I’m probably the last person to read these books, but I finally got around to it. I’m still not sure how I feel about the series. They’re either the most brilliant things I’ve ever read, or the dumbest thing ever put on paper (or screen, in my case).
Don’t get me wrong, the books are compelling, and I lost a couple of nights of decent sleep because I just had to find out what was going to happen next. But (spoilers ahead, in case I’m not the actual last person) is the concept genius? Or the goofiest, most far-fetched thing ever?
Ok, so there’s this Secret Service agent, Ethan. He’s a good guy, except for that affair he had. He and his wife are working it out, and they have a great little boy. Ethan is assigned to leave his home base in Seattle to travel to Idaho to track down a couple of other missing agents. He hits town with his partner, then a big truck hits them. Ethan wakes up in the hospital. How much time has passed? If you’re reading the first book, still at the beginning part, it’s probably only a week or so. But is it? Ethan has no identification, no cell phone, no money, no way of contacting his family to let them know he’s all right.
There are a few fits and starts with Ethan’s dealing with his accident. He runs away from the hospital, and pisses off a bunch of people. He tries to call out, but has trouble connecting with the outside world. I wonder why?
There’s a bunch of stuff that goes on in the town of Wayward Pines – Ethan sees his old partner, but she looks quite a bit older than when he saw her last. Like, way older. And she doesn’t seem to know him. Or does she? And in Wayward Pines, people don’t talk about their lives before they came to the town. Like, no one talks about it. Total taboo. There are also cameras, microphones, and lots of other creepy things going on. There’s also a huge electrified fence around the town. No escape. Why would all this be put in place?
Ethan endangers everyone he has met in the town to find out what’s going on. So what’s going on? Cryogenics, that’s what! Yup, evil science has triumphed, and some creepy doctor dude has saved certain people to populate his perfect little town. Thousands of years have passed, and the human race has (d)evolved into what the townies call Abbies (short for aberrations, even though they’re us – how rude).
It gets worse when Ethan exposes the lie of the town, and the actual truth to the residents. Turns into a huge farking mess, but you don’t need me to tell you about everything that happens. You’ve either read the books or seen the show.
Here’s my confusion. I’m all for the suspension of disbelief, I love science fiction, read a ton of Star Wars and Doctor Who stuff. But these stories have to be grounded in some kind of scientific reality, because they’re presented that way. Cryogenics is a real thing. Evolution is a real thing. I think the thing that really messed me up was how long everyone was asleep – there was some mention of attrition, but not enough for me. I mean, over thousands of years, to keep the power going, the computers running. . . I just don’t see it. And that’s where he lost me.
But the rest? The storytelling is impressive, the suspense was constantly killing me. But the little details of how the heck this happened in the first place kept pulling me out of the story. I’d still recommend the series, though. See? I’m still of two minds.