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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. Intense and gripping, Pines is another masterful thriller from the mind of bestselling novelist Blake Crouch.

320 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 21, 2012

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About the author

Blake Crouch

82 books45.3k followers
Blake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of the forthcoming novel, Dark Matter, for which he is writing the screenplay for Sony Pictures. His international-bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy was adapted into a television series for FOX, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, that was Summer 2015’s #1 show. With Chad Hodge, Crouch also created Good Behavior, the TNT television show starring Michelle Dockery based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He has written more than a dozen novels that have been translated into over thirty languages and his short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Crouch lives in Colorado with his family.

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
July 25, 2016
And the base emotion underlying it all that was getting harder and harder to ignore.
The strengthening sense that something was very, very wrong.

As with The Magicians, I have to confess I like the TV series Wayward Pines far better than the book.

Yes, I know the "reveal" has been spoiled, but that really wasn't my problem with it. Pines is built on a fantastic idea - no, really, a truly epic idea - and that strength just about manages to carry the book despite some poor writing, an asshole protagonist, and an exceptional lack of diversity that, given the situation, has even more troubling implications than usual.

Coming into this book after watching the show definitely affects how you view it. It's impossible not to notice how every woman becomes hot or "cute". And the pearly-whiteness of the cast of characters practically glows from the pages. Perhaps I wouldn't have picked up on it if I hadn't already seen a diverse cast in the show, but it was like coming to a lesser, whitewashed version of the story I've come to love.

The plot is really very compelling. Special Agent Ethan Burke is involved in an accident on his way into Wayward Pines, Idaho - a place where two missing agents were last supposed to be. He awakes in a hospital without his personal belongings and with no way to contact his boss or family. Right away, something feels wrong. Everyone is friendly but they all seem reluctant to help him make contact with anyone outside the town.

It's engaging because Ethan's situation is genuinely frightening. The need to know what the hell is going on keeps the pages turning or the episodes playing; even reading the book knowing the truth, there was a knot in the pit of stomach as I imagined being in Ethan's situation. It's weird, it's creepy, it's a lot of mind-boggling fun.

But the TV show is better. The book is written in a very simplistic way, which may not seem like a terrible thing, but it is noticeably juvenile - I'm not usually someone to notice the writing unless it is very good or very bad, and this one I picked up on right away.

As well as the writing issues and the whiteness, Ethan Burke is far less likable in Pines. Maybe if he'd been more developed and complex, instead of just mindlessly arrogant and annoying, I would have liked him despite his flaws. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

So I will say that this story is great and you should experience it. However, I think the best way to experience it is on your TV screen. And that's not something I usually say.

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Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
August 13, 2018
”Since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve treated our world like it was a hotel room and we were rock stars. But we aren’t rock stars. In the scheme of evolutionary forces, we are a weak, fragile species. Our genome is corruptible, and we so abused this planet that we ultimately corrupted that precious DNA blueprint that makes us human.”

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Ethan Burke was sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho, to find two missing secret service agents. One of them was his old partner and for a brief time his lover. Going after Kate does complicate things, putting more stress on his fragile relationship with his wife Theresa and his son Ben. Enroute he is in a “car accident” which kills the agent that was sent with him and lands him in the hospital.

He has memory issues.

Burke escapes from the hospital, which was starting to feel more like a prison, and wanders around the town. There is a distinct “you aren’t from around” here vibe coming from the inhabitants of this town. A Children of the Corn creepiness that is hard to ignore. He meets a friendly bartender who gives him her address in case he needs a place to stay. It is hard to even buy a cup of coffee without his wallet which has mysteriously disappeared. Later when he does decide to take her up on her offer, he finds out it isn’t her home.

”He hadn’t heard the flies until now, because they had congregated inside the man’s mouth--a metropolis of them, the sound of their collective buzzing like a small outboard motor.”

Ethan had found Agent Evans.

By this time it doesn’t surprise Ethan that Sheriff Pope acts strange. Everyone in this town acts scared, acts peculiar. They act like people do when something is very, very wrong. The phones don’t work, and then when they do, he gets the voicemail of his wife. She never calls him back. He tries to check into work and gets this person that is about as helpful as a tree of feces throwing monkeys.

He decides to steal a car and leave town.

Every road out of town brings you back to Wayward Pines. When he goes into the woods to explore, he finds a large electrified fence encircling the town. He hears:

The scream could only be compared to human suffering or terror. Like a hyena or a banshee. Coyotes at their maddest. The mythologized Rebel Yell. High and thin. Fragile. Terrible. And on some level, humming under the surface liked buried electrical cables, was a dim awareness that this wasn’t the first time he’d heard it.

Again, the scream.”

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He finds Kate, but not the Kate he was expecting.

He finds Kate who is fifteen years older than when he last saw her a few weeks ago. She is married to a man named Harold. He can’t believe what he sees.

”Are you losing your mind?

You tell me.

I can’t.


Because I am you.”

Kate is cryptic, but tells him that he is not crazy. Something he desperately needs to hear given the fact that absolutely nothing has made sense in this town since he woke up in a hospital bed.

There are cameras and microphones everywhere. He finds a box that makes the soothing, normal sounds of crickets.

In the immortal words of Kevin Bacon in the movie Tremors:

”What the hell is going on? I mean what the hell is going on.”

There is a big twist, and I am not going to talk about the BIG TWIST because some of you might want to read the book or watch the excellent TV series by M. Night Schyamalan. The series was must see TV for my family every Thursday night. The casting was excellent with Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Shannyn Sossamon (I was really glad to see her. I haven’t seen much of her since she starred in the double movies with Heath Ledger: Knight’s Tale and The Order.), and Toby Jones as the creepy David Pilcher. I watched the series before reading the book. There are differences for sure. There were a couple of scenes in the book that I found more compelling than the ones in the series, but for the most part the series outperforms the book.

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It is not really a fair comparison because the series covered what I think are all three books in the trilogy. This first book ends at about maybe three episodes into the series. Normally, I will read the book before watching a TV adaptation or a movie, but in this case the series kind of snuck up on me. Not hard to do with my face in a book all the time. :-) I plan to read the rest of the Pines series mainly because I’m interesting in where Schyamalan deviates from Blake Crouch. For instance, in the book Ethan is having flashbacks to the war and the torture he experienced while captured. That was left out of the TV series. I thought it was a good decision.

