The journey of a nerd who loves the Lord

Book Review: 14

We jump into mystery and trills with this review of Peter Cline’s book, 14.

14clines

Written by: Peter Clines
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Series: Threshold Series, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
Release date: 06-19-12

For those who follow my blog, it is not secret that I enjoy Peter Cline’s books.  His “Ex-Heroes” series manages to take two things that I find extremely cliche, superheroes and zombies, and put them together to tell a fascinating story that leaves me wanting more.  Here is the official synapses.

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 neighbour 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…

14 does a great job pulling the reader in and enticing them to find out what will happen.  As Nate and his friends investigate the building, they get pulled in deeper and deeper into the mystery.  Clines writing makes the reader curious, as well.  My wife, who only heard bits and pieces, forced me to start the audio book over so she could hear it from the beginning.

In the book, the characters reference Scooby Doo cartoons often, and the analogy works.  The ‘gang’ will work together to solve a mystery, and possibly get into a fair amount of trouble in the process.  The building itself is well thought out and, in a way, becomes a character unto itself.  I enjoyed imaging the various rooms and layouts while listening to the descriptions.

14clines2Once again, Peter Cline’s writing hits  home.  If you seeks a mystery, thriller with some dark elements, look no further.  With that said, there are two eye-rolling cliches that made me grown.  One of them in particular is a bit of a spoiler, so feel free to skip the next paragraph.

First, the main character makes out with another character, and the description goes into a bit of detail.  So, be aware if you like to listen to books at work, out loud like I do.  None of the other Peter Cline books I read really did that.  What bothers me about this type of scene, however, is it feels a bit shallow, artificial and forced.  However, to be fair, other writers (and certainly most movies) treat the subject in a way that makes this look positively realistic.  Second, and more jarring, is that there’s a religious character in the book who comes across as a two-dimensional jerk.  Without getting into too much detail, this concept gets moves to the extreme later in the book.  I tire of the cliche that the religious person in these stories is a bad guy, seeking to shove his faith down other’s throats with no regard for their reactions, and even going to extremes.   Certainly, writers can add more depth to the faith character in the group, and come up with another person to play the role of bad guy.

With that said, these gripes did not detract significantly from our enjoyment of the title.  I certainly recommend it to any fan of Cline’s work, or those looking for a good mystery adventure to jump into.  You can find 14, here.

5star

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