Pines: A Twilight Zone Like Tale That Is Totally Worth the Read
Pines by Blake Crouch
So a couple years ago there was this wonderful little summer mini series I really enjoyed. It was called Wayward Pines and the moment it aired on TV, the book went on sale practically everywhere. Since it was dirt cheap I decided to grab a copy to see the source material of the show. So here is my review of Pines by Blake Crouch.
So the book begins with CIA agent Ethan Burk. He wakes up disoriented and very injured in small Idaho town. He is quickly admitted to a hospital and he learns things are very wrong. The hospital staff are strange. He finds he’s the only patient. Ethan leaves on his own accord to himself stumbling around town without an ID, wallet, or money because they are mysteriously missing. As he’s trying to pull himself together he learns the police are insane and one of men he went to Idaho to find, is murdered in an old shack. And he can't get real hope because everyone is off. A bartender he meets warns him that he must leave and the hospital is after him because he was patient not yet authorized to leave. Least to say Wayward Pines is full of dark secrets that are more terrifying than he ever expected.
The good? One reason it took me two years to get around to reading this book, is I was repeatedly warned that the mini series is such a good adaption of the trilogy that they are identical. And I felt if it’s that close why read the book? But thankfully they were exaggerating. Well partially, that is. The first half was exactly what happened in the show down to a T. But then in the second half, the book does something the show did not do and I was grateful. So if you enjoyed the show, don’t worry too much about reading the book. It is still a very different version of the same story. Another thing I found interesting, Burke is man who served in Iraq, and has PSTD from being a prisoner of war. In Wayward Pines, Burke devolves into worse and worse health as he tries to escape. He is beat, cut, shot at, hunted down and just about everything else under the sun happens to him. He is literally a shambling husk of a human being toward the end. This book tends to periodically flashback to the time he was a POW , delicately reflecting that Ethan is going through hell all over again in this town. I thought it was beautifully told. The writing in generally is good. The style is similar to Michael Crichton or Lee Child. It’s straight to the point and very well done when it comes to action. The story is a wonderful Twilight Zone like horror as well as interesting personal story for the lead.
The bad? Let’s just say Ethan and other lead characters are not the sharpest tools in the shed. There are a couple very dumb decisions made. But the rest of the book is so well done, it can be overlooked but it’s still there. And it’s not completely insultingly bad, but it’s a little cringe worthy.
Overall, it’s a great book. It’s a fun well written scary story that could have easily been a script of an unaired Twilight Zone. It has a couple small flaws but overall it’s a wonderful little read. I highly recommend it.
4 Smoothies out of four.
Overall Rating: A Twilight Zone like Tale that is Totally worth the Read.