I’m still deciding what I think of The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner now that I have finally finished the third and final book, The Death Cure (Delacorte Press, 2011). I was definitely bothered by the level of violence in these books because I wasn’t sure what was the point of it all. The third book does give some answers and adds layers of complexity to the story that at least give more context for the violence in the earlier books. I do appreciate that fact that the good guys aren’t totally good, and the bad guys aren’t always as bad as they appear. For much of this final book, Thomas has to decide who he can trust, and who is truly the enemy. Just as in Suzanne Collin’s Mockingjay, the “good guys” who rush in to take on the enemy aren’t as they first appear. Both authors explore the questions:
- Does the end justify the means?
- Is it good to sacrifice the lives of a few in order to save the lives of many people?
- Should you risk the lives of many to save the life of a friend?
There aren’t easy answers to these question, and this last book explores them without preaching the right answer. You, the reader, have to decide what you would do along with Thomas and the others.
So, what can you expect from this last book? In The Maze Runner, Thomas survived the Maze. Then in The Scorch Trials, Thomas and his friends must survive a dangerous journey across the Scorch, where they learn first hand of the devastation caused by the solar flares and the virus the Flare, that slowly eats away your sanity. Now Thomas finds himself in the hands of WICKED, where the Rat Man promises answers and their memories. But Thomas has regained enough of his memories on his own that he doesn’t trust WICKED at all. He resists, but he never knows if he is truly acting from his own free will or just reacting to yet another test designed by WICKED. He discovers lies upon lies and must decide who he can trust. His life depends upon it, and the future of the human race.
What do you think of violence in books and movies? Is there ever too much? Does it matter to you why the story has violence?