Audie Award Nominee, Science Fiction, 2013
Padlocked doors. Strange light fixtures. Mutant cockroaches.
There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s. Because every room in this old Los Angeles brownstone has a mystery or two. Mysteries that stretch back over a hundred years. Some of them are in plain sight. Some are behind locked doors. And all together these mysteries could mean the end of Nate and his friends. Or the end of everything....
©2012 Peter Clines and Permuted Press (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"A riveting apocalyptic mystery in the style of LOST." (Craig DiLouie, author of The Infection and The Killing Floor)
"A wholly original story that weaves together mystery and the apocalypse like a finely tuned band." (Evan Roy, Bricks of the Dead)
Seriously. I barely didn't get this book cuz the plot summary was so vague. But I was feeling desperate for a new book and figured I could always return it if I it was a dud. Forty eight hours later, I'm done listening to it and think it's one of the best books I've read in a long while.
If you like LOST, you'll love this book.
If you like mysteries, you'll love this book.
If you like horror, you'll love this book.
If you like Lovecraft, you'll love this book.
Seriously. Don't judge the book by the summary. It's intentionally vague cuz disclosing too much of the plot gives away the book's mystery.
Seriously. Read this book.
And, Ray Porter's reading is a winning combination. On top of a fascinating book, it's accompanied by a stellar performance
I loved that it truly properly fit the mystery/thriller genre. There were some real twists that I didn't entirely see coming (like the Lovecraft integration). Characters that you're pretty sure will stick around, don't but, it never detracts from the story.
I loved that it surprised me. Lovecraft has always struck me as... well... absurd. 14 does a great job of making it seem a lot less so. Sure, it's still ridiculous but, somehow, the story makes it fit almost believably.
Definitely worth the read. Let it surprise you!
This was a great blind-buy. I had no idea who this author was or what this book would turn out to be. Highly recommend.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A very intriguing story with engaging characters whom you get to know like friends. The storyline becomes quite fantastical near the end, but it is all enjoyable. After finishing the book I missed the characters in it as if they were people from my own life - the narrator certainly contributed to the immersiveness of my experience - the accents and personalities were so well done.
This was a really interesting book. It starts out quite slow, and for a while I was wondering if I had mistakenly bought a book that was not science fiction. However, it is well worth persisting as the mystery unfolds. This story has some very interesting characters, and builds to a fantastic conclusion. I won't spoil it, but any book which has Telsa and Chthulhu is worth a listen! Ray Porter does a good job of narration.
TV-free, Battery-operated-toy-shunning, Natural-ish Mama
Well, the narration was out-of-this-world. If only all audiobook performers could be this good. Each character had a unique voice and style! And, unlike SO MANY otherwise decent male narrators, Mr. Porter didn't make his female voices sound simpering and pathetic (for example, Michael Goldstrom, who read "Through the Ever Night" - gag!, and even Ron Keith in "The Amber Cat" - a kid's book, but still!). The book itself is a VERY mysterious mystery. I had no idea where it was leading for the first two thirds AT LEAST. It was a "keep you awake at night listening because you can't bear to shut it off even though it might affect your dreams in an unpleasant way" type of book. Otherwise known as a page-turner, if there were pages to turn.The characters are great...they are a little bit like characatures, but not so much that you find yourself disliking them for that. I mean, you've got your tech geek, your kinda lost-ish aging gen-x temp, your carpenter-married-to-biotechnology-student, your hot young artist, your freaky bible-thumper, etc. So there are stereotyoes there. But mostly they are likeable and behave like real people. They also have a kind of rapport that makes you feel somehow...included in their friendship. There's a lot of the same kind of witty banter you might actually find if you're a member of a bright, quick set of friends.The plot...well...it was quite original to me, let's say that much. I haven't read any HP Lovecraft or others of that strange sci-fi/horror genre, so I'm not qualified to say whether the book was derivative or not. But for myself, I've not read anything like it before.
Oh, the last two hours of the book will stick with me a little more than I might like to admit. Or, a little more than I might like. Everything was very spooky and mysterious, and then the last two hours got a little more into the actual....EXPLANATION (?) of what was going on, and that was, perhaps, a bit more...ah...graphic...than I would like to have listened to late at night and alone. I don't want to say anything more on this subject for fear of spoiling anything for anyone.
Oh, gosh, what a hard question. They were all good. Really good. I don't think I could name a favorite. Mr. Porter did a really fantastic job...I looked through other books he's done, but sadly, none of them look like anything I would be interested in, else I would jump on those, too.The only problem I had was that the way Mr. Porter portrayed Veek (sp?) didn't seem to really fit her. She was supposed to be very good-looking, very petite, 28 years old, and he did her with a bit of a harsh accent and demeanor. Don't get me wrong, she was no wuss, and she cussed like a trucker and had a bit of a hard shell, but I think he could have done her just a little softer. It was borderline.
