I used a credit on this one over a year ago. It sat in my library for a long time- so long in fact that I would have returned it without listening to it if I could have (time limit had passed) since clearly I wasn't going to get to it. I finally decided, hey why not.
I am so glad I did.
This was the surprise of the year for me, as far as books were concerned. Utterly engaging and believable. The characters developed well, as did the plot line. No forced culmination- everything fit and made sense based on the build up. That is not to say that the book was predictable- far from it actually.
It's funny, sci-fi, and horror, mixed into a solve the mystery plot line. Great characters. Just... believable, even with as out there as the plot line is.
The narration was fantastic. I'd listen to Ray Porter any time. I'm going to have to give Clines' other books a try, even though the ex-superheros series doesn't appeal to me on the surface. If they're as engaging and well written as this was, I can't see not liking them.
Is it the best book ever written? No. Is it worth a credit and your time? Absolutely.
You'll find me chattering and chasing shiny things.
I'm sure I can't say here anything that hasn't already been said, however I was so impressed, I felt like I had to. I also don't want to reveal anything, because the minimal knowledge I had before listening made the unfolding of the story so much more fun! This was such a solid listen on all fronts. The characters were engaging, the story interesting, the source of the mystery was terrific. By the time it had ended I wanted to hear more!
The absolute best thing, though, was the narrator. If there were some way I could give Ray Porter more than 5 stars, I'd give him an enthusiastic 10! His accents were credible, pronunciation:impeccable, and timing and flow: spot on! The thing I loved the most is that his interpretation never got in the way of the story he was telling. I've never found a narrator, aside from Jim Dale, I felt I would gush about - Ray Porter is gush-worthy!
Laughter is the best medicine, but if you are laughing for no reason, you may need medicine.
This was another book purchased solely on reading reviews and I'm glad I did. Reading the story description alone I never would have used a credit on this book, strange goings on in an apartment complex just didn't "pop" for me but there were so many positive reviews I gave it a shot. The narrator is the same guy that reads the Joe Ledger series and I really like his voice and characters, he did it again on this book and even added an Indian accent. The "goings on" in the apartments was interesting enough but what happens toward the end of the book was very suspenseful and exciting and that's all I will say about the content.
This is one of those audiobooks that I really can't see how no less than 90% of listeners will enjoy and a sure bet that your credit won't go to waste.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Mysterious apartment building with low rent in Los Angeles raises healthy curiousity for young tennants. Sharing freaky details about lights and green cockroaches, the gang and slowly comes together in the shape of the Mystery Bunch, complete with Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Velma investigating the oddities of their dwelling.
Each character was interesting and relatable with Nate as the reluctant leader trading barbs with Veek, the oober-intelligent hacker. The guys and nudie sunbather, Zela meet on the roof to watch sunsets and share a few frosty beverages. Found myself enjoying the eccentricities of the gang. Narrators did an excellent job for each voice. Fresh take on a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys caper, searching for answers leading them into an other worldly caper.
The mystery unravels into a science fiction (not psychological) thriller. Enjoy.
I've never read Clines before, but if the rest of his work is on par with 14, I think I will have read all of his work by the end of the month. I devoured 14. I missed a project deadline at work because of 14. I really want there to be a 15, 16, and 17, even though I am perfectly aware that would make no sense.
Bottom line? This was a fun book with a fantastic narrator. Nothing deep really, but it didn't need to be. It was perfect fantasy/horror genre pulp. The entire thing is destined to be a movie that will inevitably fall far short of the story Clines has written. For Clines' financial sake, I really hope that happens anyway. Keep up the good work Peter.
There are few things better than a good story well told!
I downloaded this book thinking it would be a haunted house story. It's so much more. I hesitate to say more because I would not want to give away anything. I'll just say there is a mystery that you will not guess. Not in a million years. The story is part science fiction, part horror, part thriller. I definitely wanted to finish it in one sitting.
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
m night shyamalan wishes he could tell a story as good as this! i'm not sure i can add anything to what other reviewers have already said.
i bought this based on what another reviewer wrote, "it's lost meets national treasure." i bought it based on that. and boy oh boy, i was not disappointed! plus, i've read clines' other work and have definitely enjoyed his stories.
that reviewer hit it right on the head. 14 is a mix of lost and national treasure. there is a great cast of characters, and the plot builds as the story continues to pull you in. you helplessly want to keep listening and finding out more. who are these characters? are they really who they say they are? what is up with the history of this apartment building? why are some of the doors chained and locked up? what is in the basement?
this is a unique story, not like one you've heard or read before. i kept trying to guess, but i was wrong, pleasantly wrong as the story revealed itself.
like lost, the story pulls you in. unlike lost, this story has a good ending! my only disappointment was that i wanted to know a little bit more about a couple of the characters. i wanted to know more about a certain character's checkered past and how one character got the job she did.
like national treasure, there's a mystery and a history behind the apartment building. unraveling these leads the characters on an interesting quest to save the world. that may sound hokey but trust me, this is definitely worth your credit to find out why that's not a flimsy cliché.
if you like a good mystery with an interesting and unique payoff, then this audiobook is for you. if you've liked clines' other work, then you'll love this b/c it's his best in my opinion.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
What on earth is this book about? At 2/3 of the way through nothing had really happened, and nobody had really done anything, but I still kept reading because I wanted to know (probably as badly as the characters wanted to know): what is up with this building? And why is it titled 14? And why has it sometimes been tagged as "horror"?
That makes it sound like the first 2/3 dragged... it did not. For some reason the story kinda grabs you and pulls you in, even if it spends a lot of time keeping you in suspense as to what the story is actually about.
When I (and the characters) finally discovered what was going on, the story picked up the pace, and perhaps got a bit far-fetched... and it ended up not being at all what I thought it had to be. Of course, you have to suspend disbelief when reading. If you can do that, you should enjoy this book. It has a nice sense of foreboding and suspense and you're never really sure what's really going on.
I even liked the ending, pat though it might have been. I'd read more by this author. It is mostly sci-fi-ish, not really horror at all... There is a bit of violence, but it's not graphic or over-done. There is no sex and I don't think there was much in the way of swearing. The narration was very good.
It is difficult to review this book without ruining the experience. I thought I knew where Clines was going, then BAM--he changed directions and utterly surprised me. I did not see where he was going with 14 and was questioning Audible placing it in the Sci-Fi category..I was sooo naive! I believe I can make some comparisons without giving the plot away:
It is part Stephen King and part Frank Peretti (I think I should stop there as you are probably completely baffled...as you should be! This is utterly unique!). 14 is bizarre and wonderful.
Ray Porter did a fantastic job. I put him in the same category as Scott Brick and Kate Reading (2 of my favorites). He gave each of the characters their own personality. The evil characters made my skin crawl and I cheered for the heroes.
Recommended, I just cant tell you why without spoiling it~
Like many reviewers have said. this book takes a left turn about 2/3's in. Not long before that point, most readers will have realized that there is absolutely no way this plot will ever come together neatly. Even venturing into an alternate universe is insufficient to bring it all together. Probably the biggest loose end for me was why this magical building is not being carefully studied by scientists 24/7. Especially because someone has seen fit to develop spare parts!!
The narrator (Ray Porter) is really amazing and the only thing that made me stay with the book to the end.