This week I read Pines by Blake Crouch. It’s the first in the Wayward Pines trilogy, so check back next week, and the week following for reviews on the rest of the trilogy.
Secret Service agent Ethan Burke wakes up face down in a field, unsure where or who he is. He stumbles into the picture perfect town of Wayward Pines. Soon, he begins to remember. He came to find two fellow agents that had disappeared one month before. He’d been sideswiped on Main Street. Now, with no ID, cell phone, or briefcase, he’s brought back to the hospital. Everyone he speaks to seems friendly, but the entire town feels off. He can’t seem to contact the outside world, and the more he investigates, the more confused he gets. Each step closer he gets to the truth is a step further from everything he knew, until he must face the horrifying fact that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.
Pines is kind of what I expect if Lost and Twilight Zone had a novel baby.
“For every perfect little town, there’s something ugly underneath. No dream without the nightmare.”
Ethan is a frustrating character. He spends the entire novel reacting inside of acting. Once I found out he was a Secret Service agent, I expected a lot more internal dialogue. Theories made and discarded as he uncovered more information. But I didn’t get that. I got lots of running around. Lots of physical things.
The town is weird. All the people in the town are weird. All their conversations add up to polite, surface nothingness. They have completely insane reasoning/actions. This was actually my favorite part of this novel. The town. The people. The creepy feeling I had the entire time. The sense that something was badly wrong was strong throughout the novel, and that was wonderfully entertaining.
There is a BIG twist at the end, but it annoyed me more than it entertained. I was beginning to suspect it just before it was revealed, and I just kept thinking, “No, no, no, no, no!” I wanted it be something else, anything else, so badly.
The pacing is good. It pulled me along despite my misgivings, and delivered me to the end with enough interest left to move forward with book 2.
3 out of 5. It was an interesting, fast-paced read, and I’ll be continuing forward because I can’t handle not knowing how it turns out.
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