Pines by Blake Crouch – Review

Cover- Pines

Published: January 1, 2012

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

ISBN: 1503946606

Pages: 309 (paperback)

Rating: 3.5/5.0


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.

As some (or all) of you may know, there is a show called Wayward Pines and it’s a bit strange. Well, this is my review of the first book that the show was based off of, and guess what- it’s creepy too. I haven’t had the opportunity to watch much of the TV series, since 1) I don’t really like watching TV and 2) I have better things to do, so I can’t really attest to any major similarities or differences. I can tell you about the book though!

The story focuses on Ethan Burke, a Secret Service agent that has gone to Wayward Pines to investigate the disappearances of two other agents. He’s involved in a car accident and wakes up in this quaint, lovely town in the mountains of Idaho. All may seem idyllic on the surface, but the town is hiding a sinister secret. Things are just off… Ethan tries to leave, but finds himself re-entering the town. He tries numerous ways of leaving, but somehow he always fails and finds his way back to where he began. Eventually, he uncovers the secret that he knew was lurking just under the surface- I won’t spoil it, since that takes out all the fun.

I was perturbed for much of the book. It was a little creepy, especially near the end, but I was mostly just in shock of the events occurring. My first thought was that Ethan had gotten stuck in some sort of weird wormhole town, and then I thought that maybe he really did have amnesia. I was wrong on both counts. The truth is much more serious than anything I came up with and I was really, really surprised. It was a major “WHAT!!!” moment.

Pines is truly well adapted for a television series, and while I enjoyed the book, I think the show is probably just as good. I don’t think I’ll continue the series because I wasn’t overawed by the first book, but it was entertaining. I might actually seriously watch the show too.


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