I did giggle in a couple of spots - mainly at Roger's little quips - but it didn't make me outright laugh or cry. Throughout the book I had that eerie foreboding sensation that I don't usually LIKE to have (why I don't read thrillers or horror, usually).The last two hours had me tense as a spring, though. After the book was over I had to pry my shoulders off my ears, I was so high strung! So the extreme reaction was the the incredible tension and pace of the last bit of the book.
If one more person "took a hit off his beer", I thought I was going to scream. Considering that drinking beer on the roof deck features prominently for most characters in this book, it is AMAZING that NOBODY in this book ever SIPS a beer, SWIGS a beer, GULPS down a swallow, TAKES A DRINK, CHUGS their brewski (ha!) or any other of the hundred ways that a good writer could find to tell us that someone is imbibing a fermented beverage - they ALWAYS "take a hit off their beer" - ALWAYS. And they do it repeatedly, in scene after scene, so after a while, it kinda gets to you. (A decent editor might have suggested some revisions to this regard.) Also, you might notice that the author describes everything in exhaustive detail. Just someone sitting down and opening a beer can take HUGE amounts of pretty irrelevant text, such as, "She walked over to where they were sitting and reached into the cardboard box of ice and beer. The ice shifted as she pulled out a bottle, making a clinking noise against the other bottles. She pushed his legs aside on the deck chair and sat down beside them with her legs folded to one side. She then placed the edge of the bottle against the leg of the chair and thumped it with the base of her palm so that the cap sprung off and rolled to the deck with a metallic clatter. She wiped the lip of the bottle off on her white cotton button down shirt that was two sizes too big for her. It made a small dark circle of dampness on the hem of her shirt. The bottle dripped with condensation in the late afternoon heat. She took a hit off her beer and said,...." (This isn't word-for-word, but if you listen, you'll recognize the scene.)Now, not that I don't appreciate detail in a book, but when the whole book is FILLED with this kind of niggling detail that isn't actually telling you anything important about the characters or the story, it starts to feel like the author was either a) being paid by the word, or b) procrastinating because he was not sure where to go with the story.All that said, I think it was a pretty good book, worthy of a credit, and especially if you like the sci-fi/horror/steampunk kind of book (although less steampunk than the others, but it has elements). I'll listen to it again when the graphic images have gone from my nightmares and I have forgotten what the mystery is.
The story was creative until the ending. As you get closer to the ending the story just goes down hill.
Someone else compared this book to "Lost," and I'll agree: Great at the beginning, but the last third...I just couldn't stretch my belief that far, although I wanted to. Great characters, great dialogue, great narrator. Overall, worth the purchase.
This book couldn't hold my interest. I found my mind wandering....
Narration was fine
I don't recommend but to say anymore might spoil the story for those who wish to try it....
i like to read. i like to listen.
I was impressed by the fact that this was a great science fiction story, but still had impeccable characters and fantastic writing. a lot of SciFi stories are written with a more cheesy style...but I found this one thrilling and exciting.
this book was bone chilling. i honestly couldn't put it down because around every corner (literally) and behind every door (again, literally), there was a new mystery about the Kvatch building. not only was the story a good one...the science fiction aspect drew me in and scared the crap out of me...but the characters were all really well written.
Clines did a great job of making a building the central "character" in an engrossing and thrilling tale.
Ray porter should also be commended for bringing ALL characters to life. It was like I was listening to different narrators, one for each character!
I didn't know what to expect with this one, I got it because I really enjoyed clines other creations.
But I quickly fell in love with the whole story, you get to know each and every character and the twists are great.
It is hard to review without giving anything away, alls I can say is very enjoyable and really well narrated to the point where you can easily pick out each character by the narration.
This was brilliant - characterisation was wonderful, plot was brilliantly woven together with lots of nice pop culture references (loved the totally throwaway "bowties are cool"), and pace was such that I stayed up much too late to find out how it would end. Ray Porter's narration was also excellent, with clear delineation of the various voices and a great line in comic timing amid all the impending horror. Off to look for more things by Peter Clines/more narration by Ray Porter...
"It's locked for a reason!!!!"
It's been a while since I got totally immersed in an audiobook. This didn't really stand out to me, I only got it as it was in the sale, but I'm glad I did!
Nate works as a temp, going nowhere with no cash, so when cheap digs are offered he grabs them. Once he moves in, he starts to meet his neighbours and they soon realise that not one room in the whole building is structurally the same. Not only that, the building doesn't appear to be attached to the power grid and nobody's heard of the landlord.
I can't go into too much without spoiling it, but needless to say the atmosphere when they go past the basement and into room 14 is so tense you'll need to put the light on!
This was an odd one for me, I really enjoyed the first 8 hours of the story a lot but the last 4 hours not so much. That's not to say the last 4 hours are terrible or anything - its fine, but its almost like a different storyline somehow. Hard to explain without spoilers really, but for me the writer had the first part of the story done really well, and the latter part not so well - but it was an interesting story well told, just seemed to go a bit odd towards the end.
