compelling, and I could find absolutely nothing within its pages that felt like a Harry Potter rip-off, so I considered it a win.
I enjoyed Scorch Trials, but enjoyed it less -- it seemed a bit weaker and filled with endless horrific tribulations that became rather tedious to read through. Still, I looked forward to the Death Cure and hoped it would explain the many mysteries left dangling.
The Death Cure was fascinating in its own right, but in a less substantial way than Maze Runner. Where Maze Runner had lots of colorful characters working and living together, Death Cure reminded me of a Transformers movie with car crash after car crash and then even more car crashes. When I saw the actual Transformers movie, I fell asleep in the theater, lulled by the incessant sound of metal grating metal. I certainly didn't fall asleep while reading this book, and don't mean to insult the author by comparing his book to a truly terrible movie, but found myself skimming and skipping chunks just to find out what happened when the dust settled (or the blood pooled, rather).
The Death Cure felt like it leaned too much on (sometimes grotesque) action and too little on character development and story. I missed the vibrant Gladers, the Group B girls are never fleshed out, and the hints at a jealous love triangle fizzled into an anti-climatic nothing.
I read impatiently, looking for answers which never really came.