Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…
©2012 Blake Crouch (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This was a very interesting and fast paced story. It has a solid plot and fairly well done characters and stays pretty riveting throughout. The ending is a surprise, and ties everything together in a way that makes for a really unique idea. The reader does a great job too. I wonder about its classification- it is listed as mystery/thriller. It does have that - there is mystery and at times it is thrilling. However, I would have classed it as science fiction since I think that was the most dominant genre- that and a touch of horror.
One small complaint though, and this may stem from the genre the writer is trying to produce for - I think it would have been a stronger book without all the torture. I know that is popular and some peole are drawn to it - whole films have been made in recent years that revolve entirely around people being tortured in various ways. It isn't that I am too squeemish or uptight for it, though I do find it uncomfortable at times. More so I just don't find it particularly creative or interesting - ask anyone you know to think of the most horrible ways to hurt and kill someone. Everyone will quickly have lots of ideas. Particularly with a story as strong as this one, with so much that makes it interesting, and so much tension and mystery, I thought this was a major distraction at times. There were points at which clearly it made sense as it was integrated into the story and necessary, but for large portions I thought it served no real purpose and was far more detailed than it needed to be and found myself waiting for those bits to end so we could get back to the good stuff.
Also, it seems like it would have been more interesting if the antagonists had ways of interacting with the hero and with the good guys in ways that didn't always have torture as the main defining interaction - if the " I will now torture and kill you in horrible ways" wasn't the main motivation at all times... It seems a constant threat and, in the end, when we find out what has gone on, what this was all about, it particularly doesn't seem in keeping with the purpose behind the story. I can't give examples without giving spoilers so will leave it at that... As I said, I know it is popular among some audiences, but I really think this author is solid and creative enough to write a really great story without all that - or at least without it factoring so large in the book.
So those of you like me, who are not interested by that, and those of you that really hate that stuff have been warned. However, as I said, there is a lot going for this story and I found it very entertaining and was eager to find out what would happen and what all this was about... So overall, I think it is a pretty good experience and would recommend it.
Yes I would recommend this book. I love the Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and The Dark Side television shows and this book combined with a little horror mimicked the style of these series. I could not stop listening and found excuses to continue listening. Horror for the sake of horror becomes boring but mix in a little mind twist, a dash of Sci Fi, and "I did not see that coming" and horror becomes the "PINES".
Worth the credit.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
While I listened to the entire story, it just didn't grab me like I would have wished it to. Too many aborted escapes, too many chases--this took up the great majority of the story. I would have enjoyed it a bit more had the protagonist been somewhat more developed and likeable. I felt I never got to know who this man was. He certainly wasn't the overdone superhero type, yet I found him to be somewhat of a cardboard character. I really didn't care what happened to him, thus there was no tension for me.
On the positive side, I did like the ending. It was unexpected and different. However, it was not a theme I would want to revisit in a sequel.
Additionally, the narrator did a good job which added to the ease of this listen.
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
wow. what a great story! the pines is a great mix-up of different types of genres that come together that make up a thrilling listen. the story starts out simple enough.
ethan burke wakes up in a field not knowing where he is or who he is. all he knows is that he's injured. as he shambles toward the town, he starts to remember a few things. he runs into a few kind people who notice his terrible bruises and offer him help, but he doggedly says he can make it the couple of blocks to the hospital. however, something's nagging at him. he's trying to remember a name, a name that has caused this pain. along his way, he stops at a phone booth and notices how skinny the phone book is. it's only 8 pages. so he starts reading through it until he recognizes part of a name- mac. that name arouses anger in him so he stalks off to confront mac.
as ethan begins investigating the missing secret services agents, he notices things aren't what they seem in this small idyllic town. what follows is a creepy secret that is slowly revealed about the town, wayward pines. the more the story unfolded, the more engrossed i became in wanting to know what the heck is going on.
the story is delicious to listen to. throw in a little shutter island to develop some intrigue, add a little tales from the dark side to get your heart pounding, add a dash of logan's run to keep you guessing, and finish with a red pill to add a matrix-like twist to blow your mind!
overall, an excellent story that will keep you listening late into the night. it's definitely one of those stories you'll remember long after listening to it.
