Wayward by Blake Crouch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Summary: Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amidst picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden...except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture.
None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they’re trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.
Ethan Burke has seen the world beyond. He’s sheriff, and one of the few who knows the truth—Wayward Pines isn’t just a town. And what lies on the other side of the fence is a nightmare beyond anyone’s imagining.
I liked this one but not as much as the first. This was a bit slower and I certainly didn't read it in a day. There's different character perspectives in this one, a murder mystery and more clarity on how Wayward Pines came about. I also found Ethan very annoying in this book, so much so that I tired of his adversarial chats with Pilcher and it made me wonder why Pilcher didn't just put a bullet in Ethan since he was so uncooperative and frankly, whiny. And why Ethan didn't consider Pilcher might pull what he does at the ending is just odd.
I kept putting this down through the first half but the back quarter picked up nicely and ended in a way that begs a reading of the final book. I've already begun that one but I do have a bit of a quibble with the way this one ended. It didn't actually have an end. It's more like a scene break. It gave me the feeling I have when I watch a season finale of a show and the characters realize that they're in the midst of a crap-storm of epic proportions and just as the camera pans around to show one of the characters say "OMG!" the screen fades to black. The audience is left with the "WTH just happened? What's going to happen next?!" and "How the hell could they end the season like that?!" followed by at least of week of complaining with other fans about how painful an experience that was. This ends like that. The only saving grace is that the third book is already out because I may have been perturbed enough had it not been to just give up on the series.
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