“Welcome to Wayward Pines, Where Paradise is Home”
With the announcement quite recently of a second series in the Wayward Pines universe, a series that I got super into last year and watched all ten episodes in one day, I thought I would go back to the source material and read the second book in the series. I read the first one last year, and thought that the TV show had certainly done the book justice. This book was slightly different to the running of the series, but I’ll come to that a bit later.
(I don’t think that this review is particularly spoiler-y but just in case… you know the drill!)
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 think one of the things that needs to be remembered from this book that is that the first and second book only cover about 3 weeks in our apocalyptic dystopia. We know the truth now, about Wayward Pines, about the mountain, and what it is , exactly, that lay just beyond the fence. Of course, we know the truth, but the people of the town do not. They think that they are being held prisoner, or in limbo or somewhere against their will. Constant surveillance – a concept that is widely expanded upon in this book – not being able to talk about their past, how they really feel and just what is it about this town that they just can’t leave?
Crouch introduces the Wanderers to us, those who have discovered their microchips and removed them. This innocent group of people who just want to be themselves, and certainly not the people they have to pretend to be in the every day. Wives, husbands, children to people that they don’t belong to. But they can’t bring themselves to leave the town through the secreted away tunnel through the fence. The thing holding them back? No one has ever returned. Fear. Fear of everything keeps the people of Wayward Pines at bay.
And then Ethan Burke shows up, knowing the truth, going from fugitive to the Sheriff in little under three weeks with a town to run, a murder to solve, and a fete to call.
I thought how he dealt with the fete was great, and I don’t recall a murder in the TV series so that was a good plot twist, especially when I find out more information about it, and who the murderers were. It’s one of those things where it could have been really, super in your face obvious, but I didn’t feel as though it was.
We get more screen time with other residents of Wayward Pines this time around, get to experience what life feels like for these poor people confined to boring jobs, pretence and surveillance. We’re also introduced to a lone ranger, operating outside the fence, making his way back to the town – and considering how the story was progressing especially with some of the flashbacks into the past, I felt that it was going to be predictable who he was going to be… if that makes sense. Although, I am intrigued about his knowledge, about what he and he alone can do about the abbies.
We did end with that typical second book dystopian cliffhanger though. Luckily my version of the book from Amazon had that “next bit” in, which suggests it is going to have a fast paced conclusion.