Publication Name: Brilliance Audio
Publisher: Brilliance Publishing, Inc.
Publication Year: 2012
Author: Blake Crouch
Pines by Blake Crouch is a well-written, weird story about a Secret Service Agent sent to look for two of his comrades who went missing in a small town in Idaho. Wayward Pines seems to be a typical small town in the middle of nowhere. Large mountains surround it with only one road in and out of town. Ethan Burke wakes up next to a river, injured and amnesiac not remembering where he is, how he got there, or even who he is. As his memory starts to return, he starts to realize there is something wrong with this town. There is no way to contact his family or office back home. He has no money, no cell phone and almost no one is willing to help him. It gets weirder from there.
As I said, the book is a well-written thriller that keeps you guessing. Crouch does a good job of building and relieving tension and then building it back up again. He peels away layers of the mystery only to expose more layers below. I enjoyed the telling of the story, but I have to admit that I never believed the story. When the final explanation comes, it does explain how and why things are the way they are in Wayward Pines, but I just didn’t buy it. The premise itself was a stretch and then the resulting actions from that premise just did not make sense as things these people would really do given their supposed situation and motivations. All science fiction, in fact all fiction, requires a suspension of disbelief. A willingness to go into a new world and live by that world’s rules.
I never felt that the world of Wayward Pines was believable. I enjoyed the story well enough, but it was always just a story and never a world I entered. Not a bad little thriller, but certainly not a must read.
FYI – This story is the first in a trilogy which was the basis for a Fox TV Series a few years back starring Matt Dillon as Ethan Burke (Wayward Pines). I have not watched the series so I can’t tell you how close or far from the novels it is or whether it is worth watching. Last I checked it was available for streaming on Hulu and probably some other streaming services, if that interests you.
And if you like science fiction and you want a world that is a little more believable, check out my book: Plastivore