Pines by Blake Crouch

Wayward Pines, #1


Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America - or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something As the days pass, Ethan's investigation into his colleagues' disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can't he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn't anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what's the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive...

“For every perfect little town, there's something ugly underneath. No dream without the nightmare.”

I have mixed feelings about the first book in this series. I bought the set on promotion so will read the follow-ups.

The book opens with Secret Service agent Ethan Burke waking up from an accident in a bizarre town where he went to hunt down two missing federal agents. The town is frustrating, he has no money or identity, and has to rely on the belief and mercy of various people like the local waitress and hotel matron. He runs into walls dealing with the local sherriff, townsfolk, and his own identity. There are helpful people, too....or are there?

I don't like amnesia stories much, and while he doesn't have amnesia, he has that confusion and no one believes him, which is another plot trope I'm not crazy about. If the main character isn't believed by anyone and this frustrates them, it also frustrates me. I knew he who was he said he was, but waiting for him to prove it drove me bonkers. The confusion was more annoying than alluring. It finally comes together into a unique story with a twisted ending. I hope the rebellious spirit keeps living on since I kind of hate the town and concept still.

I can't say the explanation gives me a big surprise, but there were a few things in the story that actually did take me by surprise. I can't help but hate just about every character though, which soured me on the overall experience. Just hoping I warm up to others in time. Yes, I know humans are monstrous bastards, but color me optimistic that we wouldn't all end up like this. It reminds me a little bit of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery. I can't stand the creepy nurse especially.

So yeah, the characters made me hate them but they are well-written. Writing style is fine but the confusion was clouding my enjoyment. Now that it's out of the way, perhaps it will improve for me. Time and reading will tell.

   Book Quotes:

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

   Book-Related Art:


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