This is the third and final book in The Maze Runner series (although a prequel has just been announced). I suppose you could jump in mid-stream but I certainly wouldn't recommend it. There's just too much backstory from the first too books, plus you don't want to deprive yourself of those great adventures.
I'm really a sucker for the new trend in dystopian novels. I have a lot of fun with a hero trying to do all he/she can to not only make the best of a bad situation but to somehow overcome the hopeless and pitiful state of the world.
In this book we are taken to a dramatic conclusion as Thomas and his friends from the Glade try to make sense of the world around them and somehow continue the fight not only for survival but for a future worth living. I loved the line written on the cover: "The time for lies is over." Both of the first two books were filled with so much deceit and confusion that throughout this entire book I still found myself questioning what to believe. Even as events unfolded, I wasn't entirely sure what was real and what might still be a subterfuge.
This book and series pose a lot of questions through the plot and the characters. What is truth? What is good? Can the ends justify the means in any situation? Even in WICKED situations? Who can you trust? Can you trust yourself? I loved the way these questions were explored in depth but never answered definitively…rather, the reader is left to ponder on them and to come to an individual judgment call.
I found the ending of a book a little bit contrived and just slightly disappointing. While I can agree that the ending works, I think I was hoping for just a bit more. Especially after all of the buildup. I think part of the reason this ending may have fallen flat is that I have recently finished up another series that had an ending that was strikingly similar in the way things played out. Don't get me wrong…I'm not crying "foul" (and certainly not implying plagiarism). I honestly think the ending is fine…but I personally wanted more. Though as I think on it, with all of the many problems to unravel in this book, I would be hard pressed to come up with an ending that works as well as this one does…let alone to propose something that might work better.
In the end, I really enjoyed this series and was sad to see it end. I was super excited to hear that a prequel is in the works…not only because it allows me to re-enter Dashner's world but also because by being a prequel it will allow for more focus on those hard questions and provide more insight into how and why decisions were made.
As far as recommendations, I really enjoyed this book and can recommend the series. I will warn readers that the series grows more dark and violent with each book. So if you read the first one and find that some of the concepts are too intense for you, I would suggest you brace yourself before diving into books 2 and 3. But if you enjoy dystopia and/or a good thrilling adventure with a lot of twists and turns, then give this a try.
4 out of 5 stars
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