Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Book Review: 14 by Peter Clines

Pros: very interesting mystery, well paced, some great twists 

Cons: characters don't consider that the past dangers might still be around, don't really get to know any of the characters

Nate Tucker's new apartment has a few issues.  The kitchen light always shines as a blacklight, no matter what bulb he puts in, the cockroaches are green, and the elevator doesn't work.  But the price was unbelievably low for L.A. and his data entry job doesn't pay well.  The mysteries of the building intrigue him and he slowly gathers a group of other tenants who want to know why it is the way it is and why so many rooms are padlocked. 

When I requested this for review I thought it was a horror novel.  It's not.  The cover's calling it an  "Apocalyptic Mystery" is accurate.  There are no jump out of the closet scares.  But, the last third of the book has a lot of horror based imagery (and location) in it.  The book is predominantly a mystery regarding the apartment building.  Why does each room have a different layout?  Why does room 14 have four padlocks on it?  What's up with the mutant cockroaches?  Where's the elevator?  Some famous people are mentioned, including an important horror author, whose works the last few chapters reference.

The mystery is very intriguing and is well paced so you never get bored.  And this building is WEIRD, with a lot of minor and some major issues the group discovers.

The characters themselves are interesting, with all sorts of backgrounds.  You don't learn as much about them as you'd like, but it makes it feel real as how much do you know your neighbours?  

Most of the twists were completely unpredictable, though I was surprised that, given what they'd discovered, the tenants never considered that the danger that faced the people who built the building might still be around.

The ending fit all of the build up, being appropriately freaky and challenging.

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