Top positive review
"You better run, you better hide..."
Reviewed in the United States on August 3, 2016
A neo-dystopian survival story would probably be the best way to characterize this work by noted Wayward Pines author Blake Crouch. This earlier stand-alone epic, though, still has much to offer to both the thrill seeker and the literary crowd...first we get edge of your seat episodic writing in which our heroes, the Jack Colclough family (wife Dee and children Naomi and son Cole) race just ahead of mysterious gangs of killers and marauders, intent on wiping out and slaughtering all in their path while, secondly, we get to experience the literary prowess of the very capable Blake Crouch. So as the family escapes from their home in New Mexico and heads north, Crouch becomes very adept at describing the beautiful mountain backdrop and the scenic forestry that the family beholds in their desperate run for survival. This experience, coupled with Crouch's ability for empathy with the Colcloughs, makes for a genuine page-turner...there were many times that I had difficulty putting this down.
The plot here though is fairly straight forward...something wildly baffling has occurred to mankind that has caused a seemingly large portion to start killing others who have, somehow, been unaffected. With no sense or logic, these vigilante groups and their killing sprees grow and spread to the extent that "normal" people must now run, to escape these growing gangs before they and their cities become torched wastelands. With power out nation-wide and cell phone coverage discontinued, it only becomes by sparse communication and chance encounters with others that the Colclough's learn that there is a safe haven just over the Montana border into Canada. Reaching there, however, becomes a nightmare of survival hell...exhaustion, near death injuries and starvation are but a few of the obstacles that Crouch expertly integrates into our family's plight. We feel the horror, frustration and anger right along with them as they seemingly find safety, only to have it thwarted again.
If there is any criticism here, and it is criticism that has been pointed out rather viciously by other reviewers I must say, there are points in the book where the narrative does tend to drag a little...I myself found a few of them an actual place to catch my breath but admittedly there were many others that could have been edited down. I will say to the critics who chastise this work for "repetition," yes our guys do escape some rather harrowing episodes but each of these episodes are explicitly different...there is no repetition here at all, just more that adds to the angst of the story.
So if you're looking for a fast, thrilling and page turning work that also doesn't disappoint on the literary end, I'd highly recommend "Run" by Blake Crouch.
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