Twisted Pines by Lane Baker

TWISTED PINES
By: Lane Baker

Twisted Pines

Where have all the children gone? At rustic summer camp Mendocino Pines, that’s the question on everyone’s mind. First one, then two, then three campers vanish—only to reappear a short while later with no recollection of the missing time. The disappearances raise questions about the children’s safety, not to mention the camp’s time-honored reputation.

When Abe, a freshman camp counselor from UCLA film school, stumbles upon a ghoulish-looking humanoid roaming the coast, he suspects this creature might be responsible for the children’s unsettling disappearances. Armed with a camera, a journal, and a thirst for the truth, Abe sets out to pry the lid off the uncanny mystery hidden among Mendocino’s Twisted Pines. – Goodreads

*Received in exchange for an honest review*

There is an obvious fascination of Lane Baker with science fiction and aliens in particular. Following the previous story Slippery Things (review), this new story is also along the same lines. This time around, the main character is a young adult Abe who takes up a summer job as camp counselor when weird things happen and he discovers what is the cause. As the story unravels about this mysterious lurker, the motives come together.

There are few things done well here. The first is execution. It has something of a novella length which gives it space to develop a story but also a quick pace for events to happen without things lingering and dragging therefore making it a nice little page turner, more and more so as the story pulls together and the heart of the situation and the two central characters start interacting.

Another element done really well here is characters. There are quite a few because of the setting in the summer camp with counselor names bouncing around the pages and young campers being caught up in the mystery. However, there is a definite focus on Abe as the main character and a lot of this going from his perspective. Telling a story from a perspective always works well to still create mystery out of what is unknown to the character. The two sided (both good and bad depending on the part of the story) is that while the humanoid does have some character development and as gaps of mystery behind him because of taking Abe’s perspective, it also has the issue that the character doesn’t have quite the depth and is more of a supporting sort of deal. At times, it works and at times, it doesn’t.

Overall, Twisted Pines is a well-paced YA sci-fi novel. There’s an obvious improvement in dialogue here (in comparison to the previous story).  A lot of Twisted Pines is well-written, whether its building up the suspense or how the chapters are structured and the progression of the Abe’s character and his discoveries, especially on how it starts and ends. I can’t say that Abe, as well done of the character as it is, is too memorable but feels suitable in this story. There’s a lot more that can be explored with this story especially in terms of the humanoid however, its a simple page-turner story that keeps things straight forward and because of that, it also manages to keep it intriguing enough to keep want to know more about what happens next. This one is well worth the read.

What’s Up 2019 – Week 35

Tranquil Dreams (14)

READING

Twisted Pines

  • Twisted Pines by Lane Baker

Currently reading: The Moonlight Pegasus

It sure feels good to be back to doing some reading especially when I took the long weekend to sit back and just do that for a little while. It also helps that Twisted Pines got pretty intriguing. YA and Sci Fi seem to be the combo that is my main 2019 genre grouping. Its pretty good so far but I will be moving away from it gradually especially as I started reading The Moonlight Pegasus to do some turbo reading and get a review out for the upcoming blog tour.

PLAYING

injustice: Gods among us

Currently playing: Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us has been in the backlog for a long time, lining up to be played. This weekend, I needed to get back to gaming and decided on an early Sunday morning to start it up. I’m done the story mode but just taking a few sittings more to explore what other modes and stuff are available before probably getting back to some game reviews over on Game Warp.  We are slowly getting things back in operation over there.

WATCHING

Aquaman

  • Aquaman (2018)
  • The Bling Ring (2013)
  • IT: Chapter One (2017) rewatch (Review)

Not a ton of movie watching going on still but we are gradually catching up with the DC movies, luckily they don’t seem to rely too much on any order or else Aquaman would have been a much less enjoyable bit. I’ll talk about my issue with DC films soon when I review Aquaman but there were some okay moments and Jason Momoa as Aquaman is decent. I can’t say that Aquaman is my favorite watch out of the movies this week but its the newer selection and not a rewatch. IT: Chapter 2 is around the corner and we’re going to be seeing it opening weekend if everything pans out so with Chapter 1 hitting Netflix, we decided to give it a watch to refresh our memories a little and it still holds up pretty well. As for The Bling Ring, its for Movies and Tea’s current season and the podcast should be up in a few weeks so I won’t talk too much about it.

