Book Review: Tin Crickets by Joseph Wise

Unhappy with the living conditions and treatment of citizens in the underwater bunker where they live, Tommy and his friends use their video camera to produce and share Riot Reels---films that expose the truth about the darkness and messed up things taking place. But one night their attempt to find the truth about unsafe food processing leads to a deadly disaster from which they might not all make it out alive.

Book Review: Tin Crickets by Joseph Wise | reading, books, book reviews, young adult, dystopian, horror
Title: Tin Crickets
Pages: 510
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book via BookSirens. This has not influenced my review.*

This is one of those books that I just felt drawn to. The cover, the title, the premise. But it’s also one of those books for which the blurb is accurate and yet somehow not wholly accurate, so the story turned out to be different than I thought it would be. It was kind of a dystopian/horror combo, although I’m not someone who usually reads horror, so maybe others would disagree. It was essentially about a bunch of teens trapped in a creepy maze-like facility with monsters (both figurative and literal) on the loose, blood and death everywhere. It wasn’t super scary or anything, but it still seemed more horror than dystopian for a good portion of the book.

That’s not to say the book wasn’t good for what it was though! There was a lot of suspense and some creepiness. There was also an element of mystery as to what was really going on in this place.

It also did have a dystopian setting. Not everything was really explained, there are still things I only half understand, so that is one big issue I had. From what I do understand though, the book took place in an underwater bunker sort of place where people were forced to retreat some decades prior, and there was a corrupt and overly controlling government in place with different types of enforcers and conspiracies and whatnot. There was also the whole concept of the Riot Reels (videos the main characters filmed in secret to expose the darkness of the city).

As for the characters, they were pretty interesting. They were flawed and rough around the edges and had a lot of contention between them, but they still looked out for each other. Tommy especially was super passionate about exposing the truth and fighting back against the bad things the city was doing—even at the risk of his and his friends’ safety. He had a unique voice to match his personality that included a fair bit of slang. He was also adorably protective of Gibbsy, who wasn’t as stereotypically tough as the others, and I loved their friendship. Bonus: Tommy had some feelings for one of the characters, but there was no actual romance plotline.

The ending is not what I would necessarily call open-to-interpretation, but everything is not wrapped up with a neat little bow. According to the site where I got this book, it is a standalone, which means all your questions will not be answered, and I know that might bother some people. I don’t mind endings that don’t wrap things up too neatly though.

Also just wanted to mention that the book is listed as being 510 pages, but I don’t know if that’s correct because it was a fairly quick read.

Overall, this wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it was a unique take in the YA dystopian genre with a bit of horror and a lot of conspiracy thrown into the mix and characters who were rough but still ones I could root for.


Book Tags:

Basic Info

Book Author:
Genre: , , ,
My Rating:

More Info (Possible Spoilers)


Talk to me!

Have you read Tin Crickets by Joseph Wise?
Do you like books that unexpectedly combine genres?


Your Thoughts


12 thoughts on “Book Review: Tin Crickets by Joseph Wise

I'd love if you'd share your thoughts, too!


Reading your comments makes me a very happy blogger!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Greg

    Ooh I like the idea of it being over the course of one night. And yeah that synopsis does sound good- I love a good dystopian! Oppressive government, propaganda and lies, a little creepiness- those are all good things lol.. The underwater angle is a plus too.

    I like the ideas of teens fighting the system and sneaking around at night haha- who didn’t want to do something like that as a teen? 🙂

    Wow 510 pages- that is long but nice that it reads fast!

  2. Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

    It’s great to hear that a long book felt like a fast read 🙂

    I love books that feature friendships, and I don’t mind open-ish endings. When done well, they can get the reader thinking. It’s especially interesting that this book doesn’t have a romance plotline since so many YA books feature one. That said, I’m not super big into horror.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t think it actually was 500, tbh. Friendships in books are great 🙂 But I get it, I’m not big into horror either, so that might’ve impacted my enjoyment a bit.

  3. verushka Byrow

    That length is intimidating I must admit, but then on the other hand if you didn’t feel the length when you read it, I count that as a win! Definitely an unusual setting too!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t think it was actually 500 pages, or maybe the text is really spaced out lol. Yeah, I don’t think I’d read about an underwater bunker before!

  4. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    This does sound interesting, especially the underwater bunker. I don’t usually enjoy horror so it’s probably not a great fit for me and yet I kind of still want to read it because I do like dystopian reads. Great review!

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    You think 510 pages is a quick read? It’s the first things I spotted in the book details and I was immediately put off but if you say it’s a qucik read then that’s good. I suppose some books you fly through without expecting to.