Wolf Country — Tunde Farrand

I’m surprised that this book has got so many good reviews, it really doesn’t deserve them.

The whole world is changed overnight into a dystopian caste system that virtually everyone seems to accept without much question simply because they get a free house and a job.   Even though they all know that as soon as they can’t do their job they’re either euthanised or thrown into the walled off lawless slums to be at the mercy of cruel and evil, gangs.

It basically takes a bunch of dystopian themes and throws them together for the sake of a story, but it doesn’t really hold together as a story.   There just seems to be this acceptance that everyone in the whole world just accepted this system and goes along with it because they all clamour to be high spenders.   Like everyone would just give up social care, social security, pensions, etc., just so they can have a free house, be a slave and strive to be a high spender.

The book spends most of its time telling us how horrible and cruel the new system is with our protagonist and her husband not doing very well, only for the last small part of the book to find a bizarre way to allow them and their few friends to live happily ever after — The End!

Basically, it’s just about passable, and it’s just about readable, but not much else can be said.   If you’re looking for a good dystopian story then your time and money will be better spent on something else.

Tunde’s Page

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The Last Town — Blake Crouch

‘Pines’ and ‘Wayward’ were brilliant, and so i dove straight into this finale to the trilogy without pausing for air.

It’s been a while since i’ve been treated to such unputdownable books, and to have 3 of them in a trilogy is wonderful.

As with the other two books, great writing, great characters and great all-around story telling.

And what a great ending.   Although, for me, i feel it would have been a tiny bit slightly better without the Epilogue — it wouldn’t be a good review without some negative criticism, now would it?

I am most certainly going to be reading more from Blake in the future.

I’m now a fanboy.

Blake’s Page

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Wayward — Blake Crouch

‘Pines’ was a really good read, and ‘Wayward’ did not disappoint in any way either.

I found both books totally unputdownable, any spare moment my head would be glued to my Kindle reading.

The story keeps on having more layers and twists added to it as more information from the time before suspension is revealed — all to be played out in Wayward Pines.   And the characters just get better the more we learn about them as Blake artfully drip feeds the occasional back story snippet from their previous lives.

Full on story telling from a full on story teller.

And now it’s straight into ‘The Last Town’ for the finale.

Blake’s Page

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Pines — Blake Crouch

I started to watch the TV series a couple of years ago, just because Juliette Lewis was in it.   And then they had the utter gall to kill her off in the third episode.   WTF!!!   So i binned watching the TV version and decided to read the books instead.

So how was the book?   Awesome!

I was very surprised to see this listed as ‘horror’ in Amazon.   I would definitely put this in dystopian sci-fi, i didn’t notice any horror, just the normal dystopian sci-fi kind of stuff.

I’ve previously read Blake’s book, ‘Dark Matter’, which was exceptionally well written and Pines is just as good.   Blake does a fantastic job of putting his protagonists into some really mind bending, disturbing situations and putting the reader well and truly into the protagonist’s mind.

All in all, a great start to this trilogy and i’m diving straight into book 2, ‘Wayward’, very optimistic for more of Blake’s style of writing — i’m becoming a big fan.

Blake’s Page

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The Vernal Memory — J. N. Chaney

I was hoping for a bit more from this last book in this very enjoyable series.   It was still very enjoyable, fast flowing, full of action and everything the first three books were, that’s not the problem.   The problem is that throughout the previous books it’s felt like we’ve been thrown a trail of breadcrumbs concerning lots of things, and i started reading this book thinking that that trail would have lead to somewhere.   Sadly, someone seems to have run out of breadcrumbs.

Previously we were told that the Variant came from a hole that was drilled into the ground, which sounded like someone was covering something up.   Like a hole in the ground would have enough gas to destroy a whole planet plus one more when it leaked through a worm hole.   It didn’t seem plausible for all this gas that has flooded two whole atmospheres to come from a hole drilled into the ground.   But that’s all that’s said about it in the whole series — nothing more.   No further explanation is given.

I was also hoping to have explained to me why the people of Everlasting can’t breathe Variant but the rest of the people on the planet can.

Then there’s Garden.   Who seem to have been around quite some time before the humans arrived, yet their sole purpose seems to have been to stop Gel from his master plan to invade Earth with genetically modified people from Everlasting — genetically modified with Earth’s help.   So no real explanation as to what has been going on in Everlasting before the humans arrived to have caused the insurrection was given.

And there’s other little picky things that just made this feel like a ‘quickly wrap the series up and move on and not get too deep about anything’ kind of book.

But, as i said at the beginning, it’s still an enjoyable read, but i’m just left with the feeling that it could have been so much more.

All in all, a good series, good writing, great characters, fast flowing pace throughout, just slightly lacking at the end.

J. N. Chaney’s Page

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