Tuesday, June 18, 2013

14

14 by Peter Clines
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Permuted Press
Pages: 350
Keywords: sci-fi, parallel universe, physics
Format read: ebook via NetGalley (Thank you!)

Summary: Padlocked doors. Strange light fixtures. Mutant cockroaches. 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. 

This was my first sci-fi read of the summer, and it was wonderful. It's not very often I give a full 5 stars to a book, but this one earned it. It started off with just the right amount of intrigue that I was pulled in, and Clines gave the perfect amount of hints and mystery along the way. Beginning with Nate's weird black lights and the green cockroaches, and adding some more weird quirks like no wiring along the way, my intrigue began to grow.

The characters themselves were what stole most of the book for me. There were quite a few, but not too many to be overwhelmed about keeping track of all the names. It was basically just the people in this building (another thing I loved — that the whole book essentially takes place in this one location). Each one (though with a couple stereotypes mixed in) was interesting as an individual character, but as well as having their own reactions and ways of dealing with one another. I enjoyed that Clines mixed it up, and had several groupings, so it wasn't always the same three characters exploring. They all rotated, so we got to know each one separately. And of course, they had weekly meetings on the roof with beer. I enjoyed that.

I also was surprised — I mean really surprised — by certain turns of events, involving characters, plot lines, and the general things that happened in the book. Which is so exciting. I love when a book makes my eyes bulge in shock from what just happened. This one did it.
And there was clearly thought that went into the book. It wasn't just a bunch of random stuff strung together that equalled one weird thing. Everything had a place and a reason for functioning the way it did, whether people believe it can happen or not, it was all planned out extremely well.

My reaction? Read it. Immediately.

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