Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Subject 11 by Jeffrey Thomas

Cutting right to the chase, Subject 11 is one of the best novellas I've read all year. Jeffrey Thomas is at his best in this eerie story following a group of ten people (five women and five men) taking part in a mysterious experiment. I'll keep this review short, as the novella is about 90 pages and I wouldn't want to give anything away.

The setting is Ligottian urban decay at it's finest, as the experiment takes part in an abandoned complex of old, decrepit buildings. The ten participants are not allowed to tell their real names to each other, and instead refer to each other by their numbers. The particulars of the experiment are unknown to the participants, they just have to follow a simple list of rules: they can't share their names, they take the pills provided every morning, and once per day they must each enter a "confessional room" where they are free to talk about anything.

Thomas develops this story perfectly, and it's clear from the start that there is something sinister about the experiment. It's hard to put down, and the pacing doesn't let up. The mysteries are enticing, and Thomas brings them together for an ending that is sure to linger long in the minds of readers.

Keeping in line with the other Delirium Novellas, Subject 11 is available as an e-book for $2.99, or a limited hardback for $35. It's completely worth it.

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