Sunil's Reviews > 14

14 by Peter Clines
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Sep 07, 13

bookshelves: 2013
Recommended to Sunil by: Seanan McGuire
Read from February 18 to 23, 2013

14, I was told, was a book best read without knowing anything at all about it. Of course, most books are better that way because everything is a surprise. 14, though, is full of surprise after surprise, so all you need to know is this:

A man rents an apartment.

Surely, there is more to it than that. You would expect that, perhaps, there is something strange about his apartment. Oh, yes, there is. Things are strange. And then they get stranger. And stranger. And...yeah, there's room to get stranger.

A blurb on the book cover compares 14 to Lost, and the comparison is sound. It is essentially Lost in book form if the Island were an apartment building and the characters were ordinary people instead of people with overly complicated tragic backstories. Like the Lostaways, Nate and the tenants try to figure out what the fuck is going on. Why are there padlocks on so many doors? Why are there fucked-up cockroaches? Why are there—oh, that would be telling too much. 14 is incredibly fun for people who like Big Mysteries that unravel clue by clue (and, unlike Lost, pretty much everything is satisfactorily addressed and resolved).

The blurb on the book cover also describes the book as "apocalyptic," so...you've got to figure there's more at stake than rent control.

I really enjoyed the fact that the characters were so...normal (although some of them do have their secrets). Everyone had specific knowledge that was useful to the mystery; they had to all work together. Plus, one of them is an Indian woman, and when was the last time you saw an Indian woman in a horror novel? Some of the characters are also fairly geeky, and Clines drops in quite a few geek references, often without explaining them (my favorite being a Fringe reference).

The prose isn't too flowery. It's very much "telling you what's happening" more than telling you how to feel or digging too deep into emotions. I found it hard to visualize a lot of the scenes from the very detailed descriptions that made it feel like the book was meant to be a movie (and, seriously, this should be a fucking movie). The style does work for an ordinary-people-in-extraordinary-circumstances story, though.

It's not groundbreaking, and, in the end, it feels like a mishmash of familiar elements with a fresh new twist, but that doesn't mean it's not a great read. 14 is a fun thrill ride that simply gets better and better as it goes along. Once you hit a certain point, you're not going to want to stop reading.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali Seams like you've read everything! And I'm glad too. I've come to trust your opinion. So far, you're spot on about this one. I'm loving it!


Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali seams=seems. gah!


Sunil How did you even hear about it?? I think about this book a lot (I initially gave it 4 stars but went back and raised it to 5 stars because I couldn't stop thinking about how much I enjoyed it). It's so cool, and, like, no one knows about it. I only read it because Seanan was raving about it. And we made my friend Mark read it, and he raved about it too. I need to get around to buying a copy.


Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali I saw it on Audible and I think bought it one night because it was on sale. It sounded different and interesting so I bought it. I like it a lot.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that you have read it. You've read everything it seems and I really trust your opinion.
I am having a blast listening to this and that is saying a lot because most of the new books I've gotten recently have bored me to tears or just didn't catch me enough to make me listen straight through without looking for something else.


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