14

1414

By: Peter Clines

peterclines.com

(Science Fiction/Apocalypse/Steampunk)

350 pages (trade paperback)

 

Nate Tucker’s new apartment building is a little strange – padlocked doors, odd light fixtures, and mutant cockroaches… but the rent’s good.

This book is not about zombies. Just thought I’d make that clear.

So many apocalyptic novels involve one brand of zombie or another. It’s either some sort of zombie plague that makes people crazy or violent or one that turns them into vampire-like monsters that are, again, crazy and/or violent. Lots of people love that stuff, but I generally don’t, although there is the occasional exception. What is so wonderful about 14, is that this book’s brand of apocalypse is completely different, and involves a more classical approach to the end of the world. Unfortunately, saying anything more would give away the story, trust me, it’s cool.

On the cover, this book is compared to the TV show LOST, but I disagree a little on that point. Yes, they both have mysteries, but I feel like the similarities end there. I didn’t really like LOST. It was good at first, but I gave up on it a few seasons in. Why? Because the mysteries kind of sucked. Well, actually, the mysteries, at first, were great, but they ruined them over time by, either ignoring them altogether or by having really anticlimactic reveals. 14 slowly builds intensity with its mysteries, each one more pivotal than the last. Pretty much everything of importance is answered and what is revealed is awesome. I didn’t see it coming.

The characters are good and create a well-balanced atmosphere of silliness with occasional seriousness. The book has a slightly lighter feel to it in that regard, but it kept the adventure fun. It was serious when it needed to be, but there were also plenty of jokes and geek references too.

This was a fun and interesting read. I always do well with curiosity-driven books. What’s behind that door? Why is it locked? What happens if I pull this lever? It was an interesting idea and something different, so I was really pleasantly surprised. Until next time…

Happy Reading!

 

*Spoilers*

For those of you who have already read the book I just wanted to add this one little thing…

(Highlight to read)

[You know how everything on the other side is covered in sand?

Two words: Squale poop. Think about it. 😉]

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The Passage

The PassageThe Passage

By: Justin Cronin

enterthepassage.com

(Fiction/Thriller/Vampires/Apocalypse)

766 pages (Trade Paperback)

In an effort to create fast-healing super soldiers, the U.S. government accidentally releases a vampire plague, and one little girl is the only one who can make things right.

I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. Lately, it seems I’m saying that about half of what a read. Maybe I shouldn’t prejudge my books so much…

Anyway, I had read some mixed reviews, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend 766 pages with the vampire apocalypse. It seems I keep reading vampire books even though I keep saying I’m not that into vampires. I think what is really happening here, is that the interesting plots that I keep coming across often have vampires in them – every story needs a catalyst. I was actually about to donate this book back to the book sale I got it from, to make room for some of my new arrivals, but changed my mind at the last minute. I’m glad I did.

First of all, this is a heavy story, but worth it. It also moves slowly, not to be boring, but to be thorough. There is a lot of detail here and the story will draw you in if you let it, but you have to take your time. Don’t expect constant action and intrigue. There are steady dribbles of action and suspense. Things build slowly. There is a lot of spooky end of the world stuff that is, at times, rather unsettling. The atmosphere of the story is as important as the plot.

The story goes from the time just before the outbreak (our very near future) to 100 years later. Everything is very well thought out and at times it felt a bit like two different stories altogether. The first couple hundred pages was more like a thriller, and the rest, more like a “trek to Mount Doom” fantasy quest, only in a post-apocalyptic world. Both elements were good, so no complaints there.

The vampires themselves are interesting. There’s a psychological aspect that makes them more than just mindless monsters, and as time progresses, they seem to evolve and have to adapt to various changes.

Amy! I almost forgot to talk about Amy! I love this character. She is incredibly interesting, but I feel like I will give away too much of the story if I go into detail. Really, she’s the reason I like this book, and why I will read the sequels.

Ultimately, this was very worth the read. I occasionally found it disturbing or depressing, but those elements made it a strong story, and I always like a strong story. Until next time…

Happy Reading!