Title: Floor 21
Author: Jason Luthor
Publisher: Scout Press
Pages: Kindle; 355
Release Date: June 2, 2015
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love inquisitive narrators and books with open endings.
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The last of humanity is trapped at the top of an isolated apartment tower with no memory of how they got there or why. All travel beneath Floor 21 is forbidden, and nobody can ever recall seeing the ground floor. Beneath Floor 21, a sickness known as the Creep infests that halls of the Tower. A biological mass that grows stronger in reaction to people’s fear and anger, the Creep prey’s on people by causing them to hallucinate until they’re in a state of panicking, before finally growing strong enough to lash out and consume them. Only a small team known as Scavengers are allowed to go beneath Floor 21 to pillage the lower levels in search of food and supplies.
Jackie is a brilliant young girl that lives far above the infection and who rarely has to worry about facing any harm. However, her intense curiosity drives her to investigate the bottom floors and the Creep. To deal with her own anxiety and insecurities, she documents her experiences on a personal recorder as she explores the secrets of the Tower. During the course of her investigation, Jackie will find herself at odds with Tower Authority, which safeguards what remains of humanity, as she attempts to determine what created the Creep, how humanity became trapped at the top of the Tower, and whether anyone knows if escape is even possible.
The narration technique of using the characters "recordings", while interesting, didn't really meet my expectations. There were several instances where there was a conflict of storyline vs. actually being able to record. I think at some point my brain just skipped over the idea of the recording and I enjoyed it as a first person narrative. Jackie is the main narrator, but we do get insight into other happenings in the tower which add a lot of depth to Jackie's story.
Jackie is an interesting lead character. She questions everything around her and challenges the status quo. At the same time, she willingly obliges her bff with dance parties in her room. There is a lot of unknowns in her world and she's not afraid to see what else could be out there. I would say that this book is geared towards the young adult audience, if only that the main character is a bit young and her point of view can be a little grating (also whiny) at times. It's very representative of her age group and appropriate given the world she lives, but some chapters were harder to get through.
What is the Creep you ask? Terrifying is what it is. I became so engrossed in this book that I literally had a dream about the walls of my house being alive. I'd say that's pretty indicative of a good story. I've read a fair amount of dystopian and this is a fresh story with lots of opportunity to grow the characters and story line.
I thoroughly enjoyed this introduction into the Tower and look forward to jumping into the sequel soon!
Jason Luthor has spent a long life writing for sports outlets, media companies and universities. His earliest writing years came during his coverage of the San Antonio Spurs as an affiliate with the Spurs Report and its media partner, WOAI Radio. He would later enjoy a moderate relationship with Blizzard Entertainment, writing lore and stories for potential use in future games. At the academic level he has spent several years pursuing a PhD in American History at the
, with a special emphasis on Native American history. Universityof Houston
His inspirations include some of the obvious; The Lord of the Rings and Chronciles of Narnia are some of the most cited fantasy series in history. However, his favorite reads include the Earthsea Cycle, the Chronicles of Prydain, as well as science fiction hits such as Starship Troopers and Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.