Fear Nothing (Moonlight Bay #1) ★★★☆½

fearnothing (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Fear Nothing
Series: Moonlight Bay #1
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 450
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:

Christopher Snow was born afflicted with (insert really long medically sounding name), otherwise known as XP. His body can’t heal from UV damage and something like a flashlight can take years off his life or make him go blind in months. He is now 28 and his parents have sacrificed a lot to give him as much freedom as possible. He roams the night, writes successful novels and surfs.

Several months ago his mother died in a car accident. The book opens with his father expiring from cancer in the local hospital. Everything Chris ever starts to go sidewise as he sees the local mortician replace his father’s body with some hitchhiker’s. His father’s body is loaded into a van and taken away to Wyvern, a supposedly closed military base.

During the next 2 days Chris uncovers a lot of secrets hiding in Moonlight Bay. His mother was involved in genetic experimentation with the aim of helping cure Chris’s XP. Chris’s father’s cancer might have been caused by a rogue genetic experiment gone awry. Chris finds out that the experiments have been successful, but not in the way his mother intended. The politicians and top army brass have used it to enhance intelligence in animals and to transfer animal characteristics to humans. Unfortunately, the carrier evolved and people began becoming infected unknowingly and spreading it even outside of Moonlight Bay.

Several of the solid citizens of Moonlight Bay have already fallen to the gene therapy. The Chief of Police dreams of raping and killing little girls. He tries to kill Christopher to keep his secret but dies in the attempt. A troup of bloody thirsty enhanced monkey’s attack Chris, his girlfriend and his beach bum friend one night. The troup is led by a court-martialed sociopath who has been hiding his own “becoming” from all his superiors.

To top it all off, it turns out that Chris’s own dog, Orson, is the product of the tests and is just as intelligent as a human. Orson, however, shows no sign of the psychopathic murderous tendencies exhibited in almost all the other patients that Chris has seen.

The book ends with Chris realizing that he simply can’t fight this end of the world as we know it.

 

My Thoughts:

I actually read the sequel to this 18 years ago. I wasn’t reviewing per se, so I didn’t remember any details and so nothing was spoiled for this book. Just an anecdote, that is all.

In the character of Chris Snow are the seeds that will, 5 years later, turn into Odd Thomas and that much more successful series.

I found the scene between Chris and the Chief of Police to be as horrific as Koontz intended without it being offensive. There is nothing graphic in what Koontz writes and yet when the Chief is talking to Chris about his nightmares and his plans and his descent into animal savagery, I was horrified. It walked the line of talking about something absolutely evil without crossing that line into being voyeuristic about it. More authors should take note, as it takes real skill to write that way.

I enjoyed this but once again, like his Frankenstein series, Koontz is actually only telling one story and splitting it up into “books” to satisfy publishing demands. This book ends with Chris and Co surviving the attacks by various infected creatures, human or otherwise but the threat is so big that it IS the end of the world as humans know it. If I hadn’t known there was another book, I would have assumed this was a standalone with the Big Ending (ie, the end of the world) left up in the air for the readers to imagine.

Considering how proto-Odd Thomas Chris Snow is, I was figuring that Snow’s girlfriend was going to die the whole book. Color me pleasantly surprised when she made it through almost unscathed. That’ll teach me to be cynical.

The other thing I’m learning about Koontz seems to be that he likes to write about short time periods. The first ¾’s of the book only took 12hrs and the final ¼ was the next 24. Thirty-six hours for a 450 page book. I’ll have to remember that so I don’t expect dramas drawn out over the years.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

77 Shadow Street ★★★☆½

77shadowstreet (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: 77 Shadow Street
Series: ———-
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Pages: 722
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

The Pendleton. Built back in the late 1800’s, it was the biggest mansion of its kind to date. Throughout the years, strange things have happened to those who lived there. Murders, kidnappings, disappearances, suicides, mental breakdowns. Now the Pendleton has been turned into a bunch of luxury condos. Now the residents are starting to see some really weird things. Now one old man who has done his research knows he must get everybody out of the building if any of them want to survive the next 24hrs.

A disparate group are brought together and through the mystery of Scyenze, are swept into the future to a world that is post-human. Post-anything in fact, except for The One. The One rules All, The One Knows All, The One IS All. Among the group is revealed the creator of The One and The One sows the seeds for its own birth, thus making sure of its own survival and the destruction of humanity.