This series is an ode to Twin Peaks. Crouch remembers vividly the impact that TV show had on him in his pre-teen years. When it was cancelled, he was so distraught that he wrote a season three. I hope he is excited about the return of Twin Peaks which I believe is slated for 2016. There are certainly Twin Peaks elements to this series, enhanced by a really good twist. David Lynch’s inspiring series created a writer out of Blake Crouch. I can only hope that the Wayward Pines series sparks a dormant creative gene in some other pre-teen who will grow up to write an ode to Wayward Pines.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visithttp://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,446 reviews7,538 followers
March 26, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Something isn’t right,” she said.

“No shit,” he said.

Dallas Commercial Photography



Welcome to Wayward Pines, an idyllic town in Idaho filled with neighbors who greet newcomers with open arms . . .

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and where there are plenty of adorable children ready to make new friends . . .

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The only catch? Once you get here you can never leave . . .

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Even your best Tom Cruise run won’t get you out of this place . . .

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And if the townsfolk get wind of you trying to move away??? Don’t even bother putting your clothes on. Just get to getting . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

This is one of those books that you should know almost nothing about going in. If this is on your TBR and you notice a spoilery friend reading it, you should kill unfriend that person IMMEDIATELY. On the flip side, if you have a non-spoilery friend who claims they “knew what was coming the whole time,” you should kill unfriend them as well because they are full of crap. I’m telling you, at the 25% mark, 50% mark and 75% mark I was absolutely blown away by the unexpected. And the ending?!?!?!?!?

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This story was part . . .

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part . . .

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and part . . .

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Pines had been on my TBR for quite some time, but the library didn’t have a copy and the price point for Kindle was a little steep for my cheap ass when it came to an author I had never read before. I should have forked over the $$$$ (and will be doing so for the rest of the series). This was a non-stop thrill ride from the first page all the way to the last. Hands down the best suspense I’ve read this year and it gets ALL the stars.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
532 reviews58.5k followers
October 19, 2017
4.5 - I need to next book ASAP.

You know when you find a new TV series and you just want to binge watch it? This is how I feel about his books.

I read Dark Matter last year and loved it so I was excited to read more of his work. This time was no different. Another thriller sci-fi that keeps you on adrenaline and that you can't put down.

Trust me you want to go into this knowing nothing. Just read it.

This didn't end up being what I expected but I really liked it and would recommend it!
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
March 24, 2019

This is a damn good book.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you anything about it, because spoilers will damage the charm of this story.

Author Blake Crouch has done an excellent job of putting together a suspenseful thriller that is at its finest when, in Sixth Sense fashion, the reader can experience his presentation untethered with pre-knowledge. I don’t watch TV, so I haven’t seen anything about the television series and had only read a few of my GR friends reviews and the theme of all of them is what I impart now, don’t even read the back cover, just start reading and Crouch will do the rest.

Drawing inspiration from such writers as Ira Levin, Stephen King, Richard Matheson, Philip K. Dick, Shirley Jackson and Octavia Butler author Blake Crouch has crafted a gem of a thriller with horror, science fiction and fantasy elements. One of the greatest compliments that can be given to a work of fiction is that the reader could not put it down and I blazed through this 300 page book in two days.

All my GR friends know the kind of books I like and, trust me, this one is highly recommended.

Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,904 followers
May 10, 2015
Don't dare read any spoilers before you start these books. Just don't do it.

Secret service officer Ethan Burke is sent to Wayward Pines to find two missing agents. Once he gets into town he realizes that he is having moments of memory loss and this town is a tad bit on the odd side.

He can not get calls to go out to get in touch with either his office or his wife and son. The sheriff in the town is a different sort of all his own. Everywhere Ethan turns is something that seems off in this small perfect little town.
This book is one that you think you have figured out what's going to happen next and SURPRISE! you are wrong.

There is no real way to review this book just go in blind and expect some mind blowing to happen. I just requested the next one. I hate not knowing shit.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
August 16, 2022
First book in a trilogy. Pretty good SF thriller! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Apparently I’ve been living under a rock or, perhaps, in an isolated cottage in a pine forest, since I had never heard of Wayward Pines — the town, the trilogy of novels by Blake Crouch, or the Fox TV series based on these novels — before I picked up Pines. In this case, being oblivious was a great thing, since the mystery wasn’t spoiled. I think it would be possible to enjoy reading Pines already knowing what the big secret is, but certainly not knowing was a major reason I found it so compelling.

A man regains consciousness by the side of a road in a small town, bruised and battered after an apparent car crash, and with temporary amnesia about most of the details of his life, and no ID on his person. He meets a few of the residents in town, who seem oddly withdrawn and wary. He winds up in the local hospital but feels leery of his treatment there. But with no ID, no cell phone, and little memory, his options are limited.

Fairly soon, Ethan remembers that he’s a Secret Service agent, and that he was heading to the town of Wayward Pines, Idaho to investigate the disappearance of two other federal agents, one of whom was his former partner and lover, Kate. Wayward Pines looks like a cozy, picturesque town, with its charming Victorian-style houses and high rock cliffs surrounding the town. But Ethan starts to realize how much he’s getting the runaround from … pretty much everyone in town. The hospital staff, the local sheriff, the people he talks to on the telephone (when the telephones even work): everything is just OFF, and people are acting strangely around him.

There are so many questions in Ethan’s (and the reader’s) mind: Why is everyone acting so oddly? Why can’t he find his way out of town? Why can’t he reach anyone on the phone — including his boss and wife — that he knows?

Pines is a bewildering book (until the secrets start being revealed and All Is Explained), but it’s bewildering in a good way. It’s full to the brim and spilling over with tension and a lurking sense of danger and horror that becomes more and more tangible, as the novel picks up its pace steadily until the adrenaline-driven conclusion. I did have a couple of theories about what was going on; one was totally wrong and the other was, well, not quite right, but at least on the pathway to being right. I ended up rereading the final chapters a couple of times because the final answer was so very fascinating to me.

Pines loses a star in my rating because, after all the excitement of reading it was over, the explanation of what was going on in the town of Wayward Pines didn’t entirely hold water for me. Several of the events that took place struck me, in the cold light of morning, as unrealistic and illogical, elements that were added just to make the plot more exciting and Ethan’s life more stressful and dangerous.

My recommendation is that you turn off the critical functions of your brain and go along for the ride. Pines is an intense, gripping novel that was completely impossible for me to put down. I was in the library the very next day, checking out the two remaining books in this WAYWARD PINES series.
Profile Image for Becky.
1,339 reviews1,629 followers
January 3, 2016
I'll say it again: Well. That was... something.

