Thursday, September 25, 2014
Book Talk: The Death Cure by James Dashner
I do not have a non-spoiler review posted on the blog, however it can be found on Goodreads.
After reading this, I felt so conflicted. As it's the end of the trilogy, I expected to feel more satisfied. And while I guess most of my questions were answered, that just wasn't enough.
I felt cheated so many times while reading. The first was, of course, when Thomas and everyone close to him (except Teresa, who conveniently wasn't around anyway) chose not to have their memories restored. I do admit the decision fit well with Thomas's character and it was believable, so for that reason I wasn't too upset at that point in the book.
Then we have the deaths. Newt was killed to simplify the fact that there was no cure. I'm not sure why he wasn't written to be immune in the first place, except to show Thomas losing someone very close to him - which we had already seen before. Teresa was saved only to be killed a bit later while saving Thomas who must be absolutely invincible after all that happened to him. The death of these two ruined the story for me - not only because they were cop-outs for the cure and the love triangle - but because of the impact (or lack of) on Thomas.
I don't believe for a second that anyone could go through what he did and remain hopeful afterwards. He was lied to through his entire life and it's an absolute miracle that neither him or the others have severe trust issues. That along with seeing so many of his best friends being killed wouldn't leave him hoping to be happy one day. It would leave him depressed, likely suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, and that would probably just be the start of his psychological issues. It's an optimistic outlook, but it's not reality. It's not what any real person would feel.
The lack of cure seemed to make the series a bit pointless as well. I feel like a huge theme of the series was that you shouldn't sacrifice people's lives "for the greater good." That a few people being hurt still matters and it isn't okay even if others benefit. And I feel like the easy ending ruined that. Thomas's feelings about wanting to escape are completely understandable, but the escape of those who were immune went against the rest of the novel. They're fine while the rest of the world suffers and dies - is that not just as bad, if not worse, than what WICKED was trying for in the first place?
I guess I've made in plain that this last book disappointed me. It's definitely my least favorite of the series and although the first and second books had some of these problems as well, they're bigger problems in a conclusion to a story. That said, though, I didn't hate it. I don't regret reading the series, although I'm no longer positive I'll read the prequel. This book was enjoyable, but its flaws make it difficult for me to say I liked it. Half the reason I kept reading was in hopes that things would get better and be explained more, and instead I seemed to be let down over and over.