The One hower, is NO match for 2 kids, an ex-Marine, a Honky-tonk song writer, a brilliant novelist, a blind man, 2 old ladies and their cats, a Scyenzist who swears he WON’T create The One and some others. Oh yeah, and one insane murdering hitman. The group survives and puts paid to the Scyenzist and some shadowy figure kills the other Scyenzist who could do the same.

The World is Safe. For Now.

 

My Thoughts:

Despite the tone of my Synopsis, I rather enjoyed this. I called this a Horror/Thriller because while it had elements of Horror, they weren’t supernatural. However, when creatures shove black goop down your throat and turn you into more of them, what else do you call that? It sure isn’t slapstick comedy.

Having read the Frankenstein novels and the Odd Thomas series, I can see so many ideas that Koontz uses over and over. I think that would/will be a problem if I read a bunch of Koontz back to back or even with just a month of each other. I think with the spacing I have though it should be ok.

The Good Guys Win. That knocked my rating up a half star easily. It is refreshing. Obviously not everybody makes it and there is a big enough group that no particular outcome is telegraphed in terms of survival so I never felt like any particular character was safe (except for the 2 kids, especially the autistic girl). That bit of tension is nice and made the story have a bit of “snap” to it.

I have no desire to ever re-read this book but that is pretty much how I’ve felt about all of Koontz’s books. With the amount he’s turned out though, that really isn’t a problem. A solid fun read that was just scary enough for me but not really scary (which is how I like my scary books).

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Cloak ★★★☆½

cloak (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Cloak
Series: ———-
Author: Timothy Zahn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 566
Format: Digital Edition

 

 

SPOILERS AHEAD AND BOY DO I MEAN SPOILERS

Synopsis:

A scientist is working on an invisibility cloak. He and most of his team are murdered and the cloaks stolen. The scientists wife is ambushed by skimasked killers and it is only through the intervention of a local private investigator that she stays alive. The detective convinces her not to go to the police but to stay on the run with him. His motives are murky at best.

At the same time, a tactical nuke is stolen from India and somehow the responsibility for finding it rolls right off the Indian government’s shoulders and into the United States’ lap. But the group that stole it knew the US would be looking and plays so many games of misdirection that nobody is sure where it is, where it is going or what the final purpose for it is.

At the same time, the President of the United States is touring the country trying to drum up support for an initiative he wants to pass at at upcoming United Nations meeting. The initiative? To give the UN their own true army, fully weaponized, including tactical nukes.

It call comes together in New York where a rogue Indian General and his agents are trying to nuke the UN meeting to wipe out a lot of political dissidents from around the world and it is up to the scientist’s wife, the PI (who is really a retired FBI agent) and 2 others to stop them. But how do you stop an invisible nuke that you aren’t even sure is in the city?

You figure out it is on an invisible zeppelin floating down the streets of New York of course! And then deactive it.

Score for the good guys.

 

My Thoughts:

When I read Zahn’s Soulminder back in ’14, even though I enjoyed it, I wasn’t impressed. I enjoyed this one a good bit more. The misdirection is impossible to ignore so I didn’t even try to figure out what was going on. I just sat back and let things happen.

I didn’t know WHAT was going to happen until it did and letting go was good for me. I felt like it was the real strength of the book while at the same time being its kryptonite. I doubt this has any re-read value and honestly, the older I get, the more I like to re-read. So some of my consideration of a book is “would I want to re-read this”. With knowing everything, I suspect most of the punch would be gone.

But since I didn’t know everything, this really packed a punch. Sometimes Zahn would misdirect purposely and at other times it was like he was using previous instances of misdirection to make me question if this current situation was a misdirection or not. I love having my chain yanked like that, when I know it is happening anyway.

This was a kickstarter originally. Honestly, I wish he’d do more kickstarter projects and write the books he wants to write instead of sticking to the miserables sods in the Star Wars universe. Well, I don’t know, maybe he LIKES writing in that “wretched hive of scum and villainy” but since I’m no longer a Star Wars fan I want other stories by him. I guess this will have to tide me over.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

The Dead Town (Frankenstein #5) ★★☆☆☆

thedeadtown (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Dead Town
Series: Frankenstein #5
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 447
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Everything begins falling apart for Victor Immaculate. His vat grown creations once again transcend their genetic coding and that transcendance is always in the form of breaking. Builders take on non-biological matter and can’t reproduce properly, the replacement clones begin to obsess and lose sight of their mission.

