This thing was listed under Sci-fi & Fantasy and was recommended to me after purchasing an epic fantasy Scott Lynch's, 2nd book (Red Seas Under Red Skies) WHICH WAS AWESOME. I put it in my wish list after seeing the HUGE positive ratings.
This book is fiction, sci-fi slightly... fantasy... barely. I would have some mature high school students read/listen to this book due to its easy going pace and somewhat interesting story-line. This book is NOT for epic fantasy fans or even hard core sci-fi fans. The narrator was good which is how I was able to get through this book.
Great reading. Characters had distinct voices and brought the story to life.
I loved the suspense and the science of the first half of the book. It was mature and I enjoyed the theory and the intellectual approach. I couldn't wait to get back to listen to more. THEN...Somewhere near the last 1/4th of the book when the characters actually discovered "the answer" and the "monsters came out of the closet" so to speak, all the suspense flew out the window and it became a silly, contrived action adventure and I was glad when it was finally over. I actually felt a little anger at this book. How could it have been so good to start off and then end in such pure cheese?
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
Although I typically read Romance Books I just loved 14! After reading so many good reviews I decided to give this one a try for something different. WOW!
I don't want to give any of the plot points away so I will just say this book is funny, scary, mysterious, creepy and a little weird. It's Dean Koontz meets Lost. Just the right blend of sci-fi and horror.
The narration is outstanding. Ray Porter did an excellent job of bringing all the characters to life (even the evil ones).
Definitely a credit worthy listen.
The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.
Well written, highly imaginative, apocalyptic thriller, ably narrated by Ray Porter. Listen, and you can expect several hours of entertaining diversion ... IF ...
You suspend disbelief in the fantastic. This plot moves from engaging mystery to wild apocalyptic fantasy. Let me repeat: WILD apocalyptic fantasy. You have to drink the Kool-Aid for this plot to work. AND
You also suspend logic and critical thinking. Here is the greatest flaw in this novel. Fantasy is not an excuse for sloppy plot development. And as well written as this novel is, it is bloated with illogical or unexplained plot elements, and not a few distracting contrivances.
If you think me overly harsh, consider just a few examples (minor spoilers follow):
~ Do we really believe that a government so concerned about a particular building that it would track public inquiries would not have more capable agents on site?
~ Do we really believe the same government would go to such extraordinary lengths to screen tenants and NOT track or arrest the cult whose actions it fears most?
~ And don't we find the explanation from the mysterious "owner" at the end to be a little too contrived, relying a bit too much on the "if I tell you, I'll have to kill you" contrivance.
Nonetheless, if you can, you should accept the world of 14, turn off that part of your brain that demands logic and internal consistency, and take this ride. It is a wild one.
Audible listener since the late 1990s. I mostly listen to science fiction, fantasy, history, and science.
The first 2/3 of this novel are pure fun. There are mysteries in an strange apartment complex to be unraveled, a winning cast of characters to do so, and a great reader to narrate the whole thing. The pacing is such that you are always listening for a few more minutes, just to see what the tenants will learn next about their mysterious building. There is lots of original ideas, and some old science fiction and horror concepts reused in fun ways.
Sadly, as the mysteries are finally revealed, much of the fun drains away, and the last 1/3 of the book, while by no means bad, just can't keep up the excitement and pace. The twists are more cliched, and the revelations surprisingly unsatisfying.
Despite that, this is still a fun novel, and a solid read, especially those into modern Lovecraftian horror (Atrocity Archives, for example)
Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
'Kavach' is a Hindi word meaning armor, Astrologists create 'Kavach amulets' and bless them to protect people. In some Indian religions, it means 'The Divine Protector'.
When Nate Tucker moves into The Kavach Building close to the Los Feliz District, he finds a brick-and-mortar building (very unusual for earthquake-prone Los Angeles) built in 1894, with rent so low the building could have been in rent-controlled Santa Monica, and tenant turnover so high it can't be explained by the nightly search for parking and the bright green cockroaches with an extra appendage that inhabit the building. Nate, stuck in a soul-sucking slightly-above-minimum-wage data entry job updating mailing lists, finds a group of friends among the, old and new.
Nate and his friends become 'Mystery, Incorporated' - the Scooby Doo! gang. (Peter Clines draws the comparison, not me - but if he hadn't, I would have.). The tenants decide to discover the mystery of The Kavach Building, with it's never-working elevator, the two-story layout of one apartment, the ice cold walls of another, and the forever padlocked from the outside 14. Nate styles himself 'Shaggy', and his 'Velma' is Veek, the wise-talking neighbor who has a mysteriously powerful computer set up. One of my favorite historical scientists even plays a part in the story, although mentioning who it was would be a spoiler. It's a fun adventure, and the building is well named.
When I finished the book, I had to go back and look at Audible to see what genre it was. It's in contemporary Sci-Fi, but it could just has easily have been in (Lovecraftian) Horror, modern or historical horror, Mystery, or (contemporary) Fiction. It's also laugh-out-loud funny in places.
Clines is great at dialogue. When characters swear, it's not gratuitous - Veek in particular has a way of putting what would have been a page of explanation and back and forth into one well chosen word. His character development - Nate's bumbling micromanager boss was one of my favorites - made me think back to a boss I had many, many years ago who used to stand behind me while I keyed in data and tell me every time I miss-keyed. Maybe Clines worked for the same guy I did - and instead of getting frustrated and angry, Clines wrote him into an amusing archetype.
This book didn't convert me to a devoted follower of contemporary Sci-Fi, but I will read more Clines. Ray Porter's narration was good, but there were a couple of places where some male characters sounded like each other.
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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.
Tell us about yourself!
First, this is mild in terms of sci-fi or fantasy.
Second, in my opinion, this belongs in the young adult category. Some hand holding, kissing, reference to spending the night together, but nothing graphic.
I was engaged for about two thirds of the book. Then it got lame, like the author lost his muse. I was vested in the characters, but many just withered away.
When I am really into a book I can listen for up to 6 hours per day. When it took me 4 days to listen to the last three hours, I knew it was really bad.
The narrator did an admirable job with the material. In fact, he's probably the reason I trudged through to the end.
This book starts out with a great premise. Kind of an X-Files, or Twilight Zone vibe. Unfortunately the writing is not very good. People are continually saying and doing things that just ring false and contrived. Every time that happened, it took me out of the story, and it happens OFTEN. It's irritating. Several times I almost stopped listening.
The other complaint I have is that, once the big secret is revealed there are about 10 or so more chapters, and everything from that point on is utterly predictable. Basically, once you get to the big reveal, you can pretty much stop listening. Just imagine how the story would be resolved if it were a Disney movie, and you've got it.
Also, there are a LOT of loose ends. Many of the "oddities" that set up the premise of the story are never explained, at least not to my satisfaction.
The narrator does a good job. I liked that all the characters are given very distinct voices.
This is a very good entertaining book. The story is about a person who starts to notice a lot of strange things about his new apartment building. He forms collation of other tenants to unfolds the mystery of this building. The mystery is very intriguing and complete fiction, but it unfolds in very entertaining though highly unlikely fashion. The cast of characters in the book are very interesting and narrative is snappy delivered expertly by Ray Porter.
I found story to be very lean, and it moved at a brisk pace. The cast of characters are well flushed out, and their interaction is entertaining. Even though last stages of story become a bit out there, I would still rate this a very good book. I would recommend this book, and I will consider picking up other books from the same author in the future.