At the risk of alienating all of my most excellent friends who've loved this book, I'm going to be honest and say that while there were things that I liked about it... I didn't love it. I had quite a lot of issues with this book, so you know... let's get this ranting party started! :D

Secret Service agent Ethan Burke wakes up next to a river with no idea who he is or where he is or why he is wherever he is. Thus begins his quest to figure out what happened to him and how to get home to his wife and son. Along the way, he encounters mystery and resistance... almost like he's not meant to understand what's going on... Dun dun dunnnnnnn!

This didn't start on the greatest foot - with the very Koontzish (1) waking up with no memory thing and the M/C having a migraine as described by someone who's never actually experienced one, and the uber-nice Nurse Pam - but after a bit, it started to pick up. This is definitely a quick read, and the mysteriousness of everything was enough to keep me going. I liked Ethan, and I liked Beverly, and I was interested in finding out whether my theories about the story were right or not. And some were, and some were close, but not quite right, and some were wayyyyyyyyyy off-base.

But, now that I'm done with the book, and now that there's been an explanation of the ons that were going, I have to say that I liked a lot of individual pieces of this book, but as a whole it didn't work for me. This is one of those ideas books, where there are a shitton of great ideas, but none of them really mesh together with each other and instead feel like a mishmash of unfulfilled greatness. I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this, but don't worry, I shall elaborate and explain why I feel like that.

Consider this your electrified fence. Proceed past this point at your own spoiler risk.

First, the creepy "perfect" town thing has kind of been done to death. It's never as perfect as it seems, and there's always something hidden. To be honest, Nurse Pam should have been my first clue we were dealing with one of those places, but meeting her so early threw me off. Plus it did seem normal at first, and only got more and more abnormal as the story progressed. Kudos there for keeping me on my toes.

But then, when we find out what Wayward Pines is... it just doesn't make sense. I mean, this place is, at least according to Pilcher, the last vestiges of humanity, created when he discovered that humanity was changing due to environmental changes, and that the rest of the human population, in the span of 30 generations, would evolve, or devolve rather, to a more primitive form which would be more adapted to the hostile environment that we helped create with our factories and our CFCs and our nuclear meltdowns and our fossil fuel burning and our general stupid humanness. Oh, and we're also gonna be translucent, vicious carnivores with razor sharp talons and we'll run like wolves.

Now, I am no evolutionary biologist, but I really don't think it works like that. He's talking about macroevolution, and that takes a long damn time. Millions of years, not hundreds, or thousands.

So... I'm not buying it. And I'm especially not buying that the discovery of it was made early enough to have already sunk billions into R&D for suspended animation, and the mass production of the suspension tanks, as well as for the town to be fortified and stocked and ready for inhabitation by 1982, which is two years before planning even started for the Human Genome Project.

I mean, sure, maybe Pilcher was ahead of his time. But then I think that he has been kidnapping people and "integrating" them into his perfect little town for 50 years... and during this time he kept totally mum about the fate of the almost 7 billion OTHER people on the planet. Nothing said about letting anyone in government know what he'd discovered, or anyone in the scientific community (And I have to wonder... was his research peer reviewed?), or even his own family. He just started taking people, and his psychotic brain assured him that he was the savior of humanity in its "pure human" form. Nice. It doesn't seem like he really wanted to save people at all... it seems like he saw an opportunity for playing god, and took it, even if he's only god to a couple hundred people, and they don't really know that he's the one behind the curtain. Which makes me wonder... what happens when he dies? Who will man the watchtowers then?

So... coming back to the town. We now know that WP is that last refuge of humanity... only there's not that much humanity to be found there. Everyone lives a lie - no talking about the outside world, no talking about history, etc. But then, when someone strays from the rules, they are punished, severely. The entire town, children included, are rallied into a bloodthirsty mob and they beat the offender to death. Because that's how we're DIFFERENT from the creatures we became. Wait. What I mean to say is that we're still pretty and wear clothes and pretend like we are civilized (when we're not mob killing the nonconformist) so that makes us better than our see-thru evolutionary siblings who just act out of instinct and hunger.

The reasoning that Pilcher gives for this murderous mob culture is quite possibly the lamest I've ever seen. His response, that it's nothing new, and that if violence is the norm, people will adapt to it, while true, doesn't really explain WHY that has to be the norm. Oh, self-policing, Pilcher? Yeah, that's not self-policing. They aren't seeing someone do something against the rules and making a citizen's arrest to stop them from doing it. They are being woken in the middle of the night and being told who to hunt down and brutally kill. Leetle bit different.

I mean, at least kowtow to the idea that participating in murder with the rest of the town fosters a sense of community, of single-mindedness, of protecting the herd, or whatever. Or say that there's a smaller risk of a group rising up to challenge the enforcers if the whole town is involved in the enforcing.

But his reasoning is idiotic. I mean, according to him, he spent BILLIONS of dollars setting up this project, to save less than a thousand lives... and now whenever anyone breaks the rules, if they can't be mindmelded back into submission, he just has the townspeople kill them. Because hey, it's not like he did all this to save humanity or anything. *eye roll* I think it was more along the lines that Blake Crouch needed something to up the ante, and a murderous mob seemed like a good idea at the time.

A couple more things about the town before I move on. It's never explicitly mentioned, but it seems that it would be hard to sell the idea of this being a normal town, even one with bizarre rules regarding what can and can't be talked about, when people keep appearing and then disappearing, and then reappearing with no memories at all from the last time they were there. Pilcher mentions that it's Ethan's 3rd go at being introduced to the town. But... after the town encounters this guy, he disappears and then shows up again several years later, don't you think they'd wonder what the hell is going on?

And furthermore, how do you sell an entire town that almost every one of them just woke up next to the river with no memories of how they got there? You'd have to do it one or two at a time, and wouldn't THEY wonder about why there are no people there? Wouldn't they think it's odd that every couple days or weeks someone else just shows up fresh from their car crash coma? Wouldn't they think it odd that they are then told to just move on with their lives like they've lived there forever? I just don't see how this would work... They'd know that they were living in some crazy world that isn't quite right. They've only been out of stasis for 14 years - not long enough for the memories of past lives to have gone away... they just live in a constant state of fear that if they don't pretend to love Pleasantville, they'll be hunted down and killed as well. Some great life you built here, Pilcher.

So, those are my big issues with the book. Some of my other issues include, but are not limited to, the following:

First... The timeline. Ugh. This could have been better handled. It mostly bothered me toward the beginning of the book, and in hindsight, it makes sense how the amount of time someone would be in WP could be a little... wonky. But while reading this, it didn't work for me.

