There is a certain entertainment quality to the book, but the number of overwhelmingly positive reviews amazes me.
The story starts as thriller and takes a sudden plunge into science fiction towards the end. The somewhat Kafkaesque and bizarre environment, the main character finds himself in, creates enough tension to keep you going, regardless of the sometimes slow developments and numerous repetitions. The prose is adequate and the novel is, as far as the thriller part goes, decent enough. The science fiction part is substandard with a lot of inconsistencies, open questions and poor science. At the end of the story the author drops a bombshell, which provides quite a surprising ending, but leaves the story somehow unfinished.
The story starts intriguingly enough. Ethan Burke, a secret service agent, is sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho together with a colleague to investigate the disappearance of 2 agents in that area. A car accident, which kills his colleague, turns Ethan’s life upside down. Partial memory loss, no money, no ID leaves him stranded in strange Wayward Pines. Aimlessly and driven by unidentified fears and anxieties he walks the streets of this queer town, which looks like paradise at first glance, but where everything seems to be wrong at a closer look. Piece by piece he learns more about the mysteries of Wayward Pines, but the more he learns, the less he understands. Very quickly he realizes that his life is at risk.
It is quite a good yarn as far as thrillers go and it would be a good story, if the characters would have more granularity and Ethan would be a more appealing hero. Sometimes Ethan appears to be resourceful, but mostly he appears to be weak, lacks decisiveness and is pretty slow in grasping a situation. For a secret service agent he seems to be quite dumb at times. His combat flashbacks of Fallujah appear real and plausible, while his constant whining about his infidelity does not make sense. Why would he cheat on his wife in the first place, if he loved her so much?
In general I would say, it is a decent enough book, if you do not expect too much. Solid entertainment, if you are not overly critical as far as style and plausibility are concerned.