Pines - Blake Crouch

Genre: Thriller / Mystery

Synopsis: Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, to locate and recover two federal agents who went missing one month earlier. 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? 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.


Review: I loved this book. I really did. I'm torn between giving it a fantastic rating which reflects my fantastic enjoyment of how fantastically silly it is, and being fair to the other books I've rated highly with good reason. I'm giving it 4, because for all my enjoyment, it's not an amazing novel.

Pines is fun. It's a lot of fun. It's silly. It occasionally makes no sense. There's literally nothing original anywhere in this book, it's a mishmash of several famous movies/scenes combined into a semi-sci-fi mystery crime thriller thing. But that doesn't mean it isn't a whole load of fun. The mystery behind the town was very compelling, I couldn't wait to find out what was going on, and honestly while none of it really makes any sense, I still loved it. Admittedly, the novelty starts to wear off once you've finished reading - a few days after reading it (and now having also watched the corresponding episodes of the tv show), I know I liked the book but I struggle to recall any noteworthy good qualities.

The characters are pretty good, if a little generic. I disliked quite a few of them (some people seem to like Pam, but while I appreciate her character I don't actually like her) and the Sheriff was pretty annoying. But Ethan himself, ready to run, climb, and fight (sometimes simultaneously) at any moment, makes for a pretty good rebel charmer. Even if his idea of logic is to visit the house of a woman he met the previous night for aspirin, instead going to the Sheriff's office to pick up his wallet to buy some aspirin.  That in itself I think sets the standard for the novel - you won't just need to suspend your disbelief for the fictional plot, but if you're willing to do that, it's a good laugh.

Rating: 4/5

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