Saturday, November 5, 2011
The Solution to the Maze
There is something so bittersweet about the final book in a series you loved so much. When the final Harry Potter book came out, I was thrilled and heart-broken at the same time! With The Death Cure, James Dashner's final book in the Maze Runner trilogy, I am sad to see the series end, but I started it hopeful the ending would be as I had hoped- finally a little peace for the kids who had been at the mercy of the evil corporation WICKED.
Thomas and his friends survived the Maze (an experiment to judge their responses and hopefully find a cure to the Flare) and the Scorch (the terrifying desert filled with sick crazies). But now that they are back in the hands of WICKED, the company using them as lab rats to find the cure to the Flare, they know nothing good is going to happen to them. Held hostage and isolated for weeks, they finally find a way to escape, but to do so they have to trust Brenda and Jorge- WICKED employees planted in the Scorch to keep an eye on them. But with no other options, they find Brenda and Jorge hate WICKED as much as they do. Unfortunately, the world is a cold, dangerous place for Munies- those immune to the Flare.
Once they manage to escape, they make there way to Denver which has become a walled, protected city free from the sickness. Unfortunately, the safety in Denver is all an illusion. The sickness is slowly starting to take over. When Thomas is contacted by the Right Arm, an organization devoted to take down WICKED, he knows they have to risk their lives and go back to the lab to destroy the evil people who test kids and have no qualms about watching them die. But can Thomas and his friends, the kids who lived through so much, make it through this final trial? Can they get rid of WICKED once and for all? And even if they do, what will be waiting for them on the other side?
Oh Dashner, you rapscallion! You had me hanging through the whole book PRAYING you didn't leave those poor kids in a worse situation (and me totally ticked off) by the end of the story. Thank goodness you took it easy on those kids (and me!). We needed a good ending! This book was a great culmination in the trilogy we spent so much time waiting for (im)patiently and while I am sad to have it end, I am glad it ended the way it did.
This series is phenomenal for any student, but I think it will be particularly successful with male struggling readers. The excitement and commitment to the young characters makes the story more than just plot twists and action. The kids I know who have started this series haven't been able to put it down. In fact, the adults I know who read these books couldn't put them down either! Dashner is an evil genius, but the ending of this series proved he wasn't as evil as I originally thought- he loved his characters as much as I did!