We start the book with Ethan waking up, and trying to figure things out. Then, we skip over to his wife, who is having a funeral ceremony for him, even though he's only missing. I immediately disliked her for this, because in my mind, Ethan's only been missing a day or two, and it seems like she's given up on him super quickly and that kinda makes her a heartless bitch. But then she reveals, midway through her deathday party, that it's really been 14 months since he's been gone.

Uhhh, why couldn't that have led the section? It seems to me that if it had, I would have been more sympathetic towards her, AND more worried about Ethan. But because of the way that the info was doled out, it didn't heighten the suspense or worry that I had for Ethan, because it was feasible that he might still find a way out of this weird creeper town.

Secondly, holy sentence fragments, Batman! (2)
"Just before the top, one of the holds broke loose and he nearly lost his balance.
Caught himself before he fell.
He could feel the wind streaming across the opening to the chute.
Glimpsed something catching sunlight straight above.
Looked down.
He’d almost blown the chance to save himself.
With the monster fifteen feet away and two more trailing close behind it in the chute, Ethan reached down, the loose handhold that had nearly killed him just within reach.
He tore the chunk of rock from its housing, hoisted it over his head.
It was a handful, even bigger than he’d thought—two pounds of quartz-laced granite.
He wedged himself between the rock, took aim, and let it fly.
It struck the creature dead center of its face just as it was reaching for a new handhold.
Its grip failed.
It plunged down the chute.
Talons scraping rock.
Its velocity too great to self-arrest."

Also, you might have also noticed the tense flipping there. It plunged down the chute in past tense, but the talons were scraping rock in present tense. Lot of that going on as well.

Third, there were a lot of unconscious memories stirring around in Ethan's head, and every once in a while there'd be a real-world bit fighting its way in. These memories are always italicized, and the real-world bits should not have been. It might be a nitpick, but I think it makes it clearer and easier to follow that the voice-that-is-not-part-of-the-memory is coming from outside his head, and thus is separate from the memories.

So... Yeah. I wish I could say that I loved this one like everyone else. But I had far too many problems with it. It was a fun read, if one isn't bothered by the fragments or tense-blurring, and it went really quickly, so that was good, but overall, it just didn't really work for me.

1.Yeah, he's a bestselling author, but it's not a complimentary comparison from me.
2.That was my actual e-book note.
Profile Image for Peter.
2,623 reviews470 followers
June 14, 2020
Ethan Burke is stranded in a strange small town named Pines. He suffers from amnesia and can't remember what exactly happened on his mission gone wrong. There seems to be no way out of Pines. He can't reach either his superior or his wife. What is going on here? Why are the boundaries of this town formed by an electric fence? What is Pilcher's role and how will the story end? At parts quite a disturbing read. The first part reminded me a bit on Colin Griffith' novel Underwood but then the story went into a completely different direction. Can communities like that safe the world? Quite a compelling read with many genres included: thriller, horror, mystery, dystopia. The ending was a bit different to what I had expected to be honest. I nevertheless quite enjoyed the book and definitely will read the follow-up volumes of this trilogy. Highly recommended!
May 22, 2017
Έναν βιβλίο γεμάτο δράση ένταση αγωνία ανατροπές και πολύ μα παρά πολύ ενδιαφέρον για όλη την ιστορία που εξελίσσεται και ανατρέπεται την ίδια στιγμή.
Μια καταπληκτική προσπάθεια του συγγραφέα που στέφεται με μεγάλη επιτυχία να μας εξάψει τη φαντασία και να αυξήσει τον καρδιακό μας παλμό γράφοντας τόσο παραστατικά που αγγίζει τα όρια της έντονης ψυχολογικής έντασης.
Μετά το πρώτο βιβλίο και έχοντας ξεκινήσει το δεύτερο μπορώ να πω με κάθε ειλικρίνεια πως εκτίμησα περισσότερο τη απλή καθημερινή μου ρουτίνα. Αγάπησα περισσότερο όλους τους συνανθρώπους μου σε κάθε γωνία του πλανήτη. Ευγνωμονώ απεριόριστα την οποια ελευθερία λόγου σκέψης πράξης υπάρχει στην κοινωνία μας. Είμαι ιδιαίτερα ευτυχής που μπορώ ακόμα να ονειρεύομαι και να μοιράζομαι τα πάντα με όλους τους αγαπημένους μου.
Μίσησα βαθιά κάθε μορφή προστασίας που κλείνει σε καλούπια την ανθρώπινη δημιουργία σε κάθε επίπεδο.
Λάτρεψα ακόμη περισσότερο τα βιβλία και τους δημιουργούς τους. Την μουσική τη ζωγραφική και κάθε μορφή τέχνης που εκφράζεται και μεγαλουργεί μέσα στην απόλυτη ελευθερία τον ανοιχτό διάλογο την κριτική σκέψη την ψυχική επαφή και την ανθρώπινη επικοινωνία.
Μετά από αυτό το βιβλίο μου δημιουργεί τρόμο κάθε μορφή αναστολής.

Συστήνεται ανεπιφύλακτα.

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Profile Image for Mort.
651 reviews1,313 followers
November 7, 2018
Surprisingly great...

I have a lot on my mind about this book and I'm not going to rehash the plot - the blurb tells you everything you need to know. I'm just going to say:
Agent Ethan Burke wakes up in Wayward Pines after an accident, and nothing is as it seems.
He just wants to leave...but he can't.

Most authors can't tell you where they get their ideas for a story, and even when they do, it doesn't seem to make sense most of the time. Whenever I read a book, it's a little game I play with myself - trying to figure out where the idea comes from. And, for the most part, I will never know how far off I actually am.

When I started this book, the idea that came to mind is that maybe the author woke up somewhere after a heavy night of drinking, not knowing where he is, with a pounding headache and unable to recall anything.
Hey, if you've never found yourself in that scenario, I need to say two things:
Congratulations...and fuck you for judging me - it only happened once, and, surprisingly, I managed to learn my lesson.

Okay, the author left a note at the end of the book, and I was way, way off. On the other hand, some things that popped into my head were not. But before I go there, I need to disclose that I only watched the first episode of the television series. It's not that I was not interested, but life got in the way. So I have no way to compare the two (book and series) beyond that first episode, and I think I might have enjoyed the book more because of it.

A few days before I started this book, I was having lunch with my wife at an eatery when a song came on. It was too soft to hear any lyrics, but I stopped eating and asked my wife if she knew anything about the TV show TWIN PEAKS - it was the theme song that was playing. She hadn't, and I told her about this great show that was weird and haunted, yet utterly beautiful and unique. When I read this book, it was the scenery from that show that kept flashing through my mind. And Blake Crouch admits that this book was hugely inspired by this show - I totally get it.

