Synopsis from Amazon:
As humanity lives out the remainder of its existence at the top of an isolated apartment tower, young Jackie dares to question Tower Authority and their ban on traveling into the tower's depths. Intelligent and unyielding, Jackie ventures into the shadows of the floors below. But will her strong will and refusal to be quiet—in a society whose greatest pride is hiding the past—bring understanding of how humanity became trapped in the tower she has always called home, or will it simply be her undoing?
Breathe, Leslie, breathe.
I did it. Six hundred pages of a girl basically talking to herself; I made it through Floor 21.
And it was brilliant.
Can't quite call it "glorious" because right now I am trying to get images of living pink snot out of my head—but Luthor is pretty dang brilliant because the whole thing played out like a Joss Whedon horror flick. (And I am a MASSIVE fan of Joss Whedon!)
"Cabin in the Woods" meets Tower in the City. Definitely. Not the caliber in descriptors and world building of someone like, say, Mark Lawrence and his Broken Empire (now THAT is a GLORIOUS concept!) but very awesome all the same!
Luthor really captured the art of character voice in Jackie. She became very much a real character with her own distinct sound that wasn't an adult male (the author.) Some parts made me giggle, some made me squeal. I found it highly enjoyable. Her relationships with the other people in the tower felt very genuine.
I also enjoyed the consistency of omniscience. At one point, the reader is treated to a glimpse of another area (no spoilers) and something happens to cause peril across the rest of the tower. Hence the group not involved is in sudden and unexpected danger, feeling the effects of the events that happened elsewhere... But without any inkling as to why it happened, and not enough preparation to know how to respond.
Lastly, I rather liked the number of questions left unanswered. Answers came for essentially the most pertinent questions, but there is enough left unexplored that ensuing books will have plenty of material to draw from. Luthor has left himself with plenty of room to expand his world and the lore that comes with it. That takes skill to not get so excited over everything that comes with world-building that the author stuffs it all into one book. Nicely done.
I did not enjoy the aspect of Jackie's parents. I was led to believe that the manner and nature of those characters was vastly different than how they turned out... And the way it turned out was rather disappointing to me. (Still trying not to spoil anything!)
I also did not appreciate the character Edward. It just felt too... Off to me... Or something. It's like if the idea had been allowed to percolate just a little bit longer, there would have perhaps been more of a grasp on the situation. As it stands, the concept isn't terrible—rushed, maybe. But not bad for a spur-of-the-moment inspiration.
On the whole, it does leave me wanting to read more (except for the fact that it's horror so I know that if I do, there will just be more creepygross stuff!), and if the idea of The Creep doesn't turn your stomach like it does mine, then this is absolutely a book you will enjoy! I give it 4 stars out of 5!