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)
This is a very good entertaining book. The story is about a person who starts to notice a lot of strange things about his new apartment building. He forms collation of other tenants to unfolds the mystery of this building. The mystery is very intriguing and complete fiction, but it unfolds in very entertaining though highly unlikely fashion. The cast of characters in the book are very interesting and narrative is snappy delivered expertly by Ray Porter.
I found story to be very lean, and it moved at a brisk pace. The cast of characters are well flushed out, and their interaction is entertaining. Even though last stages of story become a bit out there, I would still rate this a very good book. I would recommend this book, and I will consider picking up other books from the same author in the future.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
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.
I think there are three things that work very well together
1. The book is full of great character development and chemistry between the residents of the building. You want them to succeed and believe they are friends.
2. The mystery unfolds at a satisfying pace and doesn't disappoint. I had a very hard time putting it down. I found myself looking for moments I could steal way to listen.
3. The writing is witty and clever.
That is very hard. They all work so well together. If I had to make a choice I would say Tim. Mainly for his patience, wisdom, and things that unfold in the book.
I have not. I was very impressed with this narrator and even looked up his other books to see if there was anything I might like. I really liked his performance!
I listen to a lot of books and a lot of those are mysteries. There comes a time when you see the same patterns being used over and over. I was getting a little tired of what was out there. This was an incredibly fresh book. I will caution people that it does have a sci-fi feel similar to the television show, "Lost". If you prefer linear police detective books over unexpected thrillers, then you may not like the content. You can't argue, however, with the superb writing and the excellent narration.
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.
So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.
Ray Porter is always good; he gets 4*; (I'm giving him an extra one just for finishing this reading.)
Leaping Lemmings!! I betrayed myself--I did not listen to reviewers I trust. Their friendly warning reviews faded to the end of an ever-growing ever-glowing list. I held out for 7 mos., but all those stars! stars! stars! I was glamoured. Good Gawwd...I would be one of those bloody furry lemming puddles at the bottom of a cliff. And deservedly so.
Read the Lovecraft *cosmic indifferentism* canon. Read his description of the Great Old Ones, Cthulhu, Yog Sothoth, Azathoth--the anthropomorphic beings (tentacled head, whale bodies, dragon wings, and ALL) that occupied the ancient dimensional universe. 14 started out kind of fun, but the piracy got so outrageous, the monotony so monotonous...the Scooby Doo shtuff, the Bradbury name and Tesla, *Sqwhales*, dragging in the descendants of Lovecraft..."I eat you, food for me..." *Ludicrous: So foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing.*
This book starts out with a great premise. Kind of an X-Files, or Twilight Zone vibe. Unfortunately the writing is not very good. People are continually saying and doing things that just ring false and contrived. Every time that happened, it took me out of the story, and it happens OFTEN. It's irritating. Several times I almost stopped listening.
The other complaint I have is that, once the big secret is revealed there are about 10 or so more chapters, and everything from that point on is utterly predictable. Basically, once you get to the big reveal, you can pretty much stop listening. Just imagine how the story would be resolved if it were a Disney movie, and you've got it.
Also, there are a LOT of loose ends. Many of the "oddities" that set up the premise of the story are never explained, at least not to my satisfaction.
The narrator does a good job. I liked that all the characters are given very distinct voices.
As a mom of teenagers, I spend a lot of time in the car, and a lot of that time is spent listening to Audible. Because of that, I tend to listen to a lot of YA novels, and my reviews will include the "Mom View" of cussing, sexuality, etc...
I bought this while it was on sale, & I'm glad I did. I wasn't really sure where the story would take me, and was delightfully surprised along with the characters as their investigations deepened. The characters were well developed, and Porter did a great job with the voices, so that they were all easily distinguishable from one another. He also made it easy to picture the characters and events in my head. I would definitely recommend this to others.
**Not, however, for YA listeners. This novel has plenty of cussing in it, and even one (none too steamy) sex scene.
I hate writing this kind of review because I know it's probably not helpful -- I can't totally recommend this novel...but I can't tell you to stay away either. The writing is OK. The plot is imaginative. (The performance, as is customary for Ray Porter, is terrific.) And yet...
As other reviewers have already pointed out, the plot takes a somewhat bizarre twist (not totally unexpected for me, perhaps simply because I had read the other reviews). It is not really science-fiction, but it's not "horror" (as you would perhaps expect from the initial plot of X-number of individuals living in a building where unexplained things seem to happen), The twist makes the novel fall somewhere in limbo, genre-wise, making it harder to like.
The novel starts out slow. Much happens before anything really does. In a way, this is not totally bad because, by the time the characters seem to be in danger, you find yourself actually caring for them. Still, it does drag at times...And some of the characters remain cartoony till the end.
Perhaps the novel could have used another edit -- or more careful plotting ahead of time.
And yet...I did finish it and it kept me hooked at times.
