My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked this book up on a recommendation from Crimereads, and was swept up immediately.
I didn't know the genre, didn't know that it was the first of a series, or that it was even on television. The novel begins with a basic thriller lure - Secret Service agent comes to small town in search of missing agents - and plunges deep into dystopia by the end. Ethan Burke, the aforementioned agent, has been injured in a car accident and doesn't even know who he is at the beginning of the book. His memory begins to come back, but he doesn't remember the investigation's details or what he discovered before waking up on the streets of Wayward Pines. I'm a sucker for an amnesiac hero (see Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny), or a hero who no longer has vital information he needs (also see The Face of a Stranger from Anne Perry), so I ate this up. I also plowed through the book in one evening, because this tale demands commitment.
The town appears, at first, to be cookie-cutter Suburbia with an unhelpful sheriff. There's also the unhelpful hospital, and the unhelpful new receptionist at Ethan's home office who never seems to pass Ethan's urgent telephone messages on to his superior. It goes downhill from there, and soon our hero is on the run, ducking the law and the local
This is not a novel of pretty words; it's one of action. The reader never rests. Ethan is always running, hiding from the residents of Stepford North, or, later, climbing up cliffs. I followed him, leaping from mental crag to mental crag. It's also in Sensesurround: because he's injured, only partially clothed at times, and has no money, he's cold and constantly hungry. I live in Florida, and had to put my slippers on for protection from the imaginary elements. It's a good read, and when you get to the reveal, you will either be excited or disappointed. I was intrigued. I'm not sure I would try the TV series; I already have some very clear mental pictures of the place and the characters. Other books in the series, however, are a definite possibility.
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