Hilarious, entertaining madness.
It's impossible to put into words without giving massive spoilers, but the characters in this book have much more depth and realism about them than pretty much any other book I have ever read. I found myself sharing all their emotions, and rather than guessing the ending, was anxious to find out what they were leading to. This book is so well written, it's truly edge of your seat stuff.
Ray Porter's performance is fantastic. A couple of the accents may have been a little ropey, but he still managed to make them believable, even his women had the correct balance of strength and fragility that so many actors tend to get so wrong. His pace is perfect, and his acting highlights all the humor and / or tension that each scene requires. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of his narration.
I could've lost a whole weekend to this book. I was due to take a coach journey when I was about a third of the way through it, and decided to listen to more of it rather than my music. On the way home again I was pretty tired, and thought I would continue with the book, maybe have a doze on my way home...no chance. By the time my journey ended I was LITERALLY on the edge of my seat. The girl next to me must have thought I was crazy with all the fidgeting I was doing as events unfolded in my ears. By the time I actually got home, the story had become so intense that I was glad my other half was back from work so I didn't have to sit in the house on my own while I listened to the end.
I've been chewing all my friends ears off (figuratively) to try and get them to listen to or read this book. If you give it a chance, I promise you will too. Pretty much jumped straight into my top five favourite books and gives Neil Gaiman a damn good run for his money.
"Solid first 3/4's...dissapointing finale."
Hmmm, not really. [Spoiler free] - Ive said that the finale is dissapointing, but this has little to do with the plot/story - which was fine, if a little derivative. The build up of quiet dread, and the slow unfolding of the mystery was a lot of fun. No, it was the character's response to the events towards the end that didn't sit well. Up to the final quarter of the book, Nate and chums responded plausibly to what was going on. However, their friendly banter, and muted reactions (to what was, a roller-coaster of terror and madness), seemed more in keeping with getting lost in the woods, and not being sure if you're going to make it home that night, rather than, what was, a prolonged waking nightmare.
Putting people in bizarre, and horrifying situations, and making their responses believable, is something that writers like, Stephen King or Richard Matheson, seem to make look easy. And its essential in stories like this. Peter Clines' difficulty just highlights how hard it is to actually achieve, and the difference between writing a book thats good, and writing one thats just alright.
The narration, although a little flat and stacatto at times (during the 3rd person narration, rather than when people were 'talking'), was quality. The characters were distinct and well portrayed.
"Oh I loved this book!"
Fresh believable characters, incidental love interests that didn't detract from the story in any way! Unpredictable twists and turns, appealed to me (at 60) and my daughter (at 24) test of a good story. Different to my usual read but I'm really glad I took a chance and listened. Easy to follow without being boring, unusual concept but believable, even the weird bits!
Can't compare it to anything really, all new and very enjoyable!
Veek is very cool (not sure if that's how to spell it) she has a wicked sense of humour, Zeela is also pretty cool.
Both - I found my jaw clenching in parts, shouted out loud in the car a few times, couldn't wait to get out of work to start listening again!
Buy it if you like a good story, fantasy, suspense and laughing!
Nate moves into a new flat in a very strange apartment building. It seems that every apartment in the building is different and has something strange about it. There are the green cockroaches, the lift that has never worked, apartment 14 is padlocked, and many other strange oddities.
This was a wonderful book, with lots of twists and turns, and some fantastic ideas. And every time something new was revealed about the building I had a new theory about what was going on. I loved this book and will be looking for more books by Peter Clines.
Loved every minute of it.
Really great listen, highly recommended.
"A crafty nod to the old master"
The Kavach building is a wonderful creation set in the middle of LA. A gothic monolith filled with strangely disproportionate rooms and even odder tenants. In comes Nate, an all American loser but all round nice guy. His flat is let to him at an unfeasibly low rent,with all utilities included, but with an ominous message that people move out because things aren't quite right there. The story begins gently with Nate investigating his surroundings and meeting his fellow tenants and from then on it becomes brilliantly weird.
This story is heavily influenced by another American writer and makes no attempt to hide this.
The narrator is terrific and handles the material in exactly the right way.
I can close my eyes now and see the Kavach looming over me.
And as for number 14 ...
"Totally unexpected and unexpectedly enjoyable"
This kind of feels like two separate books but I don't actually mind that at all. It flips between the mundane and the weird and back again before exploding off into a totally unexpected direction. I can't think of anything to compare it to really: it's a bit Lost, a bit House of Leaves, a bit... it's own thing.
I like the narrator a lot. All the characters are differentiated and believable and I enjoyed his laid back tone as it lulls you into a false sense security before the weirdness kicks in.
An oddity but an interesting one. Oh, and I really appreciated all the H P Lovecraft references.
Report Inappropriate Content