Review: Wayward by Blake Crouch
September 18, 2013 | 10:00 am
By Juli Monroe
When I reviewed Pines last year for another site, I enjoyed it but thought the ending was flat. Apparently I had missed the fact that Pines was the first book in a series.
Wayward is the second book in the series, and I think the first book works much better now that there’s a second.
The basic premise of the series is that a genius, David Pilcher, foresaw the end of humanity and captured and froze select individuals to rebuild humanity thousands of years in the future. Pines covers Ethan Burke, a former Secret Service agent, waking up in Wayward Pines and learning the truth of what had happened to the Earth and humanity.
Wayward continues the story. Burke is now Sheriff of Wayward Pines and is complicit in the deception of the residents of the town, most of whom don’t know the truth. They suspect that something isn’t right, but they don’t know everything.
Wayward has everything you’d want in a thriller. Action, danger, and a megalomaniac genius in charge. Burke only learned some of what was going on in the earlier book. In this one, he learns more details and is horrified at the deeper implications.
We also see another character, Tobias, who has traveled outside the town and learned something significant about the current inhabitants of the Earth. Both plots weave together in a big reveal at the end, which I won’t spoil for you.
Crouch is a master of pacing. The book pulled me along and never let me go. His characters are three-dimensional, and you care about them. Even Pilcher, as crazy as he is, has understandable motivations, and it’s easy to fall into a semblance of sympathy with his designs. If you like thrillers with an element of horror, you’ll enjoy this one.
I’m giving this one a solid rating, 4 1/2 e-readers. The book isn’t perfect enough for a 5 e-reader rating, but it’s darned close.