Written by: Joe Hempel
If Blake Crouch doesn’t become a household name after this series of books, I’m knocking on every door in America and shoving this series in their hands.
***IF YOU HAVE NOT READ PINES, CONTINUE READING THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!***
From the Back: Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amidst picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden…except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture.
None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they’re trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.
Ethan Burke has seen the world beyond. He’s sheriff, and one of the few who knows the truth—Wayward Pines isn’t just a town. And what lies on the other side of the fence is a nightmare beyond anyone’s imagining.
I will warn you again before continuing with this review, while trying to remain as spoiler free as possible, if you have not read Pines please go and do so now.
Three weeks have gone by since the exciting climax of Pines. Ethan Burke, now the sheriff of Wayward Pines, finds just how delicate the balance is between what is happening outside of the town, and what is the illusion that is Wayward Pines for its residents.
Through this you get to see a bit more about the town and about the world around him. From hidden cameras to just about every corner of the town being mic’d up, to how the people who run the town know exactly where each citizen is at all times, the depth that these people go to in order to maintain total control of the inhabitants lives spreads farther than you could imagine.
While the first book was a mystery surrounding the town and exactly what it was and why, Wayward is basically a murder mystery surrounded by two factions that Ethan Burke has to deal with. You have the people that know something is going on, but don’t exactly know, and you have the people that he works for, the people that run this town from the inside.
Ethan is tasked to find out who killed David Pilcher’s daughter. David is the creator of this slice of heaven and he wants to get to the bottom of it….now.
While the mystery is unraveling, you slowly get the back story on how people are integrated into this society, as well as the back story on exactly how the town came into existence in the first place. It’s all woven into a perfectly paced, and perfectly told tale. Through a series of flashbacks you get a glimpse into the past to see why this place was created in the first place, and it helps to truly understand the outside world surrounding Wayward Pines.
Being the middle book in a trilogy, sometimes things can get a bit dull. This book doesn’t suffer from that problem. Every word on the page seems to have a purpose, and it drives you to get through this 322 pages in less than a day. Each piece of dialogue serves some purpose to drive this story. While if you zone out and miss a page or two, you won’t miss the overall story, it still holds true that if you miss a page, you miss a lot.
You then couple that with the new character they’ve introduced that has survived outside the town for an extremely long time, and the implications his return can have on Ethan’s life, as well as the incredible cliffhanger ending setting up for a wild book three, you have a book that will have you cursing Blake Crouch’s name for not having book three out right this second. I know I am!
The Bottom Line: There is a reason that this is being turned into a FOX mini-series. It has well written characters that are alive in every sense of the word. It has an extremely compelling setting. The suspense is relentless with each passing page. There may be no such thing as a perfect novel, but this comes damn close for me. I’m waiting very impatiently for the third installment in this series.
Pick this up for your Kindle. It’s $4.99, but worth so much more.
If you haven’t checked out Pines yet, what are you waiting for! Pick it up as well!