The Death Cure

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The Death Cure
The Death Cure.jpg
First edition cover
Author James Dashner
Cover artist Philip Straub
Country United States
Language English
Series Maze Runner
Genre young-adult, dystopia, science fiction
Published 2011, Delacorte Press
Media type Print, ebook, audiobook
Pages 336
ISBN 978-0-385-73877-4
OCLC 698332724
Preceded by The Scorch Trials

The Death Cure is a 2011 young-adult dystopian science fiction novel by James Dashner and the third book in the Maze Runner Trilogy.[1] It was first published in hardback on October 11, 2011 through Delacorte Press and was preceded by The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials and followed by the series prequel, The Kill Order.


Protagonist Thomas is held in solitary confinement, but is eventually released. He and some others soon learn from Assistant Director Janson that the claim of a cure for the Flare (a deadly disease) was a lie. However, while many of the people present are immune, not all are, and many in the outside world despise the immune. The Gladers are offered the chance to restore their memories, and it is also revealed that the controlling device in their brains will be removed in the process. This means that Thomas, Teresa, and Aris will no longer be able to communicate telepathically. Most accept the procedure except Thomas, Minho, and Newt, who are later forced into the process but escape with the help of Brenda. It is revealed that Newt is not immune to the Flare.

After narrowly escaping an attack, the group flies to Denver, with Jorge as the pilot, in the hopes of meeting a former WICKED neurologist, Hans. In Denver, their comrade Gally tells them about an anti-WICKED organization, called the 'Right Arm'. They find Hans, and WICKED attempts to control Thomas to kill him, but Brenda and Minho stop him, and Hans frees Thomas from control. Later, Thomas discovers that Newt has been taken to a Crank palace (housing those driven insane by the Flare). Thomas and his group go to Crank palace to try and convince Newt to leave with them but Newt refuses to return. Thomas and his group are caught in a Crank riot but escape, and Thomas reads Newt's letter, in which Newt begs Thomas to kill him. Thomas and the others are captured by bounty hunters, but convince their kidnappers to take them to the headquarters of the Right Arm, where they meet Vince, the group's leader. Plans are made to infiltrate WICKED headquarters. Thomas has previously been invited back to participate in the third phase of the Trials, so he agrees to plant a device that disables all of WICKED's weapons. While driving to the building, Thomas spots Newt, who attacks Thomas. Newt accuses Thomas of being guilty of making him try to commit suicide, all because Thomas helped WICKED and put Newt in the Maze. Momentarily recovering his sanity, Newt begs Thomas to shoot him, so he will not turn into a Crank. Thomas ends up killing Newt and runs away with his eyes closed so he doesn't see the damage that he did.

Thomas plants the device, but is told by Janson that he is the Final Candidate, whose brain shall be removed to collect the final data for a cure to the Flare. Thomas later discovers that Janson is suffering from the Flare and is eager for Thomas' operation to save himself. Just before the operation, Thomas is saved by Chancellor Ava Paige, WICKED's leader, who provides several maps for a series of escape routes.

Thomas, Minho, Teresa and Brenda go underground to the Mazes, where hundreds of Immunes are being kept. They collect the people as the Right Arm detonates their explosives, causing the underground caverns to begin to collapse. As they reach the Flat Trans to escape, Janson and several others appear and attempt to capture Thomas, but Thomas manages to strangle and kill Janson. By this time the explosives have reached the storage room, where Thomas stood. Still dazed after killing Janson, Thomas fails to react when a piece of the ceiling falls and is about to crush him. Teresa pushes Thomas out of the way, but traps herself instead and is killed by the weight of the concrete. The survivors cross the Flat Trans into the green wilderness. After reaching their destination, Brenda tells Thomas that although the cure could not be found, they have everyone else to repopulate the world, and they kiss, leaving Minho to lead all of immunes. In the epilogue, Ava Paige laments that a cure for the Flare was never discovered and that the plague had been deliberately released to control the population, but the Immunes can repopulate civilization.


Critical reception for The Death Cure was mixed.[2][3] Commonsensemedia gave the book three stars, commenting that the book's oppressiveness kept it from being more memorable than they wanted it to be.[4] The Deseret News also commented on the book's bleak nature, but praised it as being "both conclusive and satisfying".[5] The Horn Book Guide and Kirkus Reviews both gave positive reviews, with the Horn Book Guide opining that the book's conclusion was "thought-provoking".[6][7]

Film adaptation[edit]

The Death Cure has a release date on February 17, 2017. The film will most likely be titled The Maze Runner: Death Cure. Wes Ball confirmed that, if he returns to direct, the film will not be split into two films.[8] In March 2015, T.S. Nowlin was confirmed for writing the script.[9]


  1. ^ "The Death Cure (review)". Booklist. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Book Review: 'The Death Cure' by James Dashner". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Death Cure (review)". Library Journal (Book Verdict). Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Death Cure: Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 3 (review)". Commonsensemedia. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Ellsworth, Emily. "Book review: 'The Death Cure' is an action packed conclusion to 'The Maze Runner' series". Deseret News. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Death Cure (review)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Ribay, Randy (Spring 2012). "The Death Cure (review)". The Horn Book Guide 23 (1): 94. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Peter Sciretta (October 9, 2014). "‘The Maze Runner’ Finale ‘The Death Cure’ Won’t Be Split Into Two Movies". Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ Busch, Anita. "‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Sets T.S. Nowlin To Pen". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 5 March 2015.