Book Review: The Death Cure by James Dashner

The Death Cure by James Dashner

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science-Fiction

Publishing Info: 2013 by Chicken House (first published 2011)

Pages: 327

Star Rating: 3/5

 

Back Cover Summary:

Thomas knows that Wicked can’t be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they’ve collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It’s up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn’t know is that something’s happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can’t believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

 

The Death Cure is the third and final book in the Maze Runner series. Although I persevered with the series, it has never really blown me away or done anything particularly different or interesting. At times the plot and purpose of the books seems to make little sense. Most of what kept me motivated to keep on reading was hoping to find an explanation for everything. Thankfully, most things were explained in this final book, but in some ways I was still left feeling confused.

I found myself caring for the characters more in this book, which is an improvement. It’s taken three books for Dashner to properly flesh out his characters and actually make me like and care about them. There weren’t many new characters in this book, but the ones that were new were nothing interesting or different.

The plot was okay but I found myself a bit bored in the first half of the book, wanting them to just get on with things. In the second book the Gladers went out into one aspect of the real world – the Scorch – but in this book they go to one of the remaining cities which was interesting to see. It provided a different setting and finally showed me what the situation in the real world was like, something which we didn’t have much conception of in the first and second books.

The pace picked up the second half and a found the last quarter quite exciting and gripping. I don’t want to spoil anything but I liked how the end action sequence linked back to the first book.

Frustratingly, the epilogue leaves more unanswered questions as it makes a big reveal which put a new spin on things. I think it would have added more to the plot to have this revealed earlier on in the book and see how the characters reacted to the information. Instead, we get this massive plot turn on the last page with no proper explanation or show of this. It just sort of gets put there on the last page and I was left with more questions which I knew there could be no answer to as this was the last book.

Overall the book was fairly average like the first and second ones, maybe even not quite as good as them. It provided an adequate conclusion but didn’t stun me and wasn’t overly memorable.

2016 – A Big Year

Well, I’m a bit late for the obligatory New Year post. There was a lot going on and I guess I just didn’t get round to it until now. I think that’s going to be the tune for the rest of the year. As per usual I have a lot on my plate.

So what am I doing this year? Do I have any resolutions and goals for the year?

A lot, in answer to both those questions.

I have a little something called a degree which I need to remember involves reading, coursework, revising and waking up early enough to attend lectures amidst all the other things I’m supposed to be doing right now.

I’m currently on a placement hunt for my ‘Professional Training Year’ of my degree, which isn’t just going to fall into my lap. It’s involving a lot of cover letter writing, internet searching and head-scratching-while-filling-in-application-forms. So there’s that.

I also decided to be rather ambitious with my involvement in societies this year. There’s the university magazine and editing and printing the Annual for the Writer’s Society.

And I decided I’d set myself a goal of finishing the third draft of one of my novels. Who knows if that’s going to happen but it’s a goal and I’m going to make my best attempt at reaching it.

So there’s lots going on this year. Hopefully it will be a good one.

Film Review: Star Wars The Force Awakens

Film Review: Star Wars – The Force Awakens

Release date: 17th December 2015

Director: J. J. Abrams

Starring: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher,

Runtime: 135 minutes

Genre: Science-Fiction

Watched in: 2D

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

I had so much anticipation for this film and was so excited to be able to see it in the cinema. I was still too young to see the prequels in the cinema so this was my first time seeing a Star Wars film on the big screen. My mum introduced me to Star Wars around seven or eight years ago and I watched the originals first and then the prequels. I could never understand why some people hated the prequels quite so much. I’ve always rather liked them. No, they weren’t perfect. In places the acting was terrible. But the originals weren’t exactly perfect either.

And so we come to Episode VII, The Force Awakens. I didn’t know what to expect as they’d managed to be so secretive about the plot. The music and action scenes were great and I really enjoyed the film. They went quite heavily on nostalgia, a bit too heavily in my opinion, and borrowed too many plot elements from the originals. I would have preferred them to do something different. Part of it felt a bit repetitive (if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I’m referring to but I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet). This is probably in part due to the backlash the prequels got. Not wanting to make the same mistake after the venomous reaction to the prequels from many fans, they went too far the other way, relying too much on nostalgia rather than making something new and different with a sprinkling of nostalgia.

I loved the new characters. Rey was a really great character, I think she’s probably my favourite character of the new generation. Finn was also great. I would have liked to have seen more of Poe, but maybe he’ll come into the next films more. I thought the villain, Kylo Ren, was very good. Can’t say too much about that without spoiling things, but I liked that he was different to Darth Vader as I was a little concerned at first that he was going to be really similar. I liked what they did with his character.

So overall I thoroughly enjoyed it and am really looking forward to the next ones. I feel like this was a bit of a tentative start to the trilogy, relying on ideas from the originals to not get backlash from fans like with the prequels. Hopefully they’ll expand their horizons for the plots of VIII and IX. They’ve got a great set of characters to work with.