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)
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
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.
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 am an audiobook enthusiast who reviews audiobooks for his blog, The Guilded Earlobe. You can find me on Twitter @guildedearlobe talking about zombies, robots, monkeys and audiobooks.
Read the full review at my blog The Guilded Earlobe:
I have become quite a big fan of Ray Porter’s narration style, and his rich voice. Porter is one of my favorite first person narrators. He understands that speech isn’t always fluid and flawless, but includes affectations, and inconstant pacing. Porter can do more with a pause and a sigh, than many narrators can do with poetry. Yet, this was the first time I have listened to Porter read a novel written in the third person. I wondered if his style would be as good of a fit with this type of tale as it is with his first person narration. Thankfully, I can report that it totally was. Porter perfectly captures all of Clines strange collection of characters. It was interesting to see Porter, who I know best as the voice of Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger, bring to life a character that is basically soft spoken and unsure of himself. Yet, Porter does more than capture the main character Nate well, but allows the soft voice he creates for him to grow stronger as the book moves on, highlighting the transformation of the character. One of Porter’s other strong suits is voicing exotic women, and that serves him well with the lead female character Veek. In fact, each character is given a voice that highlights their personalities and place in this story, which was very helpful with such a large cast of important characters. And I can’t talk about the ending. Really, what Porter does with the final third of the book is just nightmare inducing. It seriously freaked me out, people. Peter Clines novels are always highly visual, with intricately detailed action that comes across splendidly in audio. 14 is one of those books where even if you already read the print version, experiencing the audio version will bring it own rewards.
Tell us about yourself!
Books like this one are the reason I keep taking chances on unknown (to me) authors and books. I really enjoyed the building of the mystery and the mystery of the building and the references to pop culture. It really helped pass the workday and held my attention throughout. I really enjoyed the performance and had fun listening.
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.
As an Audible Editor I listen for a living! British classics, YA novels, speculative fiction, and anything quirky, fascinating, or heart-wrenching.
After talking my my co-worker Chris into checking out some of my favorite YA books it was my turn to take him up on a recommendation – and his pick for me was WAY outside of my normal listening zone. 14 is a Lovecraftian sci-horror novel that feels pulpy and modern at the same time. There’s plenty of kitsch, and lots of old-fashioned sci-fi techniques are on display here, but the voice is still totally fresh, as is Ray Porter- who totally nails the narration. It’s one of the weirdest and best books I’ve ever listened to, and from the number of 5 star reviews it would seem our listeners agree!
Love a good book. I am usually reading one and listening to one in my car (not at the same time, of course). I like just about any fiction.
I have listened to a lot of audio books and I have never felt compelled to share a review about any of them. That is not to say they were not great or that I didn't enjoy them and it is not an insult to those books but rather a testament as to how much I enjoyed 14. I have never read anything from this author before and I am not sure why I choose this book. I read the description and though it sounded interesting.
I was sucked in right away. I found myself taking the long way to and from the office. I was listening to it while doing yard work, I just didn't want to stop listening. I don't want to give anything away so I will not go into any plot lines. All of the characters are well developed and I found myself interested in all of them. I enjoyed the bond that builds between them as the story goes on. The plot was unique and mysterious. The narrator was fantastic and I think really makes the story come to life. Overall, it was one of the very best audio books I have listened to and I would encourage people to take a chance on this one.
I know I'm coming late to this book. There are thousands before me, but I can't stand not to put my 2 cents worth in. I am a woman. I find many male science fiction authors uncongenial because they seem to care more about their hardware (guns, spaceships, etc.) than about their characters. All too many of their characters are without personality or any characteristic which would mark them as actual people with pasts.
On the other hand, I find all too many female science fiction and fantasy authors uncongenial because they are merely dressing up their romance novels with lame science fiction or fantasy trappings. They have put in far too little thought about such trivialities as plot and world building and too much into descriptions of the hero's manly pecs.
Peter Clines has found the perfect middle ground. The ideas, plot, and hardscape are intricate, well thought out--amazing even. And yet the characters are also well imagined. Each character has her or his own personality. They bring a myriad of abilities to contribute to the solution of the various problems.
I highly recommend this book.
This thing was listed under Sci-fi & Fantasy and was recommended to me after purchasing an epic fantasy Scott Lynch's, 2nd book (Red Seas Under Red Skies) WHICH WAS AWESOME. I put it in my wish list after seeing the HUGE positive ratings.
This book is fiction, sci-fi slightly... fantasy... barely. I would have some mature high school students read/listen to this book due to its easy going pace and somewhat interesting story-line. This book is NOT for epic fantasy fans or even hard core sci-fi fans. The narrator was good which is how I