NOTE: at the time of this review, the audio book is on sale for $4.95. I recommend you download it immediately as it is a steal. i paid regular price, and it was worth every dollar!
One word, 2 letters. WOW! This offering from Blake Crouch and narrated exquistely by Paul Garci, is a winner, and moves to my all time best list.
The plot twists, the choices the characters need to make, the challenges and nuances, are all there, with occasional gore and violence, but nothing gratuitous, at least in my estimation.
Granted, there is some, if not a lot, of belief suspension required to complete the story line, but once you have digested this, the story plot does clarify, and the resolution does promote thought and consideration at the the end.
I recommend this book to fantasy, sci fi and mystery readers most highly.
With over 4,000 reviews, I'm sure there's nothing that I can add to the list of great reviews. I loved it. As soon as my mind adjusted to the "Twilight Zonish" feel to the book, I couldn't put it down. When I finished, I immediately purchased book 2. I sped through that in a day and was immediately onto book 3. It's a great trilogy! Just sad to see it end.
There are few things better than a good story well told!
Just finished one heck of a ride. I do not want to describe the plot for fear of disclosing too much. It is THAT kind of story. Plenty of twists and turns and a big bang ending. You will not want to stop listening. The story grabs you and does not let go. Great performance and great story. I really hope there is a sequel.
Masterful storytelling. Spun with just the right amount of suspense and character development. Not too much, not too little. I didn't see it coming and I loved it! The narrator was great and brought the character to life. My only complaint is that I was up half the night because I could NOT stop listening. I will be wanting more from the author. It was simply brilliant!
As the story unfolds it becomes less believable. We have an agent of the US government who appears to be marooned in a small town, and he seems to remain clueless and helpless through much of the story. It does remind me of the kind of artificial plot lines that showed up in some of the mediocre episodes of the Twilight Zone TV series
The "reveal" at the end of the novel is even less believable. I can not see me ever buying any further installments to this series.
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
This novel is a bit creepy, a sort of Twilight Zoneish kind of writing. A real surreal sense of What the Hell???? happens to protagonist Ethan Burke when he arrives in, what appears to be a quiet Rocky mountain town. As the story arc continues the strangeness increases until the reader is just as confused as the protagonist..something I appreciate in a book-I like stories that I can't figure out ahead of time.
This plot takes a lot of left turns without signaling and I found myself having to really pay attention to what I was listening to..something I'm not in the habit of doing as audio books are a kind of "listen while doing something else" thing for me. I had to rewind (in a digital way) several times. Ethan suffers several prisoner of war flashbacks that seem to effect him as he tries to make sense of his missing phone, wallet, inability to contact the world outside Idaho and the listener starts to wonder if he is going thru mental instability and everything is really as it should be. There was a real "Children of the Corn" moment in the book, as Ethan finds himself being chased by The Pines children as he runs, naked, thru the town trying to get away all the time knowing that theres no way of leaving the town. I was listening to this while my grand daughter was reading and she told me to put on headphones as the story was scaring her-shes 9.
On the other side, I wondered why it took Ethan so long to decide thing in The Pines were not normal. Why didn't he go to a bank and tyy to contact his home bank for money? Why not call his credit card company and get a new card-and if he was unable to do these things, it seemed he would have figured out that the town was not normal sooner. It just wasn't what an average person would do, much less a Secret Service Agent.
I'm sure some will think the story should rate 5 stars for excitement alone...but for me, it didn't. I couldn't get away from the B movie or TV series feeling, an Under the Dome, Outer Limits, TZ version of sci-fi/fantasy. it was good, but not that good. It held my attention but seemed -well-too contrived. I went between 3 and 4 stars. for me 3 is an average novel-nothing sterling or wonderful/nothing awful either. Just Meh..its ok. But it was more than that. It was a different story arc with a lot of but....why is this his thinking?