Through it all, Michael and Carson begin helping the townsfolk defend themselves while Deucalion hunts Victor down. Deucalion snaps Victor’s neck, the creations fall apart upon their creator’s death and Deucalion can now walk quantumly through the Light instead of skulking through the Shadows.

 

My Thoughts:

Even while I was expecting this story to turn out like this, it was still disappointing to have it actually happen. This followed the exact same pattern as the first trilogy but without any finesse or style. Evil simply falls apart and the good guys win by default.

Also, I already wrote this review, forgot to post it online, forgot I hadn’t posted it and deleted the hard copy from Open Office. So I’m writing this all over again. That always ruins things.

Basically, I didn’t enjoy this book or this series overall. I wouldn’t recommend it but I am going to continue dipping my toes into the Koontz universe. I’ve got 20 of his books available so I’m going to go exploring and see what I find. I hope I find better things than this book.

If anyone has read some of his standalone stuff, feel free to make recommendations in the comments, otherwise I’m just going to start picking stuff randomly.

★★☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Lost Souls (Frankenstein #4) ★★★☆☆

lostsouls (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Lost Souls
Series: Frankenstein #4
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 402
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Victor is alive. Or at least, his replacement clone is. But Victor 2.0 isn’t quite the same as Victor Helios. Victor Immaculate, as he calls himself, doesn’t want to replace humanity now, he wants to destroy it. If he can do that, he’ll have negated Scripture, thus making him more powerful than God.

With an array of new replicants and a new type of human called Builders, Victor sets forth his plan to begin exterminating humanity in a small town in Montana. With key officials replaced, the Builders can begin feeding on the towns people and begin the cycle of death and destruction.

Michael and Carson, now private eyes with a baby girl named Scout, realize that they have more to lose than ever. Scout means more to them than their own lives. When Deucalion comes calling telling them he has a hunch that Victor is alive, they don’t want to believe him. Then Erica Five, who has been living in a small Montanna town, calls Carson and tells her she has seen Victor. Now Michael and Carson have no choice. If they want there to be a world for Scout to grow up in, they must go out and do battle once again.

We also follow various townspeople from Rainbow Falls as things begin to go downhill. A vagrant and a special needs man, both in jail but for opposite reasons, survive the first wave of Builders’ feeding and must work together to stay alive. An old man and a young boy, both in the hospital, must depend on each other to escape the hospital, which has become a major center for the Builders. Two X-Files style FBI Agents are also in town chasing down rumors that The Money Man, a shadowy figure, will be in town and they mean to nab him.

Everything is set in motion for a climactic battle for the survival of Rainbow Falls and the world itself. Then the book abruptly ends. Like a meat cleaver right down the middle of a carcass of a cow.

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this novel much more than the previous one and it was all set to be a 3 ½ star book. Then came the artificial ending. It was obvious that this book and the next, titled Deadtown, are really one story but due to length was cut in half. However, that cutting was done with all the finesse of a drunk butcher, who was blindfolded and who was told that one of the slabs of beef hanging in his freezer was really a pinata and to have at it. No resolution of any kind, no story arc completed, just full stop. That is bad story telling and it pissed me off. So I knocked that coveted ½ star off. I sure taught Koontz a lesson with that!

Besides that grievance, I did like this. I didn’t give it much detail in the synopsis but we really spend more time in the town of Rainbow Falls with various townspeople than we do with either Michael and Carson or Deucalion. That worked well as the Koontz definitely goes into “horror” territory more than in some of the previous Frankenstein books. How the Builders consume people is something else. There was one instance of where a church group was locked into a building and when some Builders were let loose and the replicants were watching, almost every single adult in the group pulled out a gun. The replicants were all killed and some ex-soldiers led the group out. It was great. God, guns and guts (ie, courage, not literally guts. With this book, there might be some confusion, hence this awkward, longwinded and rather unnecessary explanation)

The X-Files guys, (one of whom is named Dagget for goodness sake!!!!), play almost no part beyond being introduced and giving the reader a tiny bit of info.I suspect they’ll play a bigger part in the final book with how everything gets cleaned up.

Given how quickly the storyline for Victor Helios was wrapped up in the previous trilogy, I suspect the next book (which is also the final book in this series) is going to follow the same pattern. Koontz definitely has a paint by numbers plan for this series. A special needs child, the badguys beginning to fall apart on their own (evil consuming itself), etc, etc. It’s not a bad formula, just a bit obvious.

