Permuted Press, 6/28/2012
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Padlocked doors. Strange light fixtures. Mutant cockroaches.
My Thoughts:There are some odd things about Nate's new apartment.
Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn't perfect, it's livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don't nag at him too much.
At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela's apartment. And Tim's. And Veek's.
Because every room in this old Los Angeles brownstone has a mystery or two. Mysteries that stretch back over a hundred years. Some of them are in plain sight. Some are behind locked doors. And all together these mysteries could mean the end of Nate and his friends.
Or the end of everything...
14 by Peter Clines opens with Nate Tucker moving into a new apartment in the historic Kavach Building. Right from the start we know that things may not be quite normal in the building, but the rent is unbelievably affordable. Soon Nate and some of his neighbors begin to question some of the oddities surrounding their building, like mutant green cockroaches, how every floor plan is different, and the mysterious rooms/areas with padlocked doors. This comparison of oddities leads to even more clandestine exploration, all while they try to keep their activities hidden from the apartment manager. What they discovered will challenge their grasp of reality.
14 isn't a difficult novel to read and there is enough humor written into the dialogue/plot to help move along the pace while not becoming too overwhelming dark. If you've watched Scooby Doo, you'll appreciate Nate's attempt to cast himself and his neighbors as characters in the cartoon as they investigate the mysteries. Clines does an outstanding job keeping the reader interested in what is around the corner and what is going to happen next. As a bonus there are many pop culture references sprinkled along the way.
This genre bending novel begins feeling like a standard horror novel, but quickly turns into a mystery that takes a sharp turn toward thriller to science fiction/horror. I don't want to give away too much of the plot because following the turns it took was part of the pleasure in reading it. I wanted to review this novel based on the comparison made to Lost in early reviews (yup - I am a huge fan of that show). While I would not have made that comparison after reading 14, I'll admit that I sort of see where that may be valid for some readers.
I really enjoyed 14. It was a novel that I simply had to keep reading as fast as possible just to see what was going to happen next. And the pleasure I had in following the characters as the plot unfolded makes 14 Very Highly Recommended. A perfect summer vacation read!
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Permuted Press via Netgalley for review purposes.