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)
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
I am thrilled to rate this book with 5 stars. What this book has.....
terrific character development, I got to know and cared about each and every character; story/plot, I just couldn't put this book down (what is the audio equivalent of a page turner?); intrigue and suspense, the tenants of the building have a mystery to solve that is a matter of life and death;
romance that is hip and cool and relevant, with plenty of references to current culture;
and equal to the wonderfulness of the book overall is the expert narration, I am thinking that Mr. Porter is perhaps one of the best narrators ever, he did everything right, accents, pace, tone, and inflection.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book, oh I agree ......happy dance!!!!
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.
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.
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
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)
The first seven hours of this audiobook were a constant internal struggle for me as I debated whether to stop then and ask Audible for a refund or keep listening in the hope it would get better. Curiosity got the better of me and I kept listening until the end. Now I wish I had spent the past 12 hours listening to something different.
The first 6 to 7 hours were mind-numbingly tedious and unsuspenseful. The most menacing moments were when the building manager would growl angrily at the tenants in a thick German accent. (If that does not sound suspenseful to you, that's precisely my point.) I thought I was listening to bad young adult fiction, as the sentences were short, the dialogue was uninspired, the characters were slackers mostly in their 20s, and there were a lot of dumb adolescent jokes. The mystery finally started to become interesting around hour seven. A couple of hours after that, the book took yet another turn and was definitely NOT for tender young readers. Though not intended by the author, I would describe this book as being in three parts, each a different genre: first, a really long "Friends" episode; second, a Scooby Doo episode; finally, an HP Lovecraft short story. The book did not particularly appeal to me, though younger readers who are not picky might find it sufficiently entertaining if they can get past the halfway mark. The F-bombs in the latter half became very annoying.
The narrator did a great job with the various characters and accents.
This book has a fantastic premise. Unfortunately it builds a bit slowly and doesn't really get going until the last half.
The main problem is with the characters. They are mostly cardboard cutouts from a bad Syfy channel movie. (I know almost all Syfy movies are bad but you know what I mean.) There is the restless and disgruntled cubicle worker, the exhibitionist artist, the Indian computer geek, the religious nut, the mysterious former government employee, the kindly old lady, and the clueless surfer dude. All in one book! I don't mind most of these characters but when you put them all together you get a Troma movie from the 1990s. (Truly bad. Look it up.)
It's so disappointing because the prose is fairly good. And it bears repeating that the premise is amazing. When there is an action sequence, the book really pops and shines but there aren't very many of them.
I really suspect this guy had a screenplay he (rightfully) couldn't sell and decided to make it into a book.
The reader is pretty good and portrayed each character quite well. No problem there.
I so wanted to like this book but the execution just fell flat. Too bad!
I read the Audible listener reviews and 14 seemed like a sure bet. It was, for the most part. Eight hours into it, I was still confused and was ready to be told what the heck was going on. We had lots of clues and then more clues and then more clues and then more of Nate at work not liking work and then more clues. Don't get me wrong, the way the characters came together to find the stuff was pretty interesting-- the story was interesting, but maybe a bit much. IMHO.
After it all went down, it got even more interesting and I really began to enjoy it.
Some things that were classic cliches, the nutter religious guy. There can never be an intelligent well spoken religious guy, it's always the Stephen King over-the-top-fundamentalist-take-scripture-out-of-context-so-the-most-extreme-view-is-presented unlikable-nut-job type. Yawn. But I guess necessary for this story...maybe. Can you imagine a story where the "religious" guy was someone like Greg Koukl, Dr. William Lane Craig, Dr. Stephen C. Myer, or Dr. Albert Mohler? Yeah me neither, it will never happen. (look them up)
I digress. The narrator was excellent.
Likable characters, plenty of them. Unlikable...Veek; I think we were supposed to like her.
All in all, this books gets a thumbs up. If you like weird sci-fi/apocalyptic stories, this one's for you.
Like a lot of books, this one starts out great, so good in fact I was already looking at other titles written by this author. The dialog is great, the characters extremely well crafted eccentric and imbued with great chemistry. The story takes off and begins to take you into the world of the apartment, building some great creepyness with what the troop finds. I do not want to give out any plot spoilers so I will just say that for a bit the books takes things into the surreal just a bit to far, it crosses the line into silly, then comes back. I was bummed by that because the book overall is really good, there is tension, a great storyline that is unique, well crafted dialog and evidence that the author has talent actually writing, that segment though dampers the experience a great deal, does not ruin the book but takes it out of the four or five star category. As a mention, the narration is well done and fits the mood and characters of the story very well.