I chose not to read the final book immediately, due to my reading setup, but for anyone else, I’d recommend they read the first trilogy all in one go and then this duology in one go. I suspect it might make the overall narrative less choppy feeling if each story arc is read as one big book.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

The Last Town (Wayward Pines #3) DNF@18% ☆☆☆☆½

lasttown (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Last Town
Series: Wayward Pines #3
Author: Blake Crouch
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Thriller
Pages: 308/DNF
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

DNF @ 18%

 

My Thoughts:

“And what he saw, he didn’t know how to process”

…….

“A string of indelible images.”

…..

“In the middle of Main Street, a large abby on top of Megan Fisher, violating her.”

 

Enough. I will not read stuff like that.

☆☆☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Dead and Alive (Frankenstein #3) ★★☆☆½

deadandalive (Custom).jpgThis review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Dead and Alive
Series: Frankenstein #3
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 372
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Victor Helios’ empire is crumbling. His new humans are all going insane, or changing in unexpected and uncontrolled ways. Murderous rampages, multiple genetic reorganizations, it is not good news for Victor. Then he gets a call from Wife #4, who he killed. Only she’s not dead, but alive and well in the dump and the creature that brought her back to life wants to confront Victor and destroy him.

The two cops, buddies slash romance partners, whose names I can’t even remember, are in touch with Deucalion and just drive around until it is time to meet up at the Dump. They have a “spiritual” moment, witness the end of the Victor and then get married, have a baby and start their own detective agency.

Deucalion steps through shadows, gets in touch with the freed new humans at the Dump and witnesses the end of Victor.

Victor denies that anything bad is happening, allows himself to be captured by the freed new humans and then dies. This sends a signal to some satellites in the sky which transmits a code and all the new humans, including the Dump Monster, die. Even though the coded deathkey didn’t work when Victor spoke it earlier.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a mess of a story. Everything was so rushed and completely unbelievable. That is coming from within a story about Frankenstein for goodness sake. And don’t give me crap about “Frankenstein’s Monster”. Koontz might sidestep it by calling him Deucalion, but since the series title is Frankenstein, yeah, I rest my case.

These books started out interesting, with Victor Helios being one bad ass badguy. The newhumans were real threats and things looked grim at the best. But Victor pretty much going insane and believing his own reality instead of what was actually going on really wrecked the whole villain vibe. I am hesitant to assign a motive to Koontz but I wonder if he was simply trying to show how pride can blind and ultimately destroy even the most brilliant being? I know that Koontz is Catholic and the parallels with Satan are unmistakable, but am I reading my own ideas into this? I simply don’t know.

Cop1 and Cop2 have guns, guns and guns and super ammo and only get to fight against two insane newhumans. Both of whom are naked. Cop2, the male, makes a big deal about the newhuman woman being naked. It didn’t quite get into slimeball territory but it definitely didn’t fit with “The End of Humanity as We Know It”. If you’re running for your life, are you really going to notice how tight some woman’s butt is? Especially when that woman is covered in blood, running faster than your car and trying to kill you with her barehands? If so, you really, really, really need to check your priorities.

There are 2 more books in this series and I do plan on reading them. I just hope they are standalones so that Koontz can pace himself a little better. As a trilogy I wouldn’t recommend this series but I’ll wait until the final book to see if this book was just the weak link or indicative of the overall direction.

★★☆☆½

bookstooge

 

 

Wayward (Wayward Pines #2) ★★★☆½

wayward (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Wayward
Series: Wayward Pines #2
Author: Blake Crouch
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF, Thriller
Pages: 324
Format: Digital Edition

 

 

* SPOILER ALERT *

I am usually not one to worry about spoilers in my reviews. However, this series seems to be predicated on the reader not knowing what is going to happen. As such, just giving fair warning that this review will spoil the heck out of the book. I will take the last paragraph to sum up my feelings without spoilers.

 

 

Synopsis:

There’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Ethan Burke. He knows all the secrets of Wayward Pines and knows what David Pilcher is keeping from most of the residents, that they exist 1800 years in the future and that humanity is extinct and the world over run by mutant aberrations.

But when one of the residents turns up dead, stabbed and then drained of all blood, AND she was secretly working for Pilcher, Ethan has a real mystery on his hands. When it is revealed there is a group of people in Wayward Pines who are part of a secret society, Ethan must infiltrate them.

Ethan might be toe’ing Pilcher’s party line of secrecy but when he reveals the truth to his wife and finds out that the children of the town are being brainwashed into thinking Pilcher is a god, Ethan must decide. Lies, deception, murder and safety? Or truth, honesty, trust and the chance of annihilation at the hands of the abbey’s?

