Book Review

Blake Crouch
Pines
DB75977

Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive?

This book was so captivating that it did not make a good bedtime read because I kept resetting the sleep timer so I could continue. The storyline was filled with ups and downs and each time I thought I was seeing where it was going, it would change directions. At one point, I thought “this is just as intriguing as the television series Twin Peaks.” To my pleasant surprise, so did the author when he talked about the qualities of the book in comparison.

The language literally brought the setting to life. One scene was so vivid and creepy that I couldn’t even pretend to try to go to sleep while listening to it. Blake stayed away from flowery descriptions but he made you feel like you were in the story. Your heart raced, you felt dizzy, you struggled to understand what was going on, and you wanted a safe place to be able to relax.

I have to say that I never say the ending coming, couldn’t even imagine it. Things were getting a little fishy at one point, but man this was a hum dinger. And Blake made it believable!

I’m definitely going to see what else this author has written.

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Book Review

Ernest Cline
Ready Player One
DB73772

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt–among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life–and love–in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

I LOVE this book! It is every tech geeks dream story. There are so many tech references to the 1980s that I can’t even count them. The story ranges from high-tech virtual worlds that let you forget about the damaged real world to the great 1980s where the Commodore 64 (128 if you could afford it) lived with floppy disks that were actually floppy and you were a tech king with TWO floppy drives.

Each page had me saying “yes, I know that one” to all the big and little references that kept flying at you left and right and making you say “I’ll stop in a minute,” but you’re still reading three hours later.

Geek talk aside, the storyline is your basic boy finds challenge, boy enters challenge, boy finds danger, boy tries to stay alive, will boy win, will boy live, and will boy get the girl. The story has many ups and downs with enough pauses to let you breath. This could almost be paralleled with the Odyssey but it more on a YA level.

Again, I cannot emphasize how much my fellow geek peers (if you’re too young, it is just not as fun) will LOVE this book. While my reading list is always so long that it is hard to find time to re-read a book, this one definitely goes on the super fun reads when I need a pick me up.