Review: 14

14 by Peter Clines

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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…

*Includes tons of spoilers*
Or at least quite a few 

Where to start… I guess I’ll just begin at, well, the beginning.

When I started listening to this book, it was hard to stop. Not only do I love the narrator, Ray Porter, but the story itself dragged me into it pretty quickly. It was interesting with the mystery and things you couldn’t explain and I really liked getting to know the different people who Nate met in the building.

For quite a while it had me hooked. All the new clues and mysterious moments with people not being who they said they were, the owners of the house being seemingly not even existing, no power lines but still electricity in the house and of course, the writing on the walls! I mean come on, how to make a book more interesting than adding hidden messages on the walls, and some of them in blood even? Yes, I like that stuff. It might be cliche as hell, but I love those kind of things. Truly do.

Then they found the mysterious control panel, and a switch made the house shake, and it all went downhill from there. A room sucking people into space? Flying dragon-whales-with-tentacles-who-can-speak-into-your-mind-things? What on earth? I don’t even know how to make a proper review out of this, because it was all just too much. Yes, I get it, it’s a sci-fi and things gotta be a bit crazy, but there’s a limit to everything, and in the end I was basically just sitting there waiting for the book to be done so I could get rid of it from my reading list. I’m stubborn, if I start a book, I finish it, but for the last three hours I just couldn’t wait for this one to be over.

Now to my actual three stars. Don’t think it’s because I in the end started liking it again. No, it’s for the characters. I liked that they seemed quite real to me. They had their problems, you didn’t know everything about them and some things weren’t told until sometime in the end of the story. I liked that. And I guess one of the stars is for the narrator and because even though the last two hours weren’t my cup of tea, the first 9 were quite good. I think around the first 6 or 7 were quite amazing even, so it didn’t completely waste my time.

Oh, and one last thing. If your way of killing off characters is to write “And then he died,” you really need to work on your making-people-feel-something-when-something-sad-happens skills. Because that was terrible.


Review: The Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trials
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escaping meant he would get his life back. But no one knew what sort of life they were going back to…

Burned and baked, the earth is a wasteland, its’ people driven mad by an infection known as the Flare.

Instead of freedom, Thomas must face another trial. He must cross the Scorch to once again save himself and his friends…

*Contains a few Spoilers* 

I think this is the very first time I’ve read a book and not having a single favourite character when I finish it. When I read The Maze Runner I could at least say that I really liked Minho and Newt, but after reading this… well it’s not like I like them any less, because they’re probably the only characters who feel real to me in this one, but I don’t have enough interest left to even care about characters anymore.

It sort of feels like this story was written as a way too long filler, just to make sure the series ended up as a trilogy instead of just two books (plus the prequel) and that the whole thing was just made up while being written. The twists and so called suspense is just annoying, every time you feel like they might finally get a moment of rest there’s something new to almost kill them, and in the end I barely even bothered to read it properly, I basically skimmed half of the book through just to finally get to the end of it.

I’m not gonna say all twists were bad, because they weren’t. Some of them did make me hold my breath and at times I was really curious about what would happen, but after reading about half of the book the curiosity was replaced by annoyance and the feeling of just wanting to get the whole thing over with.

The story is fast going, you don’t really get a chance to understand what’s going on before something new happens. You get no real answers through the whole thing, it rather wakes even more questions, and it’s actually quite exhausting to keep track of it all. There are so many questions now, and this book didn’t make you understand it any better at all. It’s all just very confusing, and not in an interesting way, just annoyingly confusing.

Then of course, when you think they finally are safe, after once again being given empty promises, the author ends the book with yet another pain in the ass cliffhanger. Did you know that you can end a book in a way that makes people want to keep reading without making them want to rip the book in pieces? Apparently this author doesn’t. They’re supposed to be safe but suddenly we find Thomas locked in a room, away from the others and once again without explanation. Now where have I read this before? Oh that’s right, the whole damn book.

I guess I sort of have to read the last one as well, to find out if the author in some way can actually save this, but I can’t say I’m even a little bit excited anymore. I really just want the whole book series to be over.

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