14 by Peter Clines

14 by Peter ClinesNate, a single guy with a lousy job, is desperate to find an apartment. He gets told about one that seems a little too good to be true, but he still takes it. Not long after moving in, he starts to notice some peculiarities about the Kavach building, not the least the manager of the building. He starts investigating: his neighbours, the building and its history.

The peculiarities start to build up and Nate is warned to stop investigating. Gaining the assistance of Veek (Nate’s potential love interest, an obvious set up from their first meeting) and Tim, a man with more skills than he shares, Nate continues to search. As things are revealed, more neighbours join in the search for answers. Where this search leads them is both unexpected and a little incongruous. There’s mystery, there’s suspense, there’s action, there’s romance, there’s science fiction (heavy on the fiction, quite light on the science), and that unfortunately makes it too many genres in the one book.

I would love to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but unfortunately it was just a little lacking. It certainly didn’t take me much time to read it, and was a entertaining read but falls short of being a great read. Nate was an intriguing enough main character, but most of the others felt a little two dimensional. There were some plot developments that were too obvious in their reveals. The tension was quite well done, although let down by the ending. The world building was actually pretty good, including the “other” world, (which I would like to see more written about as it was fascinating and well thought out with the time and space differentials) although it was let down by sloppy and repetitive dialogue. The whole novel could have done with a tighter edit to remove some extraneous material. Clines certainly has some wonderful ideas and if I was given one of his other novels, would read it, but I’m not going to go searching for any.

14 was enjoyable but not outstanding. An entertaining time filler without being something you’d recommend to others as a must read.

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