Cover Image: Thirteen Storeys

Thirteen Storeys

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Member Reviews

This is a very different, portmanteau selection of tales from different residents who all live,or work in Banyan Court.
The principle storyline is centered around the mysterious disappearance of architect and billi0naire, Tobias Fell who dropped off the face of the earth following a dinner party with 13 residents from his property. The front of the building is there for those who have, whilst the back of the building is there is for those without.
Each chapter is a self contained story, or 'storey' which concludes with someone having an invite to the fatal dinner, concluding with the thirteenth tale.
It's a gory, an , excuse the pun, elevated tale that marks out Jonathan Sims as an author to watch. He plays his readers like a fiddle as you wander from room to room , meeting the residents of Banyan Court without fully seeing the whole picture until the end.
It reminded me of the Hammer and Amicus partwork films, like 'Asylum', with one overarching plot pulling the threads of a tale together, it's a great autumnal/Halloween read and I have the feeling it will be very big when it hits bookstore shelves in January!
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I received an advance copy of, Thirteen Storeys, by Jonathon Sims. I just could not get in to this book, I really tried. It was to chaotic a story, with two many people. I really wanted to like this book but could not.
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Thanks to Orion Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

High concept novels tend to be hit or miss - usually a miss. Usually this is because the author’s focus is on the delivery of the concept and not the hard yards that actually make a story. Superficial and flimsy plotting usually ensues. This is certainly not the case with ‘Thirteen Storeys’, which rather reminded me of something the late JG Ballard would have written, with certain thriller-esque tropes added!to great effect. Ballard’s pioneering works examined and tested, in surreal detail, certain innovations in contemporary living and its effects on the human psyche,    find echoes here, too. The results were usually disturbingly dystopian, something that seeps into the bricks and mortar of the socially stratified building of ‘Thirteen Storeys’. Then there are the thirteen interconnected stories that are linked to the death of a billionaire at a dinner party, of the very same diverse inhabitants whose stories we voyeuristically glimpse throughout the book. Somehow these stories culminate in murder. Why? The answers are as unexpected as they are ingenious. This book literally has it all: simply faultless. A majestic tour de force of the imagination.
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You’re invited to a dinner party in the penthouse of a ludricously expensive building. You arrive and you know no one – and your host doesn’t even know who’s arriving or why. But the end of the night, the host is dead and no one, really, no one mentions what happened. But before that, the reader meets those invited to this macabre evening and once you read their stories, well, things will look a little different. I found some of this quite unsettling; it made me uncomfortable and it was uncomfortable reading but there’s no doubt about how powerful it is and the lasting effect it will have.
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Blimey this one steals your sleep, not only because its such a page turner but it is very very creepy…I spent several nights waking up suddenly thinking someone was watching me…yep that’s a sign of a great piece of storytelling right there.

We open with a retrospective of an unsolved mystery – that of the death of a rich entrepreneur at his own dinner party…to this day his guests have remained tight lipped claiming no knowledge of how it occurred. Reader, we are about to find out..

Strange events, ghostly goings on, a snapshot of disparate and diverse lives as each separate character is lead inexorably towards one night in a penthouse suite that ends in visceral violence. It is scarily beautifully crafted, the author subtly linking each tale, carefully leading you to a brutal and edgy finale. I loved every minute of this despite the distinct feeling of underlying doom each separate strand offers.

Very clever indeed, this is a haunted house story on acid. Here’s one talented author for sure. Highly recommended
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In one apartment building, a number of stories are unfolding. Each story is connected only by the dinner invitation each character receives from the building's owner. By the end of the dinner, the owner will be dead, and no-one's talking. 

This is essentially a collection of interconnected short stories, that each follow a different character within the same building. There's a theme of the supernatural and creepy running throughout, and the atmospheric tension builds with each story. It's unsettling and haunting, and very well written. I find with horror that setting the scene is often half the job to creating something truly scary. This certainly manages that. 

I will say that I found that there were too many stories, and too many characters at times. Often we do not get to see much of one character before we're rushing on to the next one. This leaves little room for development, and there isn't much complexity to the characters and sometimes verged on the repetitive. I also found the ending very disappointing. It's incredibly rushed given the wonderful build up, and leaves everything feeling a little flat. 

Great concept, great atmosphere but fall's a little flat on execution.
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Fantastic. That's all I have to say!

But to elaborate, I have never read anything like this before. I wouldn't usually read 'horror' but this novel was so immersive and descriptive that I felt I physically couldn't put it down. The main reason for 5 stars is that the plot was clever. So clever. Each character was entirely different and they were all haunted in a very specific and diverse way, leading  to a fantastic ending that really, truly surprised me. 
The descriptions of the hauntings where totally chilling and so creepy - perfect reading for dark, Halloween evenings in. 

Even if you don't usually go for this genre, give Thirteen Storeys a try - you won't be disappointed!

Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing for this e-arc in exchange for my unbiased and honest review!
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As a massive fan of Jonathan Sims writing for his podcast, I was really excited to get the ARC. 
Thirteen Storeys is effectively a collection of linked short stories. They range from vaguely unnerving to outright horrific, and all of them are really engaging. 
However, the downfall of this book is the ending. It feels very rushed, and doesn’t really explain any of the recurring themes that have been brought up. There’s then a very short epilogue tagged on the end, as some sort of ‘happy ending’, which really doesn’t work. 
A great set of short stories, but much better to be read apart instead of part of an overarching plot.
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This was an exciting thriller that started of as a literal rollercoaster and never slowed down. The characters were well drawn and the storyline flowed seamlessly. Highly recommended!
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I love horror reads, and I loved "The Magnus Archives," but this book was solidly an okay book.

There was a BIG concept underway for the book, but I'm not sure it quite worked for me. The book is essentially a collection of short stories, some better than others. This method made it very difficult to stay engaged, knowing the next chapter was going to completely shift focus. I understood, functionally, that each story was supposed to be happening in the same weird apartment building. It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me that an entire "side" was like a building in a rundown part of town, dingy, full of 'bad' characters, falling apart, while the other part was a luxury condo building. I know the concept of juxtaposed class and economic disparity was important to the idea of the book, but it felt like a big forced concept shoved into a novel. I think it would have worked better to begin in a room with all of the story-guests, then diverge to individual stories, and to go back and forth between story and combined-room action. I think Sims wrote the book like he was approaching a podcast, rather than a novel, and perhaps that is some of the disconnect for me?

I will say that some of the stories were sufficiently spooky, creepy, and gory, and I could have probably done without the tie-together thing at the end, as it just didn't quite work well for me. My favorites included the story about Anna (and Penny), Violet, Alvita, Jason (and Max), Jesus, and Janek. The more investigative stories were less interesting to me.
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This book,within the first few pages left me feeling uneasy.
That feeling never really went away.
It was joined by being creeped out,and a little bit horrified.
In other words,this was an excellent book.
Seperate stories all joined together by the building they live in and the grand finale of dinner with the builder.
Really,just very good.
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