The Last Town
The Wayward Pines Series by Blake Crouch
Review: "We are the last of our kind, a colony of human beings from the early twenty-first century. We live in the mountains of what was once Idaho, in a town called Wayward Pines. Our coordinates are 44 degrees, 13 minutes, 0 seconds north, and 114 degrees, 56 minutes, 16 seconds west. Is anybody out there?"
In the first two installments of Blake Crouch's Wayward Pines series, Ethan Burke finds himself living a nightmare. After awakening in Wayward Pines, a town that is too perfect to be real, Ethan makes it his quest to uncover the truth behind this idyllic town. When faced with the horrific reality that the only way the citizens of Wayward Pines will ever truly be free is to invite flesh-eating mutated beasts into the town that has been so carefully protected by electric gates, Ethan must make the most troublesome decision. The Last Town, the conclusion to this dystopian series, reveals the consequences of Ethan's actions. Deciding to open the gates and allow the beasts to enter not only puts the citizens of Wayward Pines at risk, but it also leaves those that he loves hovering on the brink of death. No one is safe from the abbies. They ravage the town of Wayward Pines leaving behind only death. It becomes clear that there is no protection against the abbies and that they will kill anyone and anything in their path. But, does Ethan's decision only wreak havoc on the once paradisal town, or does it uncover the real beast that lies at the heart of the town? And more importantly, are his efforts futile since it becomes horrifyingly clear that most likely the citizens of Wayward Pine will merely become fodder for the beasts?
The Last Town is both exhilarating and frustrating. It is virtually impossible for readers to not become absorbed in the chaos that ensues as the abbies enter Wayward Pines. The graphic descriptions of death and the emotional ties to characters readers have come to love keep readers invested until the very end. Plus the introduction of a new character creates a subconflict that is nearly as powerful, and possibly even more gripping than the battle that ensues in Wayward Pines. As readers witness the evolution of characters as they are faced with almost certain death, they will find themselves wanting more. This is where Crouch falls short. Rather than further harnessing that evolution of character, nearly two-thirds of The Last Town focuses on fighting. Though the graphic portrayal of death is often thrilling, it eventually loses stamina. Eventually the potential for boredom while reading about yet another house that is invaded by the abbies becomes real. There's very little to imagine since the outcome is obvious. That being said, the other aspects of the novel far outweigh the hundred or so pages of fighting. When a reader reaches the end of a novel and is so frustrated to find that there really is nothing on the next page; when the reader searches the Internet in hopes that although this is a trilogy and although it is hailed as "the final installment" there indeed are plans for a 4th book; when the reader reads the last page over and over again hoping to find something that was missed — the author knows he's accomplished his task. Well done Blake Crouch. Fortunately for those readers searching for more, FOX is bringing Wayward Pines to television in a miniseries, which is due to air in 2015.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Margo Nauert for contributing her review of The Last Town.
Acknowledgment: Thomas & Mercer provided a copy of The Last Town for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Margo Nauert — All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with Permission
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Thomas & Mercer (Trade Paperback), September 2013
ISBN-13: 9781477808702; ISBN-10: 1477808701
Thomas & Mercer (Trade Paperback), September 2015
ISBN-13: 9781503946194; ISBN-10: 1503946193
Location(s) referenced in The Last Town: Idaho
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The Last Town by Blake Crouch — The Wayward Pines Series
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: July 2014
List Price: $14.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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