Customer Review

246 of 259 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 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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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 12, 2011 9:58:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 12, 2011 10:00:04 AM PDT
M.E.H. says:
I totally agree with the above. I kept reading and hoping I would get more answers about before the Maze runner and how the characters got to where they are. I mean it is great to see the outside world and understand more but the book left to many questions. I am ok with having questions left after a book ends but this didn't EVER answer the Thomas's big question:
i.e.

1. How did they come up with this experiment?
2. What does Thomas have to do with it all?
3. We learn how Thomas got to WICKED but what happens after he arrives and before he enters the maze?
4. What is Theresa to Thomas (before, during the experiment)?
Those are just a few questions for starters. I know I had more.
5. After Thomas rejoins the others, where were they and what were they going through while Thomas was in the room?

All and all I enjoyed the series but the third book was a bit of a let down. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it but it left to many things unanswered.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2011 9:43:37 AM PDT
I agree with all both of you have said. I felt like I was in Mockingjay again, or like someone dropped me into the maze, again, and said get out, again. Really? Is it required we do the book AGAIN, 3 times? Can't we ever have closure?? Is that too much to ask anymore? All the answers to the questions raised. I've paid my $33, waited 3 years, have invested time, energy, and emotional attachment to all of the characters you asked me to. Can I please have answers to the questions and closure. Thank you.

Posted on Oct 17, 2011 2:47:06 PM PDT
You hit the nail on the head, those were the exact complaints/questions I had. Overall I really enjoyed this series but I'm feeling unsatisfied. I also wanted to know why on earth they had to put these immunes through all of this random horrible stuff to get the blueprint. How did living in a maze, seeing people die, etc help them with their "data". I kept thinking all of these questions would be answered.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2011 7:27:44 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
So glad I read your reveiws, borrowed first 2 books and was about to buy the third because I really wanted answers...bummer I won't ever get them even if I do end up reading the last one!

Posted on Nov 11, 2011 6:47:26 PM PST
red2030 says:
i agree with the above too. i was really waiting for the chapter where they explained everything. and yeah they did explain some things but sometimes i wish they would go into more detail about them. i agree that it is good to have questions at the end of a book but not so many that you can't decide whether you want there to be another book. i wish that James Dashner would make another book that explains all the fans answers. the only questions that i really really wanted to know the answer to were
1. where the heck are they once they go through the flat trans in the end?
2. how did WICKED make teresa and thomas help them make the maze?
3. why didn't James Dashner want thomas to get his memories back? i think it would've made the story a lot more interesting.

Posted on Nov 12, 2011 2:35:53 PM PST
flowerhead says:
Wow, you took the words right out of my brain. Thanks for saying so well exactly how I felt at the end of this book. I was way disapointed and sort of felt like "what's the point, why did I just go through this roller coaster ride? I was even going to have my friend read the series but now I feel like he shouldn't since it ends so badly.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2011 12:02:35 AM PST
Dgirl says:
Agree with everyone here! It was a good book but I was left feeling slightly empty. I wanted Thomas to get his memories back because I wanted to know more as to why he was so conflicted about being the old Thomas, like what actions the old self did to make him hesitant about the idea. They should have just forced him to undergo the operation to get them back. And the ending! D: no cure for the death cure, very mixed feelings there. But im not gonna lie i really did love this series and theres rumours he is making a prequel so we might find out the answers to what was left out. That is all and if i ruin anything for anyone IM SORRY

Posted on Dec 11, 2011 4:49:53 PM PST
Let me join on the Agreement Fest here. I started to get the feeling that Dashner didn't want Thomas to get his memories because he didn't feel like figuring out and writing them all up! Or trying to work them further into the story. And did anyone else think there were way too many, much too detailed fight scenes? Especially at the end. "Just get OUT already!" I was finally shouting at the book. All in all, a very interesting concept but it just felt too incomplete and somewhat rushed.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 8:26:16 PM PST
CBrew says:
I am glad i read this too. i have decided NOT to read Death Cure. I have been on the fence because i could not put the books down but was so disturbed by the first 2 i was actually LITERALLY DEPRESSED for 3 days after i read them. Now that i know theres more questions than answers or so it seems ill be putting that book back on the shelf so to speak

Posted on Dec 18, 2011 12:03:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 19, 2011 2:58:29 PM PST
akky3210 says:
Agree! (As if that wasn't already obvious...) *SPOILER ALERT!*

It was a fine book, really. It was decently written, although I did find myself mentally making corrections...urgh, what's wrong with me? The characters were great. I won't comment on the setting. It was a cunningly disguised zombie apocalypse story, which before I would never say I'd ever read.

I simultaneously love and hate how the whole Newt storyline turned out. Being a writer, I think it takes a lot of guts to do what Dashner did, but being a reader, I just wanted Rat Man to come on out and say "really, you guys are all Immune, and we were saying some of you weren't just to get another Variable". Unfortunately, this did not happen.

I am really angry that there is this perfect place that no one knows about. Um, duh! If anyone knew about this, why not just test everyone and send the healthy ones there? It seems a bit too convenient. If I had to guess, I'd say it's a Glade-esque place that Chancellor Paige built, except there is no maze and no Grievers.

And the Teresa storyline. After being such a pivotal character in the first and second books, it seems a bit unfair to just...take her out of commission. First she doesn't participate in the whole of the book and Thomas is all angry with her, then they meet up and everything is perfect again, and then she dies. And it's sad, because I loved her character so much. Teresa rocked. Literally. (Ha, ha, ha, very punny.)

I was intrigued by the epilogue. From a writing perspective, it was a very gutsy like for Dashner to do. I love the last three words in the book. It's like reading one of those (exceedingly rare) perspective-of-the-"villain" books: Antagonist. Is. Good. Quite intriguing. And I don't know about you, but I love the little secret revealed there.

Speaking of a little secret, I wish Thomas got his memories back. That was the WHOLE POINT OF THE SERIES!! (Excuse my shouting). It honestly lowers Thomas down at least three notches as a protagonist in my mind, that he wasn't gutsy enough to get his memories back. Unfortunately, it also lowers Dashner down as a writer. I guess that's a risk of giving a protag without memories in the first place. Eventually, you'll have to give them back...or not.

All in all, it was a decent read. The first two books were my first plunge into darker YA, so I was a bit reluctant about reading this one. However, I was so invested in the characters--and the secrets--that if I didn't find the answers I knew I would be mad. Funny that, but I didn't find the answers.

I summed it up fairly well somewhere else:
There was one plotline that made me cry because it was so powerful, and I'm thinking about going through and reading chapter 55 again.

Other than that, dear Mr. Dashner lovingly killed off my favorite character, broke on me that there was a perfect place in the world all along, finished with the words "antagonist is good", killed off another of my favorite characters, didn't give the main character his memories back, dropped a bomb on us /literally/ the last page, wrote notes in funky fonts, turned the series into a bad action-thriller-horror movie, AND still managed to have a "happy-weepy" ending.
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