Alma Harper is a young music teacher. She’s working on rekindling her romance with her on again, off again boyfriend Paul and life should be pretty good. But when two amateur ghost hunters roll into town they cause Alma to attempt to remember what happened to her, to her family in Widowsfield sixteen years prior. For some reason the number 314, or pi haunts her and has some kind of control over her. She cannot remember what horrible event affected the population of Widowsfield on March fourteen, 1996 but the entire town vanished that day. What will happen if Alma returns? Will she remember what happened to her brother Ben? Will the terrible events of that day happen again? An entity known only as the Skeleton Man remembers and is anxiously awaiting her return.
The story shifts back and forth between the day of the event in Widowsfield and Alma’s return to Widowsfield on March 11th, 2012. As a result, the reader knows that Alma should not be returning but her desire to understand what happens overtakes all common sense. Returning to the now abandoned town that was bought by a corporation that cryptically spells out pie alphanumerically, it is clear that something sinister is going on. The once rotting houses are now returned to their 1996 glory and there are mannequins in each house, school and building representing the missing inhabitants. The Skeleton Man is here, and he’s happy to have Alma home…but what will happen?
314 is a super short book and if you like horror, I guess you could do worse. The theme of this weekend’s books was “meh” and that’s pretty much how I felt about this one. I didn’t realize that this was the first book in a trilogy, had I, I probably wouldn’t have read this one. The writing was ok, the timeline was a little difficult to understand for a little bit there because for some reason time keeps looping for the inhabitants of Widowsfield and they continue to experience the events of March 14th just in different ways (think Groundhog’s day with killer kids). I wasn’t pleased with the way the book ended because even if you’re writing a trilogy, you should give your reader some sort of resolution. This book literally just stops and you turn the page to realize that you need to buy the next book in the series. Randomly the author throws in the term chaos magick and I guess that’s supposed to relate to the meaning and ever present 314 but honest to god, I really didn’t get much out of that. New books await me, and I think I just need to forget about this one so that I don’t tempt myself to buy the second book and find myself disappointed yet again. Who the hell am I kidding? Of course I’m probably going to buy it…so expect a grumpy/huffy review in the future. When will I learn?