Synopsis: 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 thoughts: I was hesitant to read this book at first because it was tagged as sci-fi, which I am not a big fan of. After reading reviews saying that 14 was the best science fiction book out there, I had to give it a chance. I'm glad that I did because it sent me on a roller coaster ride.
I quite enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book. I was fascinated with the descriptions of the apartment building. I wanted to know what was up with the cockroaches and the secret behind why each apartment was different and unique. I was also fascinated how the characters went about searching for answers about their building. It was freaky to read how each of the walls had secret writing on them. The mystery of this book was done well.
When reading the first descriptions of apartment building, I couldn't help but think of H.P. Lovecraft. The weirdness of it all sounded like Lovecraft's stories. The strange rooms (especially that of room 16), the cockroaches, the secret underneath the basement, what Nate saw in the sky, and of course the last third of the book are things that I have read in the many tales of Lovecraft. Lovecraft's influence made more sense as the story progressed and more questions were answered.
The book was going very well for me until the last few chapters. Things got weirder and more confusing. So much was happening that the shock that Peter Clines was going for felt forced and unbelievable. This was the reason why it didn't receive a higher rating.
To sum up, this was a great mystery/sci-fi book. I enjoyed reading the secrets behind the apartment building and the Lovecraft connection. I only wished that the ending was written better but other than that, I still liked this book. I rate it: