314 by A. R. Wise


A True Horror Story

If I loved horror, this one would delight me. It is formula horror, meaning it has a predictable outcome.

The characters are well-defined. The action pulls you into the book. You understand (mostly) why the characters act as they do. And you want them to uncover the reason behind the number 314.

Alma Harper, a talented music teacher, knows she faces certain budgeting cutbacks. Although she does not believe they will cut her program out entirely, she is certain she will need to make do with less.

But then by way of the PTA, she is given a brand new music room with more than enough space for her many music programs.

Her true benefactor, however, is a Channel 7 news person named Rachael Knight, whose real purpose is to draw Alma back to the same town that still haunts her.

So begins the journey back to the horror that happened on March, 14, 1996 at exactly 3:14 pm.

I wish, however, the story ended differently, although it doesn't end where the book does. It seems there is another book to follow. Maybe that resolves the problem of 314. The resolution certainly isn't in the first book. Furthermore, this book doesn't explain the unusual interest of Cada E.I.B., the company who bought up the abandoned town of Windowsfield, and what they hope to accomplish by keeping everyone out.

There is also poor resolution in the way the people interact with each other. Two of the characters are burly young men who seem to have little control over their fists, and rather than restraining Alma's father, a skinny meth addict who is a threat to Alma, they almost beat him senseless. I can see quite a few legal problems if this book were based in reality.

Maybe in the next book everything will resolve. I hope so, for those who will buy it. I won't, but not because it's not a well-told story. I don't really care for horror, which is based on an alternate, very evil reality, and I don't want that stuff in my head.

But for lovers of horror, you will love this book.