Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Death Cure (Maze Runner, Book Three)

Each book in the Maze Runner series ends with the kids "escaping" the fake world to get into the real world. Then the next book picks up with a new level of "fakeness". In this third book, we think they are really in the real world. Is this actually the real world? Or is this another level of fakeness? We learn more about the "flare". Most of our characters are immune to it. They are studied to help find a cure. Their immunity lets them do things others can't. However, they are also heavily discriminated against by other people in the world. They hook up with another group that somewhat seems to be their allies, but has different goals. They are in Denver, which seems to be a fairly modern city. There are officers around that try to get rid of all the sick people so as not to contaminate the healthy. The sick are sent to a special "community" where they can live the rest of their life in happiness. However, with people going mad and having little to live for, it had devolved into squalor. These "cranks" decide they will break out and take over the city. Meanwhile, those with immunity had been rounded up and sent into to the "wicked" maze. Our heroes rescue them just in time and then go through a teleportation-like thing to a pastoral field where they can live happily ever after as the saviors of the human race. (However, in the process, many people die.) Our hero, Thomas, shoots and kills one of his friends who has the flare. He later kills a Wicked leader with his bare hands. He is no longer innocent of death. It could be argued that these both were near death anyway, but he still killed them. There is plenty of other violence and narrow escapes from catastrophe. (Things do seem to be just a little too close to be believable.)
Wicked had been tasked with finding a cure for what was apparently a biological weapon. People put their hope in this cure, and assumed that any ends would justify the means. People were lax on containing the outbreak because they though a cure was imminent. Alas, even with great effort, they were not able to find the cure. One leader with foresight had also set out a "plan b" that would put a bunch of immune people in a remote area. They would build up their own society and continue the human race after the rest of the world had fallen apart.
This "plan b" seems to be a wishful-thinking cop out. Could an area really be so remote that nobody else would discover it? Would society really disintegrate so fast that everybody would be cannibalized? There is potential for a couple more series exploring the "immune" society and the "collapse" of primary society. Would some of those immune be able to survive in the primary society? Would the isolated immunes turn on themselves? Could a society whose leaders killed in cold blood really continue peaceably? Is this saying something about some of our current problems, like climate change? IS it best just to find those that can deal with it, and let other parts of the world flood away? And we still have many open questions about why there is such a need to control the minds of people, and why they felt it good not to get memories back. And why was so much violence necessary? Many questions are left unanswered at the "end" of the series. IT seems obvious that additional books are needed.

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