With its repeated references to the children's show, you eventually realize you are merely listening to an expanded episode of Scooby-Doo: with a lot of salty language and a little sex thrown in to let you know it's for adults.
Basically, this is the story of a hand of young people, and one older guy, exploring a building in current day LA. As such, it's pretty limited in its scope. Sure, the mystery involves the building, itself, but the characters can't really go anywhere. Except up on the roof, or down to the basement. Or into another apartment. That's about the extent of their activity.
Further, the characters aren't very well fleshed out. And it's beyond belief that, when they find mind-boggling danger and potential devastation--not just to them, but to the whole planet--they don't go to the authorities, or at least move out. Even if the rent is cheap.
It's also hard to take the story seriously, even though we seemingly are supposed to, when the characters keep comparing themselves, by name, to the characters in Scooby-Doo.
This tongue-in-cheek ennui extends to other aspects. Such as when the protagonist says something to the effect of, 'Gee don't you just hate it in the movies when they find an old newspaper to give you the date when something happened?' ... as he finds a stack of old newspapers telling him when something occurred more than a hundred years ago.
And the end result of all the Scooby-Doo sherlocking devolves into an unbelievable sci-fi twist at the end. While it is amply foreshadowed, it is so at odds with most of the book that you're thrown out of whatever state of disbelief you were in and asked to accept a completely different state of disbelief. Hard to do. And it's not accomplished.
As to Ray Porter's narration, sometimes the German accent is hard to tell from the (east) Indian accent from ... Well, you get the point. The book requires a young voice, and he does nail the surfer dude. Overall, it's not nearly so bad as Stephen King's 11/22/63, which is probably the worst narration ever, but it's not much better.
I do not understand why there were so many good reviews for this book. They sure fooled me because that is the only reason I purchased it. I kept waiting for it to get good and even went back and reread the reviews about 7 hours into the book because I thought it was the most boring thing ever. I kept thinking some big twist was around the corner and I just had to hold on a little bit more.
There were many compliments on the narrator since he was able to read several different voices without much effort. This is true, but every character was so extrememly boring! There was no excitement or inflection in his voice and I could care less if they all lived or died at the end of the day. The apartment was filled with the most bland people on earth and I wasted over 12 hours of my life trying to "feel" something for them but it just never happened.
I may feel this way because this is the first book I listened to after 9 months of listening to the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I invested a lot of my time in those books and had grown to care deeply about each main carractor. Maybe I listened to Simon Vance for so long that I forgot what an american accent sounded like :) Either way I just wanted to write a truthful review to possibly stop someone else from wasting 12 hours they can never get back. If you are a "sci-fi nerd" then this may be right up your ally or you might find it just as boring as I did. I hate to bar the narrator for life but I'll definitely preview the next one before I purchase,
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
I really don't know if the audio edition of 14 would be better than the print version. I did enjoy the narrator's different accents for different characters, but I did not read the print version. The suspense was very good for the first half of the book, however the ending was far fetched, and a little bit confusing.
I don't think so. Although overall I enjoyed '14,' it's just not my normal genre. I like horror but I am more into Stephen King and Jack Ketchum. Without giving away spoilers, this book is sort of 'HP Lovecraft' (who incidentally is mentioned in the book and is a key piece of the puzzle.)
I have to say that I like Nate and Veet. I was surprised with all of the suspense and the 'What is going on with this building?' questions, Nate and Veet were still able to start a romance. I liked their characters the best. They were tough, thoughtful, and they were the strongest characters. Tim was also very strong, and we find out why in the end. The cast of characters were mostly very likeable.
I would have to say that '14' is a good title and tag line because it gives the reader the urge to find out what '14' stands for. The beginning of the book is very suspenseful and exciting, we want to find out what the big secret is in the strange building where these tenants live.
This book sort of dragged at times, and the end was confusing and kind of silly in my opinion, but it was still worth the listen.
Absolutely not. It was basically Scooby Doo for adults (sea monsters and all). The beginning seemed so interesting but then the story started taking absurdly weird turns. The characters never developed and the plot became a joke.
Ray Porter's performance was excellent throughout this book.
No. I wanted to like this book and I wish I had a better idea of how it would progress.
As a longtime horror fan, I gotta say, this isn't Stephen King. Heck, it's not even Dean Koontz. I was so optimistic after reading all the reviews, but am just totally underwhelmed. The narrator was annoying; it was as if he assigned each character a very distinct stereotypical persona- the everyman, the Indian neighbor, the R. Lee Ermey military guy, the surfer "Far-Out, Dude!", the sexy weird girl... This book also kind of insulted my intelligence. You don't need to explain every conversation, every nuance. (I'm thinking of one instance where one character described the creatures as "squales," which another character had to follow up with, "Squales?" And then the first character had to lay it out... "You know, squid-whales?!") I wanted to like this book, I really did!! But, how I wish I'd saved that credit and not wasted those hours on it.
AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!
only certain friends. it is not my kind of book. i purchased it based on reviews.
either a john steinbeck book or "those across the river"
he portrrayed the individual characters very well.
NO. maybe some people mite. i probably won't read from this author again. unless i see a book that really sounds good...then this one sounded good. it would be good for sifi lovers.
when authors write and write. sometimes they should quit while they are ahead. this book was pretty good until it got strange. if you like sifi you will like this.
Only if they were Sci-Fi Fantasy aficionados, and then, only on the strength of the performance of Ray Porter.
He could have filled in the holes of the plot. I know this was fantasy but his characters went from acting like morons to scientists within three sentences.
The Indian hacker.
I will seek more of Ray Porter's work.
Ray Porter's performance made a bad story into one worth sticking with. I honestly don't regret buying this silly story.
This is the first time the audible reader reviews fooled me into getting a real clunker.
Just bad. Ridiculous story line.
This book was amazing and had me wanting MORE. It really had the potential to be one of the greatest. But towards the end it gets way bazaar and totally ruined it. It was still a awesome book with a great narrator, but dang it could of been awesome.
Characters were not “believable” and their behaviors/reactions implausible. Characters set in 21st century LA had personalities and behaved more like 1970's Iowa. Example. Character determines that an unknown variety of bugs "die on demand" at a specific location, so she drops the idea of studying them because she cant get a live one to the lab. A twelve year old would recognize that bringing something like that to the attention of any researcher at any university would bring down scientists from all over the world, but these characters just grunt and forget it. All in all the premise/plot seemed pretty thin. The plot had that 70's feel, where an author could just throw in anything without any believable, realistic, naturalistic, scientific foundation being laid down first. Maybe I expect too much from a "horror story," but I like for it to be "believable."
Reader is pretty good. He tries but is not very good with "accents."
Except for the 2012 references, iPads, cell phones, etc. the book had the "feel" of 1960's or 70's plots that didn't require efforts at establishing believability. Plot seemed to have that Twilight Zone, Outer Limits kind of "feel." Maybe a good plot for a made for TV movie, but not a 12 hour read.