14 by Peter Clines is an apocalyptic mystery set in the modern world that revolves around an underachieving protagonist and his buddy friends trying to decipher on just why living in the Kavach building feels so weird. I’m not going to lie. It’s been a while since I dropped a book into my “did not finish” category so when I say that I quit at 55% in, I gave it numerous opportunities to impress me. The book starts of at a snail pace and by the time it even remotely hints at something exciting about to happen, you’re all burnt out from all that reading and buildup that you feel it just isn’t worth it to trudge on. I don’t think I’ve ever given up on a mystery type book that I’ve spend over 50% in reading without going through to see the end. Well, now I have.
There’s not much positive things I can say about 14 except for the promising story that lured me in. Mutant cockroaches, mysterious locked doors, apocalyptic type setting…count me in! Well, it wasn’t until 17% in that I felt something remotely considered a tingle of excitement. Okay so the book starts off slowly, which is fine. Read a ton of books that are similar. At 30% in, I was getting a bit worried as nothing really big unfolded. At 40% in, it was testing my patience. At 50%, I told myself if what happens in the next couple of chapters don’t equate to anything interesting, I’m done. But when that moment came at 55% in, I somehow found that my energy had already been sapped away and continuing on would have been too painful. That’s right folks. Even at 55% in, I was still not sure on exactly what the big mystery is all about or even a hint of it. But again, I’m too tired to go on or even care about it anymore.
One of the main reason why I feel this book is a disappointment is due to lack of interesting characters. The dialogue between characters is also shallow and a bit monotonous. Granted, the main protagonist Nate is a bit of what you call a “normal” everyday guy who does just enough to get by. He ain’t no superhero, doesn’t have girls drooling all over him with his looks nor witty minded to make you laugh and think about what he just said. However, the author could have at least made the other characters around him pick up the slack! The other gripe I had with 14 is when the author had to go into “descriptive” mode. For some reason, there were a lot of times when I had a hard time conjuring up just exactly how the environment or object the author described looked like.
I’m sure you get the point by now. I simply cannot recommend this book to anyone. I actually tried to find a plot summary/spoiler from Amazon and other reviews of this book elsewhere since I’ve already invested so much time in it. But I failed in my mission.
P.S. – It’s pretty darn sad when the most excited I got up to the point I stopped reading was finding out that the cockroaches would die if they travel a certain distance away from the building. Yes, you read right. That right there in itself made me want to continue reading. Cockroaches dying.