14 Ways To Die
Author: Vincent Ralph
Genre: YA mystery thriller
Publishers: Sourcebook Fire
Publication Date: 1st June 2021
[I was kindly provided a review copy by the publisher. All views are mine.]
This book was incredibly fast paced but mildly unrealistic. This story is about Jess who participates in an online competition in a hope to catch the serial killer, The Magpie Man, who murdered her mother. He has killed 13 times since. She wants justice for her mother. While her background story and her motive is intense and realistic, nothing much about this book felt realistic. I mean, a 17 year old girl catching a serial killer who has killed more than 13 times already? Also, the idea of online social media competition was interesting in theory but was not executed well.
The chapters were extremely short and fast paced, that a good thing, but the characters were extremely bland. Jess, our main character, felt like she had only one characteristic i.e, her mother was killed and she wanted justice. Her father had one characteristic- to be broken and sad. Every character was one dimensional. There wasn’t much layers to the characters. I wish the characters were more detailed and well developed. Also, Jess didn’t feel like a 17 year old, she felt way older. She also made some stupid decisions. I mean her mother was brutally murdered and she was seeking justice, so I should have been rooting for her and empathizing her, but instead I found her annoying. I did not care for her at all.
The mystery part of this story wasn’t gripping or exciting. I was bored to be honest, but I kept continuing this book in a hope that maybe the end will redeem this book but the end was underwhelming. I wanted to know more about The Magpie Man but all we got was Jess’ monotonous repetitive monologue throughout the book. The reveal was underwhelming in my opinion. I really hate a thriller that leaves me so unsatisfied in the end.
Overall this book had a lot of potential but failed to execute. This book disappointed me. But will I recommend this book? Well, I’d recommend this book to newcomers of the mystery thriller genre but not to people like me who reads like 5 mystery thriller a month.
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars.