The Wayward Novel

Having spent plenty of time in Idaho (too much time, perhaps???), I was naturally intrigued by a storyline about a man who ends up in a small Idaho town and can’t leave (I can relate too well). Sadly, I found Pines, the first book of the Wayward Pines series by Blake Crouch, to leave something to be desired.

This was another book I listened to on my long drive across the country, and, at the very least, it kept me entertained and engaged, so it’s not a complete loss. My biggest issue was the basis for the plot itself.

Pines really ought to be interesting and exciting. The book tells the story of a man who literally cannot leave this town. If he tries to head out one road, he ends up back in town on the other side. His phone and ID have been confiscated, and every attempt he makes to contact the outside world fails for one reason or another. He discovers dead bodies that mysteriously disappear, and it’s clear that the townspeople realize something is off, but none of them will discuss it.

That last mystery is where the problem lies. The “twist” at the end, which I won’t reveal, would pretty much be eliminated if everyone involved with the town was honest with each other and tried to work together to deal with their situation. Instead, the plot felt heavily contrived and forced, and by the end, I disliked way too many of the characters to bother with the rest of the books in the trilogy.

Again, it was an engaging read as I traveled cross country, and the adventure should be sufficient to satisfy and entertain normal people who aren’t as miserably picky as me. So while this doesn’t get a raving review, I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone considering the book from reading it. Enjoy as best you can!