Review: State of Nature (Park Service Trilogy Book 3 of 3)

State of Nature - Ryan Winfield

I’m not even sure how to write a review for this final book in the trilogy.  There’s really nothing I can say about the plot or the characters that wouldn’t spoil the fun of reading it for oneself.  However, I’m not really feeling like “fun” is the right word at the moment.  This series is probably a really bad choice for somebody who’s currently in search of something happy to read.  The series has some happy and funny moments, but there is a lot of major tragedy throughout and some pretty gruesome depictions.  

The ending could be considered happy… if you don’t read the epilogue, and if you can ignore the niggling knowledge in the back of your head that tells you what’s surely coming.  From early on, I was pretty certain I knew what was coming.  The events depicted in the epilogue were inevitable to anybody who remotely understood a certain character in the story.  If nothing else, I suppose the author foreshadowed the epilogue when the main character muses, “I find myself hoping for a happy ending, but really it’s only a happy pause, because if you let any story play out long enough, they all end.”  That bit stuck out to me when I read it because it’s something I’ve often thought myself, both about fictional stories and about real-life stories.

If things hadn’t turned out the way they did, it would have felt unrealistic and I probably would have complained about that.  Still, I had become invested enough in the story and the characters that I hated the epilogue anyway.  I like realism, but I also like it when a book or series ends on a happy note.  In this case, it would have been impossible to have both.  In any case, the ending wouldn’t have bothered me if I hadn’t really enjoyed the trilogy in the first place.  It was very well-written and it sucked up way too much of my time over the past few days.  I’m glad I started and finished it before my new university class started or else it would have been very hard to put it down and focus on my schoolwork.