Friday, March 21, 2014

REVIEW: 14 by Peter Clines

Title: 14
Author: Peter Clines
Publisher: Permuted Press
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Genres: Mystery, Sci-fi, Paranormal
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 5/5


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...


He looked at her.
“When he flipped the switch and the ground started shaking,” he said, “you saw the sun go away?”
She nodded.
“It wasn’t clouds,” he said. “It was going out.”
Veek blinked. She opened her mouth, shut it, then blinked again. “What?”
“Right in front of my eyes,” said Nate. “It turned red, the whole sky got dark around it, and the sun started to go out.”

Now, my dear bookworm friends, tell me that little snippet there didn’t get your curiosity levels skyrocketing. Be honest, you want to know what the heck just happened there, right? What in this world can possibly make the sun go out with the flip of a switch? Well, imagine this. You move into an apartment building and not long after moving in, you discover the strangest things. I can’t tell you what strange things, because you have to discover it all on your own. Maybe I’ll give you a tiny little hint: seven-legged luminescent green cockroaches that won’t touch food. Yep, cruel evil woman that I am, I’m only going to give you that one tiny clue that things aren’t at all what they seem in the Kavach apartment building where the rent is practically nothing AND includes utilities. Anyone’s dream apartment, you’d think. And I’ll bet you’ll never in a million years be able to guess what’s behind the door of Apartment 14. People, there’s a reason that door is locked with four padlocks and painted shut with half a dozen coats of latex paint. What’s inside that “apartment” is a real shocker.

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of horror and no fan of romance. So of course I was delighted to find that there is no romance in this mind-boggling story, but also to my chagrin, very little horror. Admittedly, horror is what I expected, but I must confess, Fourteen hooked me right from the start with its entirely different and refreshingly new level of freakiness which I haven’t come across in any other book or movie. The plot is built on astounding amounts of mystery which keeps you guessing right up until the end. Don’t think ghosts or poltergeists or things that go bump in the night. It’s nothing like that. It’s WAY more fascinating, complicated and intriguing than that. Think more in the lines shall I put it...alien technology, abandoned mines, Victorian-era super computers, and tons of weird discoveries. All that doesn’t even begin to describe what this book is about. It’s an apartment building right out of an old-time sci-fi movie. That’s the best I can do to describe it, folks. It’s fascinating, insanely exciting, freaky, and all the synonyms of strange.

Once you discover who the key characters are and which ones are the secondary characters, you might find you’re already feeling invested in all of them. The characters virtually jump off the page and effortlessly draw you into their freaky world. There isn’t one character I liked more than the other. Even the religious zealot freaked me out good and well. The dialogue is simply magnificent, and the writing is old-school Dean Koontz with the plot being pure Richard Laymon. It was hard to put this book down every time one of life’s pesky little demands got in the way. Honestly, I hated being away from this book. It’s not a quick read, therefore it took me almost a weekend to finish it, but it was well worth every minute spent reading it. I haven’t been this excited about a book since...I don’t know when. It’s one of those books I’ll be talking about relentlessly to anyone willing to listen to me jabbering away.

Who would enjoy this book? Any and all fans of classic horror, as well as lovers of books containing any form of mystery and strange discoveries that would make you look at apartment buildings in a whole new light.



He grew up in the Stephen King fallout zone of Maine and--inspired by comic books, Star Wars, and Saturday morning cartoons--started writing at the age of eight with his first epic novel, Lizard Men From The Center of The Earth (unreleased).

He made his first writing sale at age seventeen to a local newspaper, and at the age of nineteen he completed his quadruple-PhD studies in English literature, archaeology, quantum physics, and interpretive dance. In 2008, while surfing Hawaii's Keauwaula Beach, he thought up a viable way to maintain cold fusion that would also solve world hunger, but forgot about it when he ran into actress Yvonne Strahvorski back on the beach and she offered to buy him a drink. He was the inspiration for both the epic poem Beowulf and the motion picture Raiders of the Lost Ark, and is single-handedly responsible for repelling the Martian Invasion of 1938 that occurred in Grovers Mills, New Jersey. Eleven sonnets he wrote to impress a girl in high school were all later found and attributed to Shakespeare.

He is the writer of countless film articles, several short stories, The Junkie Quatrain, the rarely-read The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope Robinson Crusoe, the poorly-named website 
Writer on Writing, and an as-yet-undiscovered Dead Sea Scroll.

He currently lives and writes somewhere in southern California.

There is compelling evidence that he is, in fact, the Lindbergh baby.

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