Book Review – Pines (Wayward Pines #1) by Blake Crouch
Happy Tuesday (Oops I was supposed to post this on Monday)! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a blast spending the weekend in Philadelphia with Madeline and Michael and thankfully Michigan was able to pull out a win in football!
Below I have a review of my most anticipated read this Halloween. I had heard such good things about Pines and loved Crouch’s other book (Dark Matter) that I couldn’t wait to read it this fall (and it did not disappoint).
A secret service agent sent to look into the disappearance of two fellow agents finds himself in Wayward Pines Idaho. The longer he stays in town, unable to contact the world outside the town, get straight answers from those living there, and avoid strange interactions with the hospital and police department, the more Ethan Burke is sure something is wrong with this place.
While I didn’t go into this book completely in the dark (I had caught a few minutes here and there of the TV show that was made based on these books), I was pretty unaware of the plot. The story starts with Ethan waking up with very little memory of where he was and what has happened. As he starts to piece things together and get his memory back things begin to seem more and more off. I had a hard time with how long I had to wait for the reveal at the end to figure out what was actually going on! It kept me glued to the book: I had to know what the heck was up with this town. I was so confused for most of the story, which added to how creepy the plot was, I could really see how Ethan would be struggling and freaking out. I was freaking out and I was only reading it! I also enjoyed how Crouch interjected short chapters from Ethan’s wife’s point of view, which really added to the confusion (a good thing) about what was happening.
I’m not sure I actually liked Ethan until the end of the book. I had a hard time with his “macho I’m an agent you need to give me everything and respect me even though you have no clue who I am” persona. However, by the end of the story, I appreciated Ethan’s drive and perseverance to get to the bottom of what was happening and get back to his family. I wish there had been a little more science (Dark Matter, Crouch’s latest book, used science to enhance the story and the possibility of the plot actually happening) but I think that will come more in the second Wayward Pines book.
I do feel like I need to mention the complete lack of diversity in the story, which is surprising given how many characters Ethan encountered. Women were also looked at through a lens of attractiveness. There were all described by their looks, and whither Ethan found them attractive before moving on to what he needed from them. I can’t decide if this was to help readers understand the type of man Ethan was (because it really pissed me off) or not.
I’m excited to read the next book in the series, I hear there is a huge reveal at the end of the third story and I can’t wait to get to it. I also am really interested in learning more about what is beyond the fence and of course get more of the science behind how what’s happening in the book is even possible/happened.
Rating 4 / 5 – The reveal at the end of this book got me hooked and I can’t wait to read the next one. Crouch keeps me guessing and throws twists that I didn’t see coming, which is refreshing when some sci-fi books can be predictable.