BINGING

Hyperdrive

  • The Coming One 3 (2019)
  • Hyperdrive (Season 1, 2019) REVIEW

Currently binging: The King’s Avatar, Love is Deep, Super Vocal 2

I’ve already shared a ton of love for Hyperdrive right now. Its a great competition series and so much fun to binge. Fast cars, adrenaline and obstacles plus some fun competitors to know more about. It was a blast. You can check out the review linked above.

I’ve pretty much wrapped up most of my Chinese reality/variety shows now and only have Super Vocal 2 still high on my radar while I forgot about Dream Space 2 which might say a little about how I feel about the participants of that show. I’ll get back to it soon since its still not even halfway through. For currently watching though, strongly urge you all to check out The King’s Avatar currently updated 10 episodes weekly on Netflix because its a lot of fun especially for gamers as its a TV series about professional e-sports and such. Its the rare story that doesn’t have a love story and completely about teams and gaming and the pursuit of success and of course, friendship.

That’s it for this week’s What’s Up!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

What’s Up 2019 – Week 34

Another week has passed by. As always with weekends away, its a bit slower. If you missed yesterday’s post on Fan Expo Canada, we headed down there and met up with a fellow blogging friend. First time there and not as media so it was relaxing and just did a ton of stuff that I enjoyed although would have wanted to check out all the South Building stuff but didn’t have time. Either way, things moved along a little but some things that happened over the weekend that I was away in Toronto obviously didn’t end up wrapping up.

READING

Wild Dark Times

  • Wild Dark Times by  Austin Case (Review)

Currently reading: Twisted Pines by Lane Baker (9% done)

Wrapped up Wild Dark Times last week right in time for the blog tour. The review is up already and linked above so I won’t talk too much about it but it was a really fun read and lived up to the premise when I read the synopsis and decided to check it out. That’s always a plus. I like books that play up on real things and add the urban fantasy element to it and shows off the author’s creativity. However, I started up Twisted Pines now. Thanks to the author Lane Baker reaching out to me years after his previous one that I also reviewed HERE. I literally just started up the book and its a converted version so its tough on the Kindle so might switch back to reading on the PC to make life a little easier for my eyes sake.

PLAYING

NOTHING! I played nothing this week. I was away and didn’t play anything on my phone. During the week, I was getting the weekend chores done before leaving for the weekend away so took up most of the evening time. Nothing is all I got here.

WATCHING

the fanatic

  • A Home With A View (2018)
  • Split (2016)
  • The Fanatic (2019, Advanced screening)

Less about how I’m recommending this film but rather the fact that I saw the advanced screening for The Fanatic at Fan Expo despite some issues that occurred but was eventually fixed and we did get to see the rest of the movie. Most of the movies that I saw this week was middle of the way. Probably I’d recommend A Home With A View the most because Split was alright but not great and The Fanatic was alright and not great for probably the same reasons where the actor showcased did a good job but it thought it was being more clever than it actually did in execution. It sounds mean but they really aren’t bad films and I’ll talk about it more in the upcoming reviews.

BINGING

we grew up

  • We Grew Up (Season 1, 2019)
  • Heart Signal (Season 2, 2019)

Currently binging: Super Vocal (Season 2), The King’s Avatar, Hyperdrive, The Coming One 3

I wrapped up the finale for both of the Tencent reality shows that I was watching last week as they aired their last episode. Both of them were pretty good. I’ll do a big post comparison on the concept for the romance/relationship thing for Heart Signal and other shows that I’ve seen before because I think its a good one to talk about and a nice little concept and they each have pros and cons. The show that just pulled at my heartstrings even though I’m not a parent is We Grew Up. I was a bit conflicted with the concept of a reality show focused on some really young kids learning to be independent despite them making all kinds of safety precautions that’s also apparent in the show. However, in the end, it does highlight a lot about the whole growing up in China and just in general parenting and young kids and how they adapt. Its pretty neat and honestly, there are some heartbreaking moments between the siblings but at the same time, there are also some funny moments as kids will have.

As for the currently binging stuff, I’m absolutely enamored with The King’s Avatar currently updated weekly on Netflix. My husband and I are watching Hyperdrive together and well, Super Vocal 2 is the competition show on my radar that I’ve generally caught up with to their latest episode.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been playing/reading/watching/binging?