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Answers? Or just more questions?
, October 12, 2011
This review is from: The Death Cure (Maze Runner, Book 3) (Hardcover)
*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. Not to tell anyone what happened. Not to offer insight into the "whys" and "hows" of WICKED. Just to show up. For all the fuss that was made about them getting their memories back (if they actually did get them back, that is, and not just some fabricated recollections of WICKED), when we do see them again, I'm not sure it really makes any difference. They certainly don't seem to contribute to the final solution, really.
And speaking of the final solution... the final Death Cure... the ultimate responce to the Flare...
I don't want to call it a deus ex machina, but I'll gladly give a shiny new dime to the person who can tell me exactly where it is that Thomas and the others ultimately end up.
I realize I've been critical. Perhaps unfairly so. As a whole, the Maze Runner trilogy is a solid tale. I do not regret purchasing the books, and they shall -- for a time at least -- take up space on my bookself.
My biggest issue is that Dashner has created a story that evokes a great deal of mystery. The first two books weave a story that is intriguing not only in its own right, but also because of what is left in the dark.
My criticism is this: the final book of such a story must bring that hidden portion to light. Not necessarily all of it, but enough so that we, the readers, can have that moment when we look up from the page and go "Oooooohhhhhh! Now I get it!"
Maybe I missed it. But for me, that moment never came.
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