A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
This was fun but also frustrating. It's a wacky, campy, and VERY contrived sci-fi mystery with a touch of urban fantasy, set in Los Angeles, told in 3rd person.
Ray Porter, narrator, masterfully portrayed a range of characters: male, female, young, old, American, and one woman from India (Veek). The narration is better than the book, in my view. A five-star performance!
Why 3 stars for the book? Even though the whole mystery, history, and horror thing was cool, the chief protagonists were too stupid to live. Every single one of them. Once they began to realize what they were dealing with -- by the middle of the book -- they should have chucked their goofy Scooby-Doo act and put on their "get serious" face complete with "trust no one" shades. (I mean, hello! I could see what was coming with a certain villainous character a mile away.)
One of the characters said it best, "We're like children playing around with a nuclear bomb."
So, the gang got into some trouble in the last quartile of the book, and frankly, they deserved it. But they were only drawn that way, as Clines contrived to drive them ever onward towards illogical responses and reckless behaviors.
Still, I enjoyed it. Kept me guessing. Not that anyone COULD guess what was going on behind that triple pad-locked door, apartment #14. Talk about weird science. I did guess what was hidden behind the panel in Nate's closet. Kudos to me. I also came close to guessing what was behind the locked doors in the cellar, but NEVER could I have predicted what the building was used for. The clues did not add up. No sleuthing your way to success, here. Just wait to be told.
Enjoyed the reference to my favorite science-fiction series, FRINGE and the marvelous Walter Bishop. Far too many references to SCOOBY-DOO. And one clever nod to HP Lovecraft, which is only right. People compare this to the series LOST, but I didn't see a strong resemblance, except for the out-of-the-blue final resolution to the mystery.
One sex scene. Better to have left it out entirely, since it was so juvenile. Then kids could read it, too, or a family could listen on a car trip.
Some loose ends: Why the roaches are green. Why they die at 30 feet from the building. Why there were so many suicides in #16. And ....
What kind of dimwatt dumbo is pulling the strings, leaving the fate of the world to Team Scooby???
Best quote: "He hasn't told us our building is an earthquake-causing apocalypse machine. That makes him a bad guy."
Chief protagonist Nate Tucker works in data entry for a small magazine publisher. He plays the role of leader in solving the mystery, and is constantly compared to Shaggy on Scooby-Doo, but he is more sensible than the cartoon figure. Of them all, he was sometimes the most sensible, but that's not saying much at all.
Veek, computer hack (black hat) and Internet provider. Veek -- short for some long Indian name -- is typecast as Velma.
Xela, a blue-haired nudist and frustrated artist. Xela is cast as Daphne.
Roger works in Hollywood as a grip. Roger is Fred Davis, maybe.
Debbie is studying biochemistry at UCLA.
Clive is Debbie's husband, working in construction.
Tim, former military, retired publisher (*wink wink*)
Andrew, a religious zealot.
Mandy, a farm girl.
Mrs. Knight, elderly widow, has lived in the building for 25 years.
Oscar, building manager.
Tina, rental agen / realtor (*wink*)
I’ve had this book in my queue for months and finally got around to reading (listening). Frankly, I almost turned off the book after the first few paragraphs not particularly impressed with the writing. I’m glad I decided to ‘hang in there’ and give the story a chance. No spoilers, but the it surrounds the mysteries of an apartment building in Los Angeles and a group of quirky tenants. The book is very intriguing when dealing with the oddities of the building and sleuthing on the part of the tenants, but I began to roll my eyes a bit with the introduction of sci-fi-alien-creatures of a netherworld. An entertaining yarn.
I'm a former programmer who now drives a transport truck in Canada and raises my 2 girls. Audible makes work much more interesting ;)
What a great story. I didn't know what to expect when I started this book and the story just got more interesting with each twist and turn. If you like to be led down a dark corridor with a barely working flashlight....this book is for you ;)
I haven't listened to any other books by this author but I will definitely make a purchase just to hopefully be taken on another unexpected journey!
I enjoyed this story although It became a little far fetched in places. The reader is introduced to some quirky characters whose interaction is interesting, lively, and entertaining. The story is fast paced and holds your attention as the characters continually discover new mysteries about the building they inhabit. At times it did stretch the imagination a little far. The narration was excellent being particularly good at keeping up with all the characters in their somtimes fast paced dialog. In all, a great story.
It was not what I had thought it would be, I enjoyed the suspense and the way the story changed and evolved.
Narration was awesome. All the character's voices fit them, and the narrator did an excellent job of going between chars with out slipping, which really allows me to just fall into the book and enjoy the story.
I wanted to, but it is a nice long book, just don't have that kind of time :) It did have good stopping points where it wasn't too hard to put down and catch back up.
Audible has opened up a whole new world of reading that I could not make work in the traditional page turning world. I am on a mission to listen to a wide variety of adventures, mysteries, thrillers, classics, etc. Thank you Audible!
I am constantly listening to audible book and enjoy consuming a wide verity of genres. What has amazed me about this story is that despite many books later I can't get this one out of my mind. Peter Clines does a great job of intertwining suspension, good character development, humor and just the right amount of fantasy. If you are reading this review please stop, make the purchase and start reading! There are so many great reviews for this book I will not waste time reiterating what others have already said. Read and enjoy.
The story. If you liked the TV show Lost, you'll get along with the type of mystery this book offers.
The mystery and the reveals. Also the relationships between the characters. A couple of them end up together as couples, and that's a big payoff, especially with the main character.
It was very well delivered. I enjoyed his performance very much.
The reveal of what is actually in apartment 14 was my favorite part. My only problem is that the author didn't properly follow up with that particular element. He named the book after that apartment yet it only contained maybe a chapter of the book.
I liked this book enough to start the "EX" series by Peter Clines. The first of that series is on my "to-do" list.
The ending was ummm a bit out there. It was good but you have to be willing to suspend reality and fully embrace imagination.
Opening room 14 of course
I am an RN with a 40 minute commute 1 way. A perfect excuse to have a good book keeping me company!
This book had too many words. I enjoyed the story, and the characters; however I felt like sometimes it was just too wordy. There were entire paragraphs that really did nothing for the story but were there nonetheless.
This book was a mix of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror and love story all in one. I enjoyed the suspense of what was going to happen next and how was all the weirdness going to be explained. There were parts that were downright creepy on the very dark, cold, 40 minute commute to and from work.
Read it. It's good