But, after the pilot episode of WAYWARD PINES, my mind was taking me in a certain direction with the story. (I was wrong.) It reminded me of a television show I'd seen a few years before called PERSONS UNKNOWN. At the risk of pissing off the fans, I lost interest after the 8th episode (if I can remember correctly) and never watched the conclusion. I moved back this book for months because I feared it might be the same thing. (Again, I was wrong.) And the worst possible outcome for this story might have been the LOST finale, a disappointment which we won't discuss. (Happily, I was wrong yet again.)

The reason I'm throwing the TV show names out there, is because I was worried that this idea was not really original. The television industry love to make money by redoing or remaking hits - I will spit and tell you that, no, I do not have any wish to watch the "re-imagining" of HAWAII 5.0, MCGUYVER, MAGNUM, (sigh) TWIN PEAKS, etc.
Right now, I'm giving the computer a very disgusted look.
The computer doesn't care.

So, after all that babbling, I will say that PINES turned out to be original and entertaining, and I'm actually looking forward to reading the next two books.

If you like a bit of a mind-fuck, you need to read this book.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,923 reviews10.6k followers
March 23, 2015
Secret Service agent Ethan Burke wakes up in the mountain town of Wayward Pines, his memory full of holes aside from that of a horrific car wreck that landed him in the hospital. But where are his belongings? Why can't he contact anyone outside of Wayward Pines over the phone? And why can't he seem to leave?

I got this from Netgalley.

I've been curious about this for quite a while. Since it showed up on Netgalley last week, complete with promises of being a television show soon, I jumped on it.

Pines is quite a wild ride, combining the pace of The Fugitive with the weirdness of Twin Peaks and The Prisoner. Ethan Burke wakes up in the idyllic paradise of Wayward Pines and things quickly go pear-shaped. Just what is Wayward Pines and why does everyone seem to want Ethan Burke dead? Read and find out.

Pines is a gripping page turner. Once the cat is out of the bag, Ethan Burke makes Dr. Richard Kimble look like a couch potato. By the end, he's tired, mangled, and running from pretty much everyone in The Pines.

The Big Reveal at the end was very well done. I had my doubts on the way there but Blake Crouch stuck the landing. I'm really curious how the sequels will play out.

Pines is a rip-roaring thriller, full of twists and turns. Four out of five stars.
Profile Image for Richard (on hiatus).
160 reviews182 followers
July 15, 2019
Pines by Blake Crouch (Wayward Pines #1)

I enjoy thrillers in which you are unaware of pages turning ......... those that read smoothly and seamlessly, contain a plot that seems believable (even if totally fantastical!) and feature writing that’s easy in its skin and unpretentious. Add to this an imaginative premise and a little unsettling strangeness and I’m sold!
Pines by Blake Crouch ticks all the boxes.
Ethan Burke, special agent and ex military is investigating the disappearance of two fellow agents. Following a car accident he wakes up battered and disorientated in the town of Wayward Pines. His mobile phone and gun have gone.
Ethan finds it hard to get a grip on his situation. Everything feels off-kilter. Wayward Pines is a perfect vision of wholesome small town America - lovely Victorian buildings, white picket fences, neighbourhood cook outs, welcoming inhabitants etc but, as he finds it increasingly hard to contact the outside world, Ethan begins to see there is something very dark and nasty lurking beneath the picturesque surface of this town.
Pines, the first of the Wayward Pines trilogy is a mad mix of thriller, horror, fantasy and sci fi. It’s always hard to see where the story is going (a big plus) and the underlying concept is imaginable (if you imagine hard!)
Pines is to me the ultimate beach read, with nods towards classic tv series’ such a twin peaks and Lost - an undemanding but totally involving flight of fancy ........ very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Regina.
1,136 reviews2,998 followers
February 14, 2021
In his 2012 thriller Pines, author Blake Crouch serves up a buffet of weirdness where you can sample the flavors of:

- Twin Peaks
- The Bourne Identity
- Pleasantville
- The Matrix
- The Walking Dead
- Jurassic Park
- The Village

Now don’t go interpreting that as a list of literal spoilers, like there are zombies or dinosaurs roaming around, because I’m talking about serving up flavors. If none of those appeal to you, I suggest you feed your reading needs elsewhere. And to continue beating this buffet metaphor to death, they’re all on one plate. If you don’t like your genres touching like people who can’t stand when their peas touch their potatoes, binge any other book but this one.

As for me, Pines hit my To Read list immediately after I finished Crouch’s Dark Matter (which I loved). I enjoyed this, although I’m not sure I want to dig into the two follow ups in the Wayward Pines trilogy right away. It’s my understanding that the short-lived M. Night Shyamalan TV adaptation covers all three novels in its first season (some say in a superior way), so I’ll probably give that a go instead. If I love it, maybe I’ll have the next two books for dessert.

Pines is currently available on Kindle Unlimited with WhisperSync for those who might prefer the audio format (as of 2/13/21).
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
October 12, 2016
I hate when this happens . . . when my feelings for a book are all over the place. There’s the part of me that loved the mystery of the first half and then there’s the part of me that didn’t like the whole idea behind the book. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t Dark Matter spectacular either.

Blake Crouch is great at drumming up suspense and his writing, once again, incited that frantic need-to-know race in this reader. While that’s exciting and all, I wanted a little more character development. I wanted to really get to know Ethan at his core. We're given little snippets of his past and the life he shared with his wife, but it wasn't enough for me to connect with him on a deeper level.

A secret service agent, Ethan's latest assignment has landed him in the small town of Wayward Pines, Idaho. He wakes up battered, bruised and suffering from a severe migraine, the aftermath of what sounds like a horrifying car accident, looking for answers. He has no ID, no money, no cell phone and no one that’s really willing to help him contact his wife or get home.

“There’s something wrong here.”

From the first page, the story focuses on Ethan’s journey to the truth - the reason why he can’t seem to leave this strange town behind. The closer he gets to the answer, the creepier the town and the people become. The truth was meh at best. I just wasn’t impressed or fully convinced of what went down. Some things didn’t make sense and others were a little too bizarre for my liking.

