Title: Pines (Wayward Pines #1)
Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Fiction; Mystery; Thriller, Sci-fi
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: August 2012
Acquired: Netgalley ARC
Date Finished: May 15, 2015
Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact? He may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.
In anticipation of the new show, Wayward Pines, Netgalley opened up requests for Pines, the first book in the Wayward Pines series. I had seen the previews for the show and thought I should read the book before it started. Well, as usual, life got in the way and I didn’t get the book read before the show started, but I decided to go ahead and watch the first episode. I was not impressed. Matt Dillon is not one of my favorite actors. That goes all the way back to my 1980s teenage years. In addition to that, the show seemed purposefully confusing. I hate books and shows that confuse the crap out of you just so they can spring a big, dramatic ending on you. Anyway, after watching that one episode of the show, I was really torn about whether to read the book, but decided to give it a try.
The book did the exact same thing as the show! The storyline misled and misdirected and then BAM! big, dramatic ending that brought it all together in the last two or three chapters. I will begrudgingly admit I liked the ending. That is the whole reason the book got 3 stars. But for the most part, I kept thinking, “What the heck is going on?” The reason I think this book irritated me so much is because I love a good mystery. I love it when the author has fed you all the clues and you still couldn’t figure it out. I hate it when the author withholds all the pertinent information and then hits you with a resolution out of left field. And boy was this one out of left field!
3/4 of this book irritated the heck out of me. The last 1/4 was really good. If you like to read books that mislead and misdirect in order to surprise you with an ending that you never saw coming, then this is the book for you. One good thing about the book is even though it’s a series, it really could stand alone. I was happy where it ended and didn’t feel the need to continue on with the series. Happy reading!
I’d like to give a shout out to Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Blake Crouch for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC.