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.
There are few things in life better than losing yourself completely in a really exceptional story.
I hate giving bad reviews but I spent a credit on this turkey based on some of the positive reviews I read, and then felt misled. I was bored from start to finish, and the only light at the end of the tunnel was the promise of a kick-ass reveal in the end. Well, that most certainly didn't happen. I'd have bought any number of explanations...except the one given. But honestly, I'd mostly checked-out by then anyway.
In addition to a protagonist who I felt was never fully fleshed-out and therefore, unsympathetic, the storyline plodded along at the pace of paint drying. The writing was just average; not good enough to be inspired nor bad enough to be amateurish.
Regarding the narrator, he did a decent job given what he had to work with, so I can't fault him.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
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.
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.
The concept for this book is great. The early parts of the book were suspenseful and well written. But as it went on, the repeated danger scenes and descriptions of violence that went on and on made the going pretty slow. And worst of all, the hero doesn't discover the answer to all the weirdness -- the villain TELLS him. Groan. What a let down.
The concept is a winner for sure. Original enough to keep the reader guessing about where it is going. Too many of the obvious questions the reader will have do not get satisfactorily answered, however. And without satisfactory answers, those questions leave huge holes in the story.
Yes, the reader was fine.
Chris Pine. (No pun intended.) But the tell-don't-show aspect of the story would have to be redone by a better writer for this to succeed on the screen.
I hate being a party-pooper when the idea of this story is so good, but for myself, after a few days from finishing, I still can't shake the feeling that this listening was a waste of time for a fizzled out ending ( Although the end is okay. It isn't the resolution that's the problem; it's how we get there.)
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!
Pines is basically the Twilight Zone, with a dash of the X-Files and a little bit of Stephen King. A secret service agent wakes up in a Mayberry-style town in the middle of nowhere, and of course nothing is as it seems.
The story is tired and has been done before. The first third of the book is Ethan running around being confused and frustrated. As a reader, I was simply bored. After that, the pace picks up, but there are few nail-biting moments, the characters are wooden, and they make constant irrational decisions.
Worst of all, in order to try to keep the mystery until the very end, three quarters of the dialogue in the entire audio book are Ethan (or his wife) asking questions about the situation, to which the other persons always reply something silly like "You'd never understand!" or "It doesn't matter!" or "I can't tell you now, I will tell you later!". It gave me horrific flashbacks to the worst parts of the second Matrix movie.
As a final comment, the author's prose is basic but functional. It's miles ahead of Monster Hunter International, but you shouldn't except China Mieville or Cormac McCarthy. However, when writing a book that's based around tension, mystery, and an unknown, seemingly supernatural threat lurking in the shadows, quality prose is paramount.
I've been told the later books in the series get better, but for me, this was far below average. I can't understand how it became a hit. Then again, so did Twilight and Anita Blake, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised!
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and the Road by Cormac McCarthy.
I don't think Garcia is a poor narrator, and he is skilled at intonation and keeping a smooth flow to the story. The main problem is the pitch and tone of his voice, which doesn't quite fit a secret service ex-military main character, or a suspense novel. In addition, mr. Garcia's portrayal of women's voices is grating. His voice develops a high-pitched, whiny tone that made me unsure if I should laugh or wince.
All in all, comparing with my other audio books I'd say better than some, worse than others. A weak 3, leaning towards a 2. I'm certain in different genres he would be a far better fit!
I would probably have downsized the first third of the book to about 2-3 chapters. It's not entertaining to listen for hours to a story about someone running around in total confusion for days.
Pines is the start of a series that supposedly gets better.
+ If you're a big fan of the Twilight Zone, this could be a good fit.
- You should not be picky about originality or strong prose if you buy this. In addition, the dialogue almost exclusively revolves around "What is going on?" being answered by "You can't handle the truth!".
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.
The protagonist is a bit annoying but the story was fun trying to figure out what the heck was going on. When it's finally revealed it's so stupid and illogical that I wanted to throw my phone across the room. I don't know how to explain it without completely spoiling it so I will just say that if you like stuff to make sense as far as science, biology and psychology should work then you will not like the ending. The more I think about it the more irritated I become so I am just going to stop now and try and purge this from my memory.
"All are welcome at Wayward Pines!"
I did like the idea of the story, but quite a few times it was a little slow going.
I thought his performance was ok. However he could have been a little more creative with some of the character's voices.
There are already 2 follow-up books to the Pines.
Good story, well written and keeps you speculating until the truth is revealed. I really enjoyed this novel and will get book 2.Touches of 'The Wicker Man' and 'The X Files' plausible characters and fast paced. Well worth a punt .
"Don't miss this one!"
Vivid. Imaginative. Terrifying.
Brave New World and 1984. An imaginative and frightening vision of a possible future;
I sincerely hope Blake Crouch has got it completely wrong!
'You can check out any time you like... but you can never leave!'
"A real must listen"
The best by far and I have listened to a lot. Loved it.
Watched films like this but not listened to a book like this.
Love listening to his voice, compare him to Sean Barrett
Yes WOW got this is good
Can`t wait to listen to the next book in the trilogy
"Love this book. Well read, good story."
Brilliant book. Had me wondering what on earth was going on right until the end. Quite suspenseful and I found myself sneaking in some reading at lunch and whenever I could. I've got the next one but I'm rationing it out! :o)
Very well read as well.
Gripping storyline and moody athmosphere, you get attached to the characters, i was so captivated i listened to it in a day without noticing!
A brilliant twist and well read, this is a great novel, and will definitely look for other audiobooks by same Auther
Was hooked on the tv show and got into the books straight away. Love it
"Good if over-hyped"
The guy on the cover.
Great premise but it felt like it was being dragged out by the end.
"A different kind of dystopia"
I love dystopic fiction and this trilogy was entertaining. The premise was refreshing and I'd say they were very easy and quite compelling to listen to.
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