Review of ‘Pines’ by Blake Crouch

Posted: February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The Afterword from this author on this title gave me a better perspective of how and why Crouch wrote this novel the way that he did.  Pines is an emotional as well as a physical rollercoaster.  And it is the reader that goes through this rollercoaster as much as the lead character, Ethan Burke.

Pines begins with Ethan Burke running for his life and not remembering a damn thing.  He wakes up in a hospital bed.  He escapes the empty hospital in search of his identity and only ends up with more questions and a concussion.

Ethan awakens once more, identity intact, but in a town that quickly raises his suspicions.  As he digs deeper into the mystery of Wayward Pines, the more hostile the town becomes; especially the main antagonist Sheriff Pope.

Ethan tries to flee, but drives in circles and runs into high mountains and electrified fence.

Crouch is pretty fantastic with his prose here.  He makes characters that infuriate you as they constantly stop Ethan from the truth.  On his third trip to the hospital, the nurse becomes quite sinister and deadly with needle that more resembles a butcher knife. 

Crouch is great at writing action sequences, but he also touches on some powerful emotions.  Emotions that are easily felt by the reader.  Towards the end, Crouch finally pulls back the curtain to reveal the reality and it is pretty original.  And it reminded me of such shows as Twin Peaks or Lost.  Low and behold the Afterword explains the homage to these shows.

I have read three books by Crouch in the past year.  Each one good, but each contain some sort of action climbing sequence.  It is as if Crouch needs to include climbing into each of his stories.  I can appreciate passion for a sport, but I feel an inclusion of such a sequence begins to wear on the reader.  To a point where it becomes a cliche; sort of like Koontz and his golden retriever obsession.

I give this book a 7/10.  Crouch is pretty flawless in taking the reader on an emotional and physical ride.  Tune in to your television sets as Pines has been picked up to be adapted into a TV series (and deserving so).  And stay tuned to your Kindles as Crouch writes his sequel to Pines titled Wayward.  Crouch hints at the plot for a sequel and I’m pretty excited to see where Crouch takes us next in this universe he has created.

Until next time, Keep Reading!

~SJB

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