Recommended with a sigh at what could have been a great book, but what is in fact only a pretty good book
Movie loving Brit living Down Under. Anything 'end of the world' themed usually gets my attention, but The Stand has yet to be beat.
Go in as cold as possible.
Guy finds an apartment that's too good to be true in a house that gets weirder the more he looks at it. Throw in some terrific supporting characters, a good backstory and some real head-scratching oddities and this is pretty much a must-read. It's just entertaining as hell and the narration is sublime.
Add it to your library.
An excellent read in the vein of Steven King's Under the Dome or Duma Key. A great set of characters. And a fun collection of strange and quirky mysteries which all add up to one big thriller and a fun climax. I will read more from Clines.
"Finally - A fantastic narrator!"
I've had some hit and miss luck with narrators and was about to give up on audiobooks altogether...... Luckily I tried this book! This guy was spot on!
Every character had a unique accent and didn't distract from the story... even the female voices! I hope all future audible books have top narrators like this one.
Story - great story & not too long winded - snappy story telling. Fans of 'Fringe' would like this.
"REVIEW FOR 14, by Peter Clines, read by Ray Porter"
This book is one of my favourite books from Audible since I first got my iPad Mini 2 years ago. I am not sure why, it leans a little too much on the fantasy side of Sci-Fi. I am not really into Lovecraft horror/monster type normally but 14 is written with such gritty, ordinary, day to day characters, so well developed that it is very believable. And extremely intriguing and very thrilling.
It has a "Lost" kind of feeling. However, I don't mean that literally; Lost became so drawn out and complicated that I got totally bored and lost interest in any of the increasingly unbelievable characters after the first season. This book kept my interest as the puzzles unfolded and the characters developed.
Ray Porter, The guy who reads it, is wonderful, not too much accent or gender changes, and helps to give credence to the characters.
So, when it started to go off into the horror side I was too hooked to let it really bother me. It all fits together well in the end and I have listened to it over and over. It is weird, I bought one of his other books immediately because I enjoyed 14 so much but, sadly I did not like it at all.
But for me 14 remains up there with Solaris, which is a much deeper, more psychological story, (equally well read) and The Martian; which I don't think is as well written but also a really exciting, well read book.
"Zoinks don't open the door!"
This was a fun, entertaining listen. With lots of twists and turns to the story, all of which managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. And seriously I would never of guessed at that ending.The author created some very memorable characters particularly liked Veek and Tim.
Ray Porters narration really brought the book to life loved his characters,they were all top quality, he did a great job with the female characters and Roger was a joy. You could easily tell them all apart, only felt his third party narration was sometimes a little flat.
All in all this was a great listen wouldn't hesitate to recommend it,well worth the credit spent. And will definitely look for more from both the author and narrator.
"Modern Lovecraftian mystery"
The characters and the slowly developing mystery.
Occasionally fell into over analysis of the surroundings.
Great mystery that goes in a direction I did not expect. Comedy element was a little over done at times.
"The reviews don't lie!"
Crackerjack cosmic mystery-adventure for X-Files/Lost/Buffy/Fringe/etc fans, with witty dialogue, fun well-drawn characters, and swift excellently-judged pacing. Great performance in an edge-of-the-seat style from the reader. Couldn't turn it off!
"Easy and surprising"
This was not the book I thought it would be. I thought/hoped I bought a mysterious thriller, but this was quite sci-fi. But I'm glad I read it. It is easy to follow and very much entertaining! A good break between my big heavy books...
"Good start rather unrealistic finish"
Enjoy listening enough variety to keep returning
Going into tunnel description of flats
Loved this. I've never read any of the author's work so didn't know what to expect. I would never have guessed the plot. It twisted just about halfway through and should have been ridiculous, but by then I was invested in the characters and wanted to know how it ended.
The narrator was excellent keeping the pace up but not getting in the way of the story.
I enjoyed it.
"A brilliant romp of a story!"
Great fun and unputdownable, I like Peter Clines's style very much. Listen to this book and then listen to 'The fold'. You won't be disappointed!
"Loved the 1st half...then it all got a bit silly"
Overall narration was good, characters pretty interesting and the story flowed at a decent pace.
I LOVED the first half / 2/3rds of this ...introduction to the characters and the building, some intrigue, building suspense, a hint at what's been going on. Loved it. It's been compared to Lost and I can see why.
HOWEVER. Without giving anything away, after we get the big reveal of what/how/why/where/who it became increasingly daft.
One aspect in particular I detested and it made me cringe, because it was so awfully silly and daft and cheesy. You'll know the bit when you get to it.
The last couple of hours I really just sat through because I was in the car and hate to leave anything half finished.
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