Here's a short review:
Imagine if Stephen King combined with HP Lovecraft was asked to write a series of LOST episodes about a haunted/weird apartment building. Throw in a fun cast of stereotypical characters and some Scooby Doo-style mystery solving. That's 14 in a nutshell. It's the audiobook equivalent of a page-turner.
Here's a longer review:
Nate is a normal guy who doesn't make a lot of cash, and finds a great deal on a new apartment. After moving in, he notices that the apartment is just plain weird. The light fixture in his room is strange, there are random padlocked doors, and cockroaches unlike any he has seen before.
Eventually he meets a colorful cast of neighbors and each has a story to add about how strange his new apartment building truly is. I think a quick rundown some of the major players will give you a pretty good idea of the tone of 14:
Veek - Indian girl with a conservative attitude and a strange computer. Good with technology, hacker.
Tim - Man with a mysterious past, seems to know about lots of stuff that he shouldn't.
Xena - Blue haired, artsy, hot, and loves to sunbathe in the nude.
Mandy - A super hot, blonde, wannebe actress who is pretty much written as just a bimbo. Early on in the book there's a whole chapter told from her point of view, but she doesn't appear much after that. This is very out of place and really seems like an accident of editing. I'm sure in an earlier draft she was more important.
Andrew - Religious fundamentalist, kind of outcast from the rest of the group.
There are more involved, but this is a pretty decent sample. These characters are wildly varying, but all fairly archetypal. They're handled decently, but it's nothing special.
At its heart, 14 is a LOST-style cliffhanger story. As this group digs into the mysteries of their apartment building, it's clear that at every step one of them is going to have the specific expertise required to overcome the problem and move the plot along. Hey, we found a part of the mystery that's vaguely computer-related - let's get the computer chick to figure it out so we can move onto the next chapter! This repeats many times throughout the book as we work our way towards a resolution.
There's a theme throughout the book where characters cutely call each other by Scooby Doo nicknames, and unfortunately at times this mystery+character archetype=solution structure can make 14 feel kind of like a Scooby Doo episode. It can be a little hard to buy at times that this entire diverse group has nothing better to do than meet up every day after work to go on wacky adventures together. Oh, and there's also a lame landlord trying to bust up their adventures at every turn! Bummer!
Even if the basic structure of the book can be a little tough to swallow, Clines does an excellent job of dangling that carrot in front of the reader/listener - I truly did want to know what happens next over and over again. Like I said in the intro, 14 is definitely the audiobook equivalent of a page turner. These various revelations work their way towards a truly epic ending. I don't use the word epic to mean 'awesome', I mean epic in the sense of HUGE. 14 is not a book with a subtle conclusion. I enjoyed it, but it's completely over-the-top. I can see this sequence losing some readers - it's pretty out there. Unfortunately it's difficult to say any more without giving the whole thing away.
If 14 sounds like fun to you at this point, I'd recommend avoiding any spoilers like the plague. The fun in 14 is finding things out, and without that there's honestly not a great reason to read this book. The characters and setting are ok, but all just there to service that all-important mystery.
If you're into books that revolve around revealing the unknown in a horror-ish, Lovecraft-ish, sci-fi-ish world then pick up 14 and you'll probably burn through it!
I Love a great supernatural tale, a Love story, PNR, a Cool Mystery and Most Sci-Fi....if there are vampires, weres or witches in it, that's a plus! Basically I am a 40+ y/o young at heart woman rediscovering the wonderful world of books and am now addicted! Lol I LOVE AUDIBLE!!!!!
IT WAS AWESOME!!!! from beginning to end I was hooked....could not put it down!! The whole book, from the plot to the narration it was flawless.....best mystery I have ever listened to!!!
there is no comparison...this is a book that stands on its own...it was brilliant in every aspect!!
He was flawless...his narration was brilliant with his voices and descriptions of everything....
WE WILL SAVE THE WORLD!!!!!
I was addicted to this book from page 1....I listened to it in 1 day and will listen to it again...I loved everything about it...it was brilliant..even though it was far fetched and a crazy concept...it was superb and the ending left it open enough for another installment...I hope there is another one...if you like a great mystery, with sci fi and horror thrown in...you can not miss this book!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! 2 HUGE THUMBS UP!!!!!!!
This is a very enjoyable listen with enough originality to keep it for being predictable.
The people are the written well enough that you can imagine meeting them on the street.
Never a dull moment
once the readers know about the history of kavach it might have been cool to add a time dilation effect so some of the historical characters like Nikola tesla could have helped. Time dilation effect is also a part of spacetime.Learn more about Lock Management. The other dimensions that were explored could have been developed better.
very expressive performance, good pace that varied as needed
humanity's greatest creation in the middle of L. A.
Did not read it.
Xela. She was quite a character, unusual, artsy, and smart.
No but I would again.
I don't know in one sitting but I certainly couldn't wait to get back to it!
This was a surprisingly exciting story enhanced by the talented Ray Porter. Twists and turns and heart-stopping action. Mysterious, too. What a treat!
I liked this a lot - it was very suspenseful and fast-paced; the author did a great job of building the story and making it very creepy. The characters were interesting and engaging, and the underlying premise is really cool. The narrator did a FANTASTIC job of creating a unique voice for each of the characters, and considering how many there were, that's impressive. You could easily tell which character was speaking regardless of how it was communicated via the words. I will look for more by both this author and this narrator.
This is well worth the listen if you like horror and have high standards for it.
The characters feel real and you appreciate the contemporary setting. Sometimes these stories feel farfetched to the point you are pulled out of the story. However, in 14 the progression feels natural and character's reactions to extraordinary events are genuine.
Imagination at work!
How unexpected it was. I enjoyed the developing relationships of each character which ultimately lead to the major surprise of the novel!
I will listen to 14 again. Everytime I re-listen to an audio book, I get more out of the story. Very similar to re-reading a book.
The opening of Apt 14
The different voices were very good. I did have one problem with the speed of his reading.
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
3.5 overall. Slow to start off. I am not as big of fan of the narrator as other reviewers. He was okay, but I don't think he was as wonderful as everybody was saying. His accents were okay, but when he just read in his normal voice he was a little dry. I will admit that I sometimes dread the beginning of books because they have to build up the story, and sometimes it takes a while. This one took about half a book. I ended up listening to a short story in between because I wasn't as excited to get back to the book as a good book would make me. And once it started to pick up it went into super drive. Of course that doesn't mean it was good. It was an okay book with monsters that have been done before. Too many characters to have any connection with any of them and it took forever to introduce them, although they were likable. It was probably worth a BOGO free sale (which lucky that’s how I got it), but I wouldn't use a whole credit. Try Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia, it rocks.