“The world doesn't change in front of your eyes, it changes behind your back.”
― Terry Hayes, I Am Pilgrim
I AM PILGRIM is being touted as a stunning thriller in a class of its own, and so I admit I was sucked in. I am happy to say (after 700 pages?!?) that the book is, indeed, better than your run of the mill thriller both in terms of the plot itself as well as Hayes' writing style.
I won't go into the plot, as I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the story really pulls you in very quickly. It is written in first person which I found really effective in making you connect to the protagonist a.k.a. Pilgrim/Scott/Jude or one of the other names he used. I often find my problem with thrillers to be that I cannot connect to the main character at all, not just because they are usually male and superhuman, but also because they are written in third person. Hayes immediately achieves a sense of intimacy between the reader and the character by allowing us to know his most private thoughts and letting us know him better than anyone else. On the outside, he remains highly enigmatic to everyone he meets, so you feel, reading it, as though you are really living the story through him, which, I think, is the mark of a good writer.
I will say that the plot was, at times, a little confusing and I actually had to go back to re-read or check something I had missed earlier. That said, it does wrap up nicely, and I enjoyed the way Hayes used memory and flashbacks to slowly unfold the story. Despite this and its length, the book moves quickly and I was never bored.
I look forward to the next installment in what promises to be an engaging series.