Review: Wayward by Blake Crouch

Wayward Blake Crouch.jpgAt the end of Pines, the first novel in Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines trilogy, Ethan Burke learned the truth about the seemingly idyllic town of Wayward Pines; the reason why there’s an electrified fence and razor wire surrounding its perimeter; snipers scoping its borders every minute of every day; 24/7 video and tracking surveillance; and why the world beyond can’t be contacted. Burke has been nominated sheriff of the town, and his responsibility is no longer just the safety of his family, but of a little less than 500 townspeople. But do they deserve to know the truth? More importantly, could they handle it?

It’s next to impossible to discuss Wayward without giving away essential plot points, and believe me, you don’t want to know a thing. Suffice to say, this is brilliant second chapter in a trilogy, which doesn’t suffer from typical “midway point” fatigue. Sure, there’s plenty of setting up for the slam-bang third novel, The Last Town, but Wayward is a very satisfying, frenetic thrill ride. This trilogy is unlike anything I’ve ever read, and Blake Crouch is quickly clawing his way onto my list of favourite writers. It’s morally complex, emotive, and just plain unputdownable.

And the cliffhanger – – wow. Where’s my copy of The Last Town? Everything else is on hold until I see how this story ends. I just wish these books were more readily available in Australia. They deserve to sit on every the shelf of every thriller reader.

ISBN: 9781477808702
Format: Paperback (208mm x 137mm x 25mm)
Pages: 322
Imprint: Thomas & Mercer
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publish Date: 17-Sep-2013
Country of Publication: United States

Review: Pines by Blake Crouch

pines-blake-crouch-coverI loved Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter earlier this year, so I made it my mission to seek out more of his work, which lead me to Pines, the first book in the Wayward Pines trilogy. It reads like a crossover between the Twilight Zone and Twin Peaks, but its sheer pace and relentless twists set it firmly apart, and makes the book its only special, unmissable thing. It’s a rollicking, suspenseful, rocket-fast thrill-ride. I’m not waiting another second to read the second book in the series. It’s the next book on my reading stack.

Secret service agent Ethan Burke wakes up in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. Things immediately seem awry. Nobody knows who he is, he can’t get in touch with the outside world, and the behaviour of much of the townsfolk is nonsensical, if not downright hostile; and what’s with the electrified fence that surrounds the town? The closer Burke gets to the truth, the more likely it seems there’s no escape; that Wayward Pines is the town in which he’ll be buried and forgotten.

Pines is the kind of book that’s best read spoiler-free. If you’ve already watched the television series, frankly, I’m not sure how the various twists will impact. But if you go in without knowing where it’s all headed, each dramatic reveal has tremendous impact. Your willingness to suspend some belief and accept the climactic revelation will determine your overall enjoyment — but for me, Blake Crouch knocked it out of the park. He is fast becoming one of my favourite writers.

ISBN: 9781612183954
Format: Paperback (208mm x 137mm x 25mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Thomas & Mercer
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publish Date: 21-Aug-2012
Country of Publication: United States