Am I curious enough to pick up book two? Maybe. Am I going to watch the show? Most definitely.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,723 reviews12.8k followers
April 25, 2019
This being my first novel-length introduction to Crouch, I was not sure what to expect, nor am I still. Ethan Burke awakens on the side of a river with no recollection of how he made it there. Burke does know he's a Secret Service agent and was sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents. He also remembers being in a horrific car accident, but anything more remains a complete blur. Nothing seems to add up and Wayward Pines appears to be a form of Twilight Zone with Burke its newest inhabitant. Unable to reach his wife in Seattle, Burke begins trying to piece everything together, running into roadblocks along the way. As Burke peels back the layers of this bucolic town, he soon discovers that there is no way out, its perimeter surrounded by electric fencing. The town deals with those who try to leave in a harsh manner, leaving Burke to wonder how he'll ever make it to his family again, but that's the least of his worries. A social commentary as much as a thriller, Crouch introduces the reader to a curious town in which everything has its place, even if it seems jilted and without order.

As I read this novel, all I could think of was a twisted storyline that Stephen King might create and force his group of characters to meander through, at a pace not solely their own. Crouch has a wonderful way of layering the thrills, drama, and character development that leaves the reader highly intrigued and wanting more with each passing chapter. How can a dreamy town in the middle of nowhere become such a house of horrors and what can be the ultimate meaning. Crouch addresses that in a soapbox sermon manner, pushing beliefs while spinning the story to the cusp of science fiction means the Stepfords. An interesting concept that is sure to expand as the second novel in the trilogy seeks to open new pathways. I am piqued to see what Crouch has in store for the reader next.

Kudos, Mr. Crouch. I am intrigued, which is a big step for me. Keep writing and impressing your audiences, but try to stay away from browbeating everyone in the first novel.

Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:
Profile Image for Vanessa J..
347 reviews598 followers
September 25, 2015

Review written September 24, 2015.

I hate when this happens.

It's absolute hell when there's a book everyone loves and yet you end up hating it. I seriously hate it. Some might think "ooh, but it's fun being the black sheep!" but I tell you: It is not.

Disliking books is not a comfortable feel. It's as if there's a big party, everyone's invited and when you get there, you figure out no one wants you there. That's how I feel after reading this book. Because I wanted to be crazy about it. Because I wanted to fangirl about it before watching the show. Because - damn it - it's been a long time since I read a book I actually loved!

I don't think I was disappointed by this because it was a thriller fail, because in essence, there was no "real" problem in the book up until around 80% of it. My issues were the usual ones, and while I was not liking it, I wasn't feeling hatred of the passionate kind.

The first thing that started to annoy me was something that got me from page one. It was the writing.

It really is difficult to read one-sentence paragraphs.
I said why in my review for I Am the Messenger.
It feels as if you're on a highway.
Going very fast.
Suddenly, you stop.
I even bet this section of my review is getting on your nerves.
I don't blame you.
I would be annoyed too.

Many people described the writing atmospheric, but if I'm honest with you, I only found it exasperating and headache-inducing. I can endure writing like this if it was not used as excessively as Crouch used it.

As usual, when I find the writing awful, I cannot connect with the book, and this leads to boredom. Really, I lost my interest in the book soon after starting it. The writing ruined it all.

But again, I don't think that was enough for a 1-star rating. So well, what was the thing that made me so angry?

Plot holes and the unrealistic BIG reveal.

Now, don't go telling me this is just fiction because that's bullshit. If this is a sci-fi/thriller, things have to make actual sense. You cannot do stupid things without logic and then say impossible-to-pronounce names of chemical compounds and magic, magic, god said let there be science. No, you just cannot.

I can be forgiving for some of these things, but when they're so trivial, I cannot and will not let it pass.

Along with the writing and plot holes, there was another thing that didn't work for me. It's probable you already know what I'm going to say.

I couldn't connect with the characters.

Predictable, huh? Lately it seems I haven't been able to do this. What's weirder is that I had been told Ethan was a fucked-up, questionable character, and you know how much I love those kind of characters - they're the more realistic ones. However, I just found myself annoyed at him and everyone else. I found all of them and their actions unbelievable.

The fear I was promised to feel was another factor that was missing for me, and it should not have. I mean, how horrible can it possibly be to wake up in a place you're not familiar with at all? How horrible can it feel to be alien to a place and how worse can it be when no one wants to collaborate with you? It must be a nightmare, and yet, I didn't even have a single ounce of worry.

That's pretty much all I have to say. I didn't want this review to be so long or tedious, but well, it just came out that way and I'm not gonna change it. I'm not sure if I will watch the show, but one thing I am certain: I will not be reading the next books.

Now, please, please, please, if you disagree with my review, don't go self-righteous mode because you're not going to change my opinion. I did not like this book and nothing you say will make me question neither my rating nor my decision.
Profile Image for Jamie.
47 reviews22 followers
September 1, 2012
This book.
It's written.
In fragments.

The writing style really got on my nerves. While it was kind of a page turner, the final reveal was really far-fetched and disappointing, which left me feeling ambivalent about the whole thing. I also felt the supporting characters needed to be fleshed out. Overall - meh.
Profile Image for Matheus Madeira.
11 reviews507 followers
May 14, 2021
Na plena segunda-feira do dia 10 de maio, às 23:30h, editheus, segundo de seu nome, termina de ler Pines, de Blake Crouch.

Logo após se deleitar com esta obra, editheus se lembra de entregar um HD na cidade de Braço do Norte, situada a 40km de onde estava. No trajeto até a cidade, uma vontade imensa de tirar água do joelho toma conta de seu corpo, logo após sair do carro, escorrega em uma casca de banana e dá um beijo forte no asfalto com a parte traseira da cabeça e, ali mesmo, perde sua consciência.

Ao acordar, ainda sob efeito da pancada em sua cabeça, editheus reconhece estar na cidade de Braço do Norte, largado em um canteiro e sem lembrar de como foi parar nesta situação. Logo ele pensa: “puxa, como vim parar aqui? hihi” e parte caminhando pela cidade em busca de respostas. Ao chegar na casa em que iria entregar os HD’s, se depara com pessoas totalmente diferentes morando naquela residência, diante desta realidade, um trunfo de desespero toma conta de seu algoz e seu subconsciente veio à tona pensando “EFEITO SONORO”.

Quando se dá conta, editheus está em uma cidade totalmente diferente de Braço do Norte, seus amigos de infância (que votaram no bolsonaro) não estavam mais ali, nem sua família, seu cabelo não era mais calvo (o que era bom) e ninguém conhecia sua amada noiva Bel Rodrigues, é como se ele nunca fizesse parte daquele universo, daquela cidade.

Como encontrar respostas? Apenas arrastando para cima e adquirindo o livro Filhanes (lê se FILHAINES), um livro homogêneo de Pines (PAINES), que recebeu 4 edilikes de editheus e deu origem a esta história repleta de suspenses e mistérios.