The book ends with Ethan successfully revealing the truth to all the town’s residents and Pilcher, in revenge, turning off the electric fence that surrounds the town. Talk about a frakking cliff hanger!

 

My Thoughts:

Wow, wow, wow. I am very impressed here. After the roller coaster of the Pines, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was a couple who wanted truth and freedom more than comfort and security. Dang, we need more books with people making hard choices like that. I’m not sure I felt “inspired” after reading this, but it sure was close.

Anyway, this took place in just a couple of days. It was kind of a whirlwind experience. Burke has to investigate a murder that ends up leading back to Pilcher, figure out how to tell his wife the truth without getting them all killed, take back his son Ben from a school system that is obviously brain washing him AND somehow let the whole town know the truth of their situation without getting them all killed or sending them into suicidal despair.

There was also a very small side story about one of Pilcher’s men who has been out wandering the wilderness, figuring out how to survive amongst the abbeys. Of course, it is revealed that he’s Ethan’s former boss and Theresa’s lover while Ethan was in cold storage. Talk about a drama just waiting to explode and destroy everything! I expect the final book to be rather explosive.

I really liked how Ethan took charge and let the whole secret out of the bag. Consequences or Pilcher’s wrath be damned. This was the whole “Live Free or Die” mentality that I like so much about my state. Sadly, it’s not everyone that can handle it, as most of the United States today proves. * very sad face *

So why the 3.5star rating? Here’s my issues. If the whole human race degenerated in a mere 2000 years, then the humans in Wayward Pines only have 2000 years until their descendants degenerate. Actually, less than 2000 since they have a much smaller gene pool. Throw in “millions” of abbey’s and that number shrinks to probably 1 generation. Pilcher has spent billions of dollars just to play god for 30 to 40 years? The bigger issue for me was how the book ended. I’d classify it as a mega-cliffhanger. The whole town is now open to the abbeys as part of Pilcher’s fit of pique? It didn’t bother me as much as it might have because I have the final book and the choice to go immediately to it or to wait. But since the whole trilogy wasn’t written all at once, it would have totally pissed me off if I was reading these as they came out. Not cool.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, just as much as the first book and I am really looking forward to the final novel in this trilogy.

★★★☆½

bookstooge

 

City of Night (Frankenstein #2) ★★★☆½

cityofnight (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: City of Night
Series: Frankenstein #2
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 482
Format: Digital Edition

 

 

Synopsis:

Victor Helios is stepping up his campaign of the overthrow of the world with his newmen. Unfortunately for him, some really weird things are starting to happen with his newmen and even though he doesn’t realize it yet, he’s losing control. They are changing, mutating, becoming something completely non-human.

Deucalion is still hamstrung by his inability to harm Victor and so his use of police detectives Carson O’Connor and her partner Michael Maddison continues.

Victor sends some of his assassins after Carson and her autistic younger brother but things don’t go as Victor planned because one of his creations managed to get to them first and put them on guard.

The book ends with the group planning on how to assault Victor and not unleash the wrath of the newmen who have replaced so many key officials in New Orleans.

 

My Thoughts:

This series is one I am glad I didn’t read as it came out. Each “book” ends on a serious cliffhanger and without a lot of resolution. It is really more one big story that has been artificially chunked up into 5 separate books. Knowing that I have it completed and just waiting for me to read, I don’t mind nearly so much. I’m actually reading the omnibus edition, but reading over 1500 pages all at once is just a bit more than I want to deal with. Plus, it’s easier to review 5 smaller chunks than one huge thing like that.

This time around there is no small time villain like in the previous book. It made the cops’ part feel not as needed. A lot more time with the newmen happens and we see some of the happenings as they change. It is wicked creepy and yet perfectly illustrates how evil always turns on itself and destroys itself.

The threat of the newmen is also made a bit more evident in this book. There was at least one incident where the newmen assassins (a couple where the woman is going crazy because she wants a baby but Victor created them unable to have children) simply walked through a hail of 9mm bullets. Being very familiar with the 9mm, as I own a Sig-p938 cbt, it really brought out just how dangerous these beings were. Not immortal, not invincible, but not something that a regular police force could handle. A race of super villains as it were.

Both Carson and Michael come to the realization, and acceptance, that to stop Victor, it will probably cost them their lives. That is a sobering thought to me as a reader. It also makes me want to cheer for them even harder. Heroes.

