The Death Cure
By James Dashner
Paperback, 324 pages
2011, Delacorte Press
Considering that I’m really not going to discuss the details of the plot here to avoid spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read the first two books, The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, I figured I’d just do a mini review. The Death Cure is the finale to the series and starts right up where book two leaves off. As usual, I enjoy Dashner’s cliffhanger chapters, as they help propel me through the book.
But now having completed the main series (I will read the prequel soon) – I feel like the series really reads more like a set of movies than books. (Perhaps Dashner even wrote them with dreams of a movie being based off them? That seems like a cheap shot to me, but I’m sure it’s happened before.) Especially in this last book, there’s really nothing in the way of impactful character development and the dialogue was dull. There was still a lot of action, but due to the lack of depth in the characters, I really couldn’t care less what happened to them. It seemed like Thomas had no meaningful relationships with his friends other than the fact that they’ve all been through a lot together – he constantly refers to certain characters as his best friends, and there were some scenes that I could tell were supposed to be emotionally moving, but I just wasn’t invested anymore. I was tired of being told how important so-and-so was, or how sad a certain event was.
Even the action scenes dulled down a little – no one outside the core group had any real development so it didn’t matter who was shooting at who, or if someone was being chased, beaten, captured, etc. Sadly, I just lost interest. I also think that for a book just over 300 pages, Dashner forced in too many elements. I know he was trying to conclude the series, but there were just too many new additions to the plot and considering how underdeveloped everything was, I think some of his ideas became unnecessary.
However, I still plan to read the prequel and I don’t think this is a bad series – I just think Dashner could have given a bit more credit to his readers in terms of letting them figure out more on their own, rather than spelling everything out for us. Again, I also think the characters could have used some serious development, along with the dialogue. I would still recommend this series – maybe as something you take with you to a long weekend on the beach, to just breeze through. I also feel that the movie could really expand on certain ideas, or cut out some scenes that provided no real substance to the overall story. Personally I don’t typically see movies based off of books (The Hunger Games is the big exception to that), but in this case, I’m fairly excited for Maze Runner.
Anyone else read the series? What are your thoughts on movies based on books?