I had this in my wish list for a while and finally decided to take a chance. I thought the book was headed in one direction and it went totally another. The characters are believable. There is plenty of humour and snark. I think if you enjoy a good mystery you'll love this book.
Say something about yourself!
Cline has written a wonderfully creepy story that nevertheless manages to have a sense of humor, but be warned that if you live in an old apartment building you may never see it quite the same way again. Every quirky thing about it will make you wonder what is REALLY going on under the stairs or behind the closed doors (my visits while listening to this to a family member's apartment in the Village in NYC, with its crooked stairs and strange idiosyncrasies on each floor, were a bit weird). The mystery builds at just the right pace, and the best part of the book is the run up to the reveal. Once the monster in the closet, so to speak, is let out, the story becomes less original and less engaging, although you still won't want to turn it off. The ending is quite satisfying just the same, and on the whole this is one of the more original ways I've seen of treating old Lovecraftian themes of cosmic horrors just behind the veil of normality. Ray Porter's narration is also solid, with pacing and style that fits the story well. One last recommendation: If you like this story and its themes, then you should definitely check out "The Atrocity Archives," by Charles Stross, which is similarly Lovecraftian, but with a solid dose of some serious mathematics to ground the tale.
"Listen to this......."
Absolutely excellent, I love the real life characters and the fact it's set in the present. Ray Porter's narrating is superb and I've listened to other books on the strength of it. I love puzzle apps and this has the same effect for the characters involved. An excellent concept I'm looking for another book that matches it now!
"Good for B-movie fans"
Currently listening to Daphne Sheldrick's autobiography
I was very disapointed by this story, I thought it would be more of a thriller but turned out to be more of a b-movie type story. so if you're into B-movies, you'll probably really enjoy this book, I'm not really into B-movies.
"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.
The book really did have a wonderfully different plot that has dark moments as well as some light humour. Perhaps a little unbelievable and predictable in the latter stages but overall I was truly drawn in by the characters and their curiosity. Enjoy
I have already listened to this book several times and will probably do so again. I like the way the author has taken ordinary people in an ordinary setting and produced a really good story
Nate Tucker because he could be anyone, anywhere - a believeable and very likeable character
Ray Porter really brings this book alive with a great performance - all the characters seem so real and alive
Yes - I was fascinated to find out what would happen next
I have never read any of Peter Clines books before and so did not know what to expect. I chose it on a whim and its turned out to be one of the best books I've read in a while
"Not what I expected - loved it!"
This is another of those books which is difficult to describe without giving too much away, whilst being a book you want to tell everyone to read!
Nate is on minimum wage, and needing somewhere cheap to live, so when he's told about an apartment building which fits the bill he jumps at it. Once moved in, he starts to spot some strange things, such as a padlocked door, a false door, a lift which has never worked, and glowing cockroaches. He starts to get to know some of the other residents, and they decide to investigate.
I was expecting a haunted house genre, but this is much more about SF and fantasy - but just as importantly, I just loved the characters that the author develops. The actual story is quite slow to get started, but by the time it does, you're so invested in these characters that it makes it come alive.
Cline also drops in lots of references to horror writers and pop cultures, some of which I probably missed - if you like Lost, Fringe, Doctor Who etc, you'll find yourself grinning when you hear them.
Highly recommended, and I've moved straight on to Ex Heroes by the same author.
"Goes pretty weird"
This book started well, guy in flat notices a few weird things. The explanation behind those weird things is, just, bizarre. It's like two separate novels.
The characters were poor - over the top, unbelievable.
Character interaction was poor - repeatedly telling awful jokes when you've been teleported to a different world and the whole of humanity is under threat. Not going to happen.
Ditched the second half and found something more realistic but still mysterious to explain the weird goings on.
Nothing that I can remember. He did a reasonable job.
Not really but I've known worse. It didn't offend me (as some books do) just disappointed.
Definately. Great listen - be ready to suspend your disbelief!
Numerous moments. Discovering the power source to list just one.
The voicing for each main character was well represented.
Based on this story I've added his Ex Heroes series to the wish list.
"A long run-up to an exciting ending"
Disengage brain in terms of some of the plot and character ''maguffins' and let the story carry you. Depending on your taste in fantasy/scifi the plot twist (when it comes) may leave you cold. But I was already hooked. Think of it like that us tv series with the bonkers premise you're addicted to. Enjoy the ride.
Great. Nice range of voices and pace. Adds a sparkto the dialogue and captures the humour and banter well.
It wouldn't be a film. This has tv mini series written in to it. Right down to the chapter breaks that read like commercial breaks.
"Scooby Doo meets Dr Who for adults"
Yes - probably
No - it stands on its own.
The book grips in the early sections, with a nice build up of characterisation. Step by step the mystery is unfolded. Good pace, and intriguing. The second half is a little surreal for my taste, and difficult to take very seriously.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content