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14 | [Peter Clines]

14

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - H.P. Lovecraft pioneered the genre of “weird fiction”, so it makes sense that Peter Clines leans heavily on Lovecraft in this twisting, terrifying, shocking, and ultimately exhilarating tale of an apartment building with a lot of secrets. While the main character is a relatable everyman, the rest of the tenants are well-fleshed-out and rich, with their own backstories and motivations that pay off in an extended, otherworldly ending. Everyone is hiding something and the stakes are much higher than they first appear. Ray Porter absolutely nails the accents, tones, and emotions of the diverse cast of characters. —Chris

Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (17516 )
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4.4 (16026 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Wendy L 06-27-15
    Wendy L 06-27-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Discerning readers, think twice before starting this audiobook"

    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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 06-24-13
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 06-24-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Entertaining despite going one step to far"

    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

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 09-05-12
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 09-05-12 Member Since 2009

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Suspend Disbelief and Critical Thinking Then Enjoy"

    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.

    48 of 58 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Solitude1984 Canada 11-10-12
    Solitude1984 Canada 11-10-12 Member Since 2014

    Dreamer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Would give it 2.5 stars"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes because I enjoyed 2/3 of it.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The last 1/3 of the book was ridiculous. I wanted to scream at the characters to stop with their stupid chattering and get to work! Also, I wasn't a fan of the big secret - it felt too .... weird.


    Could you see 14 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, I can see 14 being made into a movie. It's a very visual book.


    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lizabeth 05-15-13
    Lizabeth 05-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Started off Great.... But Then..."
    What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great reading. Characters had distinct voices and brought the story to life.


    Any additional comments?

    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?

    42 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 09-04-12
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 09-04-12 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "My bad"

    SciFi is not my usual genre, but the almost universal rave reviews with promises that this was new and different than any other book around made me take the leap of faith. Ultimately I was both disappointed and pleased at different points in the story.

    I hated the slower than molasses set-up. It took right at half the book to get beyond the introductions to the cast of characters, and as much time as the author took to work everyone into the narrative, there was little depth to any of them. You could see the broad stereotypes from central casting. The comparisons to Scoobey and the gang sounded somewhat intriguing in the reviews that I read, but especially in the front half of the book it became tiresome and trite.

    Once I hit the halfway mark, things picked up considerably. There was action and the wild ride creativity that had been promised in the reviews. It was Scoobey Doo meets Dr. Who, and I mean that in a good way. (Yes, Dr. Who is my one scifi guilty pleasure). Well written, unexpected and breathtaking. The characters took on greater depth and dimension as they were (finally) given something to do.

    Then I hit hour 10. After the thrilling Act 2, I wondered what the author was going to do for four more hours. That's when it hit some hard core scifi that I don't mean in a good way. The fans of the book who gave the rave reviews obviously had no problems with the turn of events. But it didn't appeal to me. I don't want to ruin anyone else's pleasure with spoilers, so I won't be specific about what disappointed me. But the movie Jaws came to mind in the sense that for most of the movie we never saw the shark, and we were scared to death. It was after we actually saw the shark that it didn't quite match our imaginations. That was the kind of let-down that I felt. True fans of Clines may be better pleased. But for my leap of faith - my bad.

    37 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 08-19-12
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 08-19-12 Member Since 2013

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "YES 5 Stars all around- A WINNER!!!!!"

    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!!!!

    70 of 86 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew BERKELEY, CA, United States 01-31-13
    Matthew BERKELEY, CA, United States 01-31-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dumb and Dumber"

    I honestly think I lost IQ points listening to this book. The worst part was that I got sucked in initially by the reasonably suspenseful plot devices. I put up with the cardboard characters and cliched writing because I was intrigued by the mystery surrounding the building. But the pay-off was so bad, so ridiculously bad, that I felt like an idiot having wasted any time on this drivel. I want my time back and the brain cells I expended in the effort. The narration was ok, although some of the accents were pretty lame. (Ray Porter's German is much better than his Indian.) I just kept wondering, "Isn't he embarrassed to be reading this?"

    I understand from reading many other reviews that mine is a minority opinion. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

    27 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 06-28-13
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 06-28-13 Member Since 2015

    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)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprisingly suspenseful...And a bit of a surprise"

    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.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Hippy PA 02-21-14
    Old Hippy PA 02-21-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another promising story that fell down at the end."
    Any additional comments?

    I really like this story, until it went off the rails about 75% of the way through. It really was too bad. I liked all the major characters a lot. They were believable and credible. They reacted to weird developments like normal people would. I don't even have a problem with the notion of the building being more than it appears. But once they go through the door into Apartment 14 ... well, the author's story unravels into increasing silliness. I could come up with half a dozen ending scenarios that would make more sense than what's written.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
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  • P
    WIRRAL, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Un-expected pleasure."

    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.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Mike Collins
    Brighton, UK
    3/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Solid first 3/4's...dissapointing finale."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    1/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    Avon, United Kingdom
    7/22/12
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    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...

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    1/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh I loved this book!"
    What did you like most about 14?

    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!


    What other book might you compare 14 to, and why?

    Can't compare it to anything really, all new and very enjoyable!


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favourite?

    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.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    Buy it if you like a good story, fantasy, suspense and laughing!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Inerness, United Kingdom
    4/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mixed bag..."

    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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    RUISLIP, United Kingdom
    3/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just, wow."
    If you could sum up 14 in three words, what would they be?

    Hilarious, entertaining madness.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • N
    newcastle, United Kingdom
    3/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "really unexpected, loved it all."
    Would you listen to 14 again? Why?

    I loved this book. Not what I expected at all. The narrator was wonderfully. The story kept me guessing. I ended up sitting in my car in the driveway with people staring at me because I wanted to hear what happened next.


    What other book might you compare 14 to, and why?

    Hmmm... that's a hard one. It reminded me a bit of the TV series Lost.


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    Every character had a distinct voice and even one word replies were easily identifiable. Especially enjoyed his portrayal of Tim the "retired publisher" and Roger the laid back "dude". This narrator is a safe pair of hands.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Miss King
    UK
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "14"

    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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Kaggy
    United Kingdom
    10/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 ...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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