Many thanks to Peter Clines and Permuted Press for the review copy via NetGalley!
Goodreads Book Blurb: 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…
My Opinion: I really struggled with writing this review, because I don’t really know what genre this book falls into. It kind of defies them all. It is horror without being particularly horrifying. It is science-fiction without treading too heavily into the realm of science. I thought at first that it was so great that 14 skirted all the genres, but in reality, I think it was just trying to be included in as many as possible without committing to one and doing it exceptionally well.
There is some Lovecraftian influence here, which I don’t feel like I can comment on, because I haven’t delved into the world of Lovecraft yet (I know, bad Erin, right?). Though I will say, I was impressed with Clines because being the fact-nerd that I am, I Googled some of the names he threw out, and I found that the connections he claimed checked out. So kudos to Clines on the research front.
The book was good, but not great. It was twisted, but not twisted enough. The character reactions didn’t feel very real to me, and there were aspects that I really wished had been explored more. The entire last third of the book or so was very slow for me and didn’t seem to have much purpose. It just… dragged, even though that was where the action was.
Bottom Line: A genre bender, and enjoyable enough, but didn’t quite deliver on all fronts.