Agradeço a vossa atenção nessa resenha, espero que eu tenha capturado um pouco do que senti lendo este livro, recomendo muito ele, mais uma obra de Blake Crouch que me deixou doidinho de paixão.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Sagan.
236 reviews2,088 followers
June 16, 2018
I'm shook. I've never read a book faster than I've read Pines. Holy moly! To say that it will keep you glued to the page is an understatement.
This is only the second book by Blake Crouch that I've read, but he just hit my Favourite-Authors list.
Absolutely amazing.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,537 reviews9,790 followers
July 26, 2022
Pines, the first book in Blake Crouch's Wayward Pines trilogy, was originally published in 2012. This is a significant backlist bump for me and luckily, quite successful.

When my dear friend, Shannon, suggested buddy reading this together, I was 100% on board.

I loved both Dark Matter and Recursion from Crouch and suspected it would be more of the same with this series. I was completely correct with that assumption.

I actually did watch the first season of the television show, Wayward Pines, released in 2015 on FOX, so I had a very strong idea of what this story was all about.

The whole time I was reading this, picturing Matt Dillon as Ethan Burke of course, I couldn't help but be impressed with how the television show was handled.

I mean, as adaptations go, this one was actually pretty stellar. Because of that though, not a lot of this came as a surprise to me, however, this is a really clever story.

I would say it is definitely worth a read, even if you have watched the show. There's just something about the way that Crouch can consistently build intensity that is just so damn impressive.

Ethan is a great main character to follow. He's extremely intelligent and vigilant in what he does, and it is such a treat watching him discover what Wayward Pines is all about.

I have already finished the second book, Wayward, and am really looking forward to wrapping the series up. I cannot even imagine how this will end!
135 reviews137 followers
September 26, 2017
Update: 26/09/17. The Kindle edition is currently on special offer - 0.99p in the UK, $0.99 in Canada and $1.34 or $0.99 in the States. It's the same price for each book in the trilogy.

One road in
No road out...

I've just finished reading this crazy book - and I'm totally bewildered. The revelation at the end took me by surprise (massive understatement). I didn't see that coming. As with most books, at some point in the story I assume I know which direction it's taking; sometimes I'm right (lucky guess), other times I'm way off the mark - and I couldn't have been further from the bullseye with this one. Nothing is what it seems in Wayward Pines.

A Secret Service Agent (Ethan Burke) wakes up in a town, next to a river; not knowing who he is or where he is - but as time goes by it becomes clear that this is no ordinary town.

Anyway, I loved this book, it really let my imagination run riot. I didn't know what was going on, even when it seemed obvious. As others have stated - it's best to go into this one blind - don't even bother to read past the premise, skip it if you can.

I can't believe I've been dragged into another trilogy (dammit).
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,890 reviews1,920 followers
June 2, 2014
Rating: 4.5* of five

I hate, loathe, detest reviewing Kindle books. It's clunky. How should I know which bookmarked passage is mine? I have to look all over the damned place and usually end up annoyed so I can't quote the good bits.

That's why I've never reviewed my Goodreads friend Blake Crouch's eerie thriller Pines. It's set in Idaho, which is scary enough for me right there with all the right-wingers and Mormons (hi Pat, sending smooches, please don't shoot me), in an imaginary town called Wayward Pines *cough*Coueur d'Alene*cough*. It's a $2 Kindle purchase today.

It's worth twice that and more. It will keep you clicking the next button until way past your bedtime.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
839 reviews3,758 followers
February 15, 2021

Fast-paced, gripping, Pines let me begging for more - I am in awe. READ IT. READ IT. READ IT. This book is fabulous.

The plot... fascinated and surprised me. The male lead (let's call him "he") wakes up in an unknown town, badly bruised, penniless, and without any memories of his life.

Now, this is a situation that would scare the shit out of anyone, don't you agree? From page one my brain was reeling, faced with so many unanswered questions that I couldn't help but strongly sympathize with him : what defines who you are? Who would you be if every knowledge about yourself had been ripped off your mind? To what degree can you trust your instincts? Can they be right? Or are you going completely out of line? And even if your memories come back, how can you survive when you're surrounded by secrets?

"Are you losing your mind?
I sometimes think I'm still in that torture room. I never left.
Are you losing your mind?
You tell me.
I can't.
Because I am you."

Who is to be believed? Who is to be trusted?

The characters... are interesting and intriguing. When it comes to thrillers, I've drawn this conclusion : more the author keeps us in the dark, characters wise, more my interest is piqued, because the lack of knowledge adds tension to the story and you know what? I NEED TENSION. He isn't a likeable character, not flawless by any means, but I cared for his quest of answers, even more because the layers of his life aren't immediately unraveled. I won't say much about him... Because obviously : if my enjoyment was linked to the fact that I had no idea of what I could expect, I won't be the person that screw your read^^ As for the other characters we meet...

What, though?

The settings ... are quite ominous.

Imagine a little town lost between mountains, with no escape in sight. Creepy, right? I mean, probably wonderful if you've planned a trip with friends, but to wake up there alone and in a bad shape? I'd probably turn hysterical. Nobody wants to see that, trust me. Even more when we realize, along the male-lead, that something isn't quite right there... The people... The places... Everything appears intriguing and yes, more and more frightening...

The writing... is all kinds of amazing : indeed the alternative use of short and long sentences compelled me to read more and more and more, not to mention that some vivid descriptions (including smells! Thank you!) are straight on beautiful. I know many readers complained about the fragmented sentences and I can understand their struggles but... I think it's only a matter of taste : I love that kind of writing when it's well-done and it was perfect to express the changes in the rythm in my opinion.

From start to finish, Pines never gets dull and ends with a punch, leaving me eager for more.

So, Anna, you're telling us that this book is perfect ?

Huh, NO. Plot holes, anyone?
Obviously, I won't talk about them because spoilers, but know that there are several of them and I. Don't. Care. I don't want to analyze : I was mesmerized, I was surprised, I am in love and I don't give a damn if some things don't quite make sense. You've been warned.

Ps. Alright. More I think about it and more some reactions and reasonings bug me because I can't make sense of them so I'm lowering my rating for now but I'll see if the questions are answered in the rest of the series. In the end of book 2, I'm willing to give it back its 5 stars :)

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Ginger.
753 reviews372 followers
January 21, 2023
Wow!! Five stars for sure! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fast paced, intense and emotional at times, Pines is a fantastic start to a series!

I was fortunate to not have any ideas about this plot or series when I started this a few days ago.
Yes, you’re correct. I’ve been living under a rock for many years and the shade of the rock is fantastic. 😂🤣

If you can go into Pines with no knowledge of where this book is heading, it’s going to blow your mind.