The ending with the group planning to assault Victor’s secret lab really amped up the tension for me. The lab is filled with newmen, but it is also starting to fill up with the mutations, all of which are wicked nasty and give even the newmen a run for their money in the violence department.

I really wanted to just jump into the next book right away, to see what happens. But I know myself well enough to not start down that path again. I’ll get to the next book in a month or two. That wait won’t hurt me and will help temper any excitement and expectations I may have for book 3.

★★★☆½

bookstooge

 

Pines (Wayward Pines #1) ★★★☆½

pines (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission 
Title:
Pines
Series: Wayward Pines #1
Author: Blake Crouch
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF, Thriller
Pages: 315
Format: Digital edition

 

* SPOILERS *

I am usually not one to worry about spoilers in my reviews. However, this book is predicated on the tension created by the main character, and hence the reader, not knowing what is going on. So read further at your own risk. I’ll make the last paragraph a quick summary of how I felt about the book without any spoilers so you can have something to read if you’re worried about spoilers.

 

 

Synopsis:

Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke wakes up next to a river. He stumbles into town, apparently called Wayward Pines, without much memory of anything. He is taken back to a hospital where it is revealed to him that he and his partner were hit by a mack truck and he left the hospital without permission. Little things aren’t adding up though and Ethan’s inner self keeps warning him.

Alone, with no money, no weapons, no vehicle, no way to contact his superiors, Ethan must survive whatever is going on at Wayward Pines. He does remember that he was tracking down some other secret service agents who disappeared after investigating Wayward Pines.

When he comes across his ex-partner, who is now inexplicably aged 30 years and runs into another woman claiming to be from the 1980’s, Ethan is completely confounded. Then when it becomes obvious that the road doesn’t lead out of the town and all the ways out on foot are fenced off, Ethan knows SOMETHING isn’t right.

Ethan finally escapes, only to fall into the hands of David Pilcher, a super rich, super smart genius who has predicted the end of humanity due to gene and environmental failure. Pilcher has setup Wayward Pines as the last bastion of Humanity and it is now 1000 years since Ethan walked the earth. Humanity is no more and what humanity became, brutal carnivores that were intelligent but without enough intelligence to build a civilization, now roams the desolate earth. Pilcher deep froze his 1000 chosen in the hopes of restarting humanity and by the end of the book Ethan chooses to become his right hand man and enforcer.

 

My Thoughts:

My very first thought when starting this was that Ethan was doing some sort of cross reality transfer between blackouts, much like the main character in Ted Dekker’s The Circle series. Something was obviously off, but I had no idea what. After the second time when Ethan pulls some bone headed, gut reaction, thing, I just decided that I wasn’t going to figure out what was going on and to let Crouch chauffeur me to the end of the book, like he was going to do no matter what I wanted.

It was a very frustrating experience but not at all bad. It was meant to be frustrating and I felt so much sympathy for Ethan even while yelling at him in my head. He didn’t know what was going on and I had no idea what was going on, so I couldn’t even call him on being stupid. And he really does some stupid things. For a former military vet AND a secret service agent, he didn’t strike me as aggressive enough or willing to do what was necessary. Now, he’s injured and without money or much clothing, so some of it is understandable. But if you wake up in a town where other Secret Service agents have disappeared and even the sheriff is acting weird, you steal some clothes, some money, a car and get out. And when the road loops back and you’re weirded out, head out cross country on foot, but BE PREPARED! It wasn’t until he was being chased by the blood thirsty mob of townsfolk that he really started showing his qualities as a vet and agent.

The revelations by Pilcher about his Frozen Chosen [hahaha] and the state of the Earth was really interesting. Of course, Crouch’s assertion that humanity would e/devolve into some kind of super predator is so much bs that I knocked a star off just for that. For frack’s sake, genes don’t work that way. If there was a breakdown in the gene code, you’d simply have a massive die off of humanity. I’m a diabetic being kept alive by 1st world tech, so I fracking know. Genes breaking down would lead to massive deaths at births and any that survived would be crippled in body and or mind and would be killed off by nature in one form or another. It would NOT turn us into super predators that could survive the conditions. But with all of that, I have to wonder where the next 2 books are going to go? How do you fight a whole world over run by creatures like that?

Overall, I enjoyed my read of this; much better than his blankety blank Dark Matter and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the trilogy as I have no idea what those 2 books could possibly contain.

★★★☆½

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