I dunno. A strange book, worth a listen for a real fan of B grade movies and stories.
The narrator was great, however. I've never listened to Paul Garcia before but I'll be sure to check out other audio books he's done. His work was real solid 5 star for me-masculine but not Dick Hill-ish in tone. Dramatic but not overdone. He does the weird parts very nicely, with a touch of irony that kind of got me on occasion.
A good listen even for urban fantasy readers and a must listen for those who love the strange. Good luck!
really strong story although it was a little frustrating waiting for the twist to come ! gripping all the way though couldn't stop listening to the last quarter
"Not for me"
Didn't enjoy the story and remained with it under duress just to to hear the ending.
"Don't judge a book by its cover"
I downloaded several books before going on holiday and this one wasn't at the top of my list but it turned out to be one of the best. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was kept guessing until the end. I found the narrator very easy to listen to and would be happy to listen to more read by him.
Very glad to see there are other books by this author - can't wait to 'read' another one.
"Worth the wait....almost"
I was drawn to this having seen a trailer for the TV series and it being a Deal of the Day. The narrator was okay but took a bit of getting into as he had the more deadpan US accent that can get a bit wearing - especially after enjoying a number of recent British books. Overall though, it worked and I was drawn into an inventive and interesting story that you just prayed would have a revelation worthy of the time invested.
The relentless traumas suffered by the hero did get a little tiresome and I was more than thankful when things finally reached there climax. I did think the author got a little bit too much satisfaction out of the violence and some of it felt distinctly gratuitous - especially a detailed death towards the end.
That said the ending just about hung together and provided an enjoyable twist - I have now started the TV series so will be interested to see just where it differs...
I was taken with this book from the beginning, I didn't guess what was going on. My only critism was there was a bit to much action in it. I am glad I listened to it.
"Well-written tale and excellent narration"
I am not a great fan of sci-fi but I did enjoy the gradual slide into the sci-fi elements - the book starts with the main character Ethan in a seemingly believable world although there are strange details which maintain the suspense. The narrator has a fantastic hypnotic voice which envelops the reader and draws him or her into the plot. I would expect science fiction to give me more of an analysis or critique of the world we actually live in but the book does not really dwell on that aspect. I think this is an enjoyable listen and has convinced me to try other books in the genre.
"Stick with it it's worth it in the end"
I'm fairly new to audio books and this was my first step outside my normal paper book genre. I found the first few chapters a little confusing and almost gave up but I stuck with it and was rewarded in the end. Once you get into the thick of it, the story is compelling and I found myself sitting in the car wanting to listen to the book all day.
I found the American narration difficult at first and maybe that's why i struggled with the first few chapters but then it became like listening to a episode of some American TV series. Like others have said if you like X-files or similar stuff this is really going to be your cup of tea.
This was a Daily Deal well worth buying.
"Worth a listen"
This started as a surprising 5 star listen for me,. Suspend reality and think 'Shutter Island' , then it progressed to Stephen King with a fair mix of Justin Cronin and then . . . . . well let's just leave it there for you to discover. where it ends. For me there was just a little too much, including victorious fights with savage mutant beasts and our 'hero' surviving despite his repeatedly beaten and battered body, any one of which would have destroyed a lesser mortal. Still . . . . .suspend belief and do not question rationality and it is an entertaining book which despite my miserly 3 stars I do recommend you give a listen. I did enjoy the style and the narration and will revisit books in this series.
"Not what I expected"
I enjoyed the book, couldn't stop listening to it. Not what I expected, good story, lots of twists, keeps you guessing until the end.
"unusual plot and good narration"
finished the book in 2 sessions. easy to follow. good twist at the end. will definitely get the following books.
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