I’m really looking forward to continuing this series!
Profile Image for Arah-Lynda.
337 reviews524 followers
October 17, 2016

There is an absolute plethora of excellent reviews out there for this series so I really did not think I would write one.  But how can I not?   This story blew me away and that is quite a significant statement when you consider that I had already watched the TV series.

Secret Service Agent, Ethan Burke was sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho to locate and recover two federal agents who have been missing for a month.   Shortly after his arrival he is involved in a car accident, one that leaves his partner dead and lands him in the hospital.

Without ID, wallet or cell phone Ethan is at the mercy of the residents of this small community.  It is a beautiful place, with idyllic little residential streets and beautiful Victorian homes surrounded by magnificent forests and breathtaking cliffs; nature resplendent everywhere.  But not everything is as it seems.  There is something not quite right here.  For one it would seem that no-one knows where his personal belongings have got to, people are reluctant to help or even believe who he is and when he finally does track down one of the missing agents, he can scarce believe his eyes.  She seems to have aged a decade or more in just a few weeks and despite the fact that they once shared an intimate relationship, she too, is reluctant to talk or answer Ethan’s questions.

Every attempt he makes to contact his wife or his office is unsuccessful.  No one calls him back.

What in hell is going on here?

Desperate now to get out of Wayward Pines, Ethan steals a vehicle but no matter which route he takes it would seem that all roads lead back to Wayward Pines. And now he is really on the Sheriff's shit list.

I really do not want to say too much, since if you have not yet read this or seen the excellent TV series it is best that you wade into these waters with as little knowledge as possible.  

I will say that it kept me furiously turning pages, scratching my head and on the edge of my seat.  The big reveals as you start turning into the home lap are masterfully handled, effectively closing out this chapter of the story and leaving you nail biting, anxious to start the next book in the trilogy.  

Blake Crouch says that he was inspired to write this by David Lynch’s iconic television series Twin Peaks which aired when he was twelve years old.  We can only hope that Mr. Crouch’s work will also someday inspire a future writer.  

Yes, yes I am, already part way through book two!
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
1,965 reviews672 followers
June 26, 2022
I started reading this book because somewhere on GR, I came across a review that said Blake Crouch's books are better than his short story in Amazon's "Forward Collection". "Pines" is included in kindle unlimited so ...why not. Let's see if he's as good as what that reviewer said.

A sweet reward for diving into a book not knowing, OMG OMG! This is Wayward Pines?! The TV series! I haven't watched it either only know that Matt Dillon is in it. I tried to guess many times along the way what the story is about and I didn't see any of that coming. Very good!!
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,136 followers
January 31, 2019
Something is very, very wrong....in Wayward Pines.

Pain, confusion and terror fill the mind of Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke as he awakens battered and bruised down by the river finding life to be one freakish nightmare. Trying to make sense of his unorthodox predicament, Ethan literally runs from one horror to another.

WAYWARD PINES #1 is a fast-moving, action-packed suspenseful mystery-thriller that kept me guessing from beginning to end and left me anticipating what was coming next!

Count me in for the entire trilogy!

Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,439 reviews78.1k followers
April 24, 2016
Grateful this one didn't end with a terrible cliffhanger. I love how there was some amount of closure but it kept me wanting to pick up the next one soon.
Profile Image for Dave Edmunds.
262 reviews56 followers
January 18, 2022

"It was the strangest sort of fear. Unspecified. Like walking in the woods at night, not knowing exactly what you should be afraid of, and the fear all the more potent precisely because of its mystery."

Initial Thoughts

Pines is my final book of 2021 and my second encounter with Mr Blake Crouch.  I had mixed feelings about the first (Dark Matter) and for me it suffered a bit from the hype train and just not being my type of story. Way too romance heavy and with Crouch's sometimes thread bare prose it wasn't conveyed in a way that I could get along with.  Still, the pacing, action and ideas on display were tremendous and I could see why a lot of people rave about him. So I was definitely up for having another tango, just being a bit more selective about what I went for.

The great thing about having a lot of Goodreads friends is you get a lot of great recommendations and reviews. So thanks to Dan, Ben and Vicky for pointing me in the direction of this one.  From what they were saying this one looked really up my street and I had a good feeling going in.

"Perfection was a surface thing. The epidermis. Cut a few layers deep, you begin to see some darker shades. Cut to the bone - pitch black."

In the afterword, Crouch dedicates this book to David Lynch's cult TV series Twin Peaks.  A cult that I ashamedly have never got into. But you'd have to have your head in the sand not to know the basic premise.  The creation of a peaceful, picturesque town that has something sinister waiting to be scratched beneath it's surface is very evident in Pines.

The Story

The story starts with special agent Ethan Burke waking up in the idyllic town of Wayward Pines, Idaho battered, beaten and with no memory. He's then on a mission to discover his identity as the story gets progressively stranger from there.

Burke soon discovers he is a Secret Service Agent who was involved in a serious car crash but there's some nefarious forces at play blocking his path to discover the truth. Once Wayward Pines has you in it's clutches it doesn't let you go.

The characters

One thing I've noticed with Crouch is that his character s aren't especially well developed. With the exception of Ethan it's definitely the case in Pines. I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, Peter Straub and Joe Abercrombie and the character work off those guys are next level. But you can't expect that from everyone and Crouch certainly makes up with his fast paced action and plot twists.

I was discussing with a friend how his novels have the feel of a screenplay. The point is action and suspense and a smattering of gore, not exploring literary themes and the inner workings of a characters psyche. This book is non-stop action and sometimes, that's exactly what you want.

The Wiriting

Blake Crouch is not a next level writer or a wordsmith in any shape or form. He writes fast and to the point. The fragmented sentences and punchy narrative structure was perfect for this story and I found it much better than my experience of reading Dark Matter. It might have been a case that I knew what to expect this time in, rather than it being a better standard.

"Nature doesn't see things through the prism of good or bad. It rewards efficiency. That's the beautiful simplicity of evolution."

The brisk pace of the book is broken up by flashbacks, when we delve into Burke's past in the military. This gives a nice variation and mixes things up enough to keep the reader engaged, while giving us some much needed character development.

Final thoughts

The ending of this one is really well done with some fantastic twists. Some aspects I was tuned into and then others went way beyond. The ending set things up perfectly for the next installment... Wayward. I can't wait to get into that one.

So although I was a little critical on this one, the author really does play to his strengths and provides a fantastic reading experience. I enjoyed it from start to finish and was engaged throughout. A definite five star reading experience and one I'd thoroughly recommend to fans of fast paced thrillers. Check it out!

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