Book Review: Pines (Wayward Pines #1) by Blake Crouch

Pines by Blake Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer

Summary:   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.

I could not stop turning the pages on this one. I wanted something to shake up my reading weekend with something a little different to what I've been reading of late and this one truly delivered. I'd seen the book over the last couple years but I have to admit I passed it over time and again because the cover just didn't scream "read me now!". The series was featured in an Amazon science fiction newsletter and I took a closer look and decided that now was the time. I didn't have prior expectations and didn't read any reviews so I was very much surprised as I got deeper and deeper into the story. I had to know what Wayward Pines was! I was a little annoyed with Ethan for the first third of the book because it seemed it took him a while to decide to try to leave the town when he knew things were off and wrong. I was very little interested or taken with the portions that dealt with Teresa and his son but I did like how they were ultimately tied into the story. The tension held well as I read and I was not disappointed with the explanation. I knew before I finished the first that I needed to read the second so I bought that on my Kindle straightaway (to begin reading it later today). Now that I've the answer to what Wayward Pines is, I have to know more about what's happening outside it and I like how the setup was done for that.

I'd definitely recommend this if you're looking for a new scifi thriller series and also are the sort that like to series binge (I don't do it often but this one having a complete trilogy out right now was a huge perk for me). The writing lends it to a fast read; I did it in a day, so if you're so inclined and have the time you could likely work through the trilogy on a long weekend or on vacation.

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