Review: A.R. Wise – 314

20140109-195949.jpgI hadn’t really intended on reading this book, but I forgot to take Harry Potter to work with me today, so I downloaded a free kindle book to kill the time before work and my lunch break. I didn’t think I’d finish it, but I think it was only 200 pages, so it was gone in no time.

About 3 pages into the book, I actually contemplated stopping immediately, because what I was reading was so disturbing that it was making me feel physically sick. It’s 1996 and a young boy looks to be having some psychotic episode, saying that something bad is going to happen at 3.14pm. And when 3.14 arrives, the boy goes mad, threatening to kill himself with a blade unless his dad gets in the bath. Which isn’t too bad, until he says that the Skeleton Man says that he needs to pour boiling water over his dad, and some kids start bringing boiling water up from the kitchen. Every time his dad tries to get closer to the boy, he digs the blade further into his own neck, leaving his dad with no choice.

Wow, all very disturbing. But I thought I’d carry on and see where it went from there. The book keeps flipping back between the happenings on March 14th 1996 (3.14 in American date format) and the 9th March 2012 (almost 16 years later). The 1996 parts were all as disturbing as each other, but the 2012 part seemed more like the kind of book I usually read, revolving around a woman named Alma, her on-and-off boyfriend Paul and his friend Jacker, and two strangers that Alma has just met, Stephen and Rachel.

As we get further through the book, it looks like the weird Skeleton Man from 1996 is slowly taking body parts from each of his victims, but why? And who is he looking for?

The journey in 2012 leads our characters back to Widowsfield (the town where Alma was in 1996 when this green fog hit), in the hopes that she can remember what happened to finally lay it to rest. But why is the entire town fenced off and patrolled by security? And who has un-boarded up the town, and why?

Things get very, very strange at the end, with 1996 turning even more grotesque (if that’s even possible), and 2012 taking a turn for the decidedly creepy. The end of the book was left on a massive cliffhanger, and I now know that it’s the first part in a trilogy. The second and third parts cost £2.50 each to download on Amazon, but I’m not sure I want to pay that much if the books are as skin-crawling as this one, which was at least free. I think I’ll let this settle in for a while before I decide. And I’ll definitely read the blurb of books that I pick from Kindle next time, to try and avoid books as horrifying as this, I think I may have nightmares!


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