"THE DEATH CURE," by James Dashner, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 336 pages (f)

"The Death Cure," the action-packed conclusion to the New York Times' best-selling "Maze Runner" series, does not disappoint.

Picking up where "The Scorch Trials" left off, Thomas and his friends are being held in Wicked’s headquarters. The tests and trials are over. The Gladers now have the ability to retrieve their lost memories and assist Wicked in the final step of finding the cure for the Flare.

But despite assurances that “Wicked is good,” Thomas believes that Wicked can’t be trusted. As the truth about Wicked surfaces, Thomas learns that there is a lot more at stake than he ever imagined.

James Dashner’s brand of dystopian fiction involves a great deal of action and suspense, and "The Death Cure" is no exception. Several plot twists keep the reader guessing and the book reads like an explosive action movie.

The book isn’t all bangs and explosions, and has a mysterious quality that leads the reader to discover with Thomas, exactly what Wicked is up to, and who Thomas can really trust. It is apparent that Dashner’s greatest strength is writing action sequences that will make your heart pound or stop completely at intervals.

Consistent with the themes in the rest of the series, "The Death Cure" shows the desperation and lengths to which a society will go to save itself.

No one character in the story is truly good or evil, and through each action of Wicked, the reader will wonder what rules they would break in order to save humanity.

The ending of the series is one that is both conclusive and satisfying. With as dark a premise as the destruction of the world’s population, it is to be expected that there will be sadness and despair. However, with the mark of a true dystopian novel, there is a distinct glimmer of hope through the bleakness.

"The Death Cure" is slightly more violent than the other two books in the series, but is still suitable for teens 12 and older. With the exception of the futuristic swear words, there is no other questionable material.

IF YOU GO ...

What: James Dashner's "The Maze Runner" launch party

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When: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Emily is a blogger at Emily's Reading Room online at emilysreadingroom.com, a blog dedicated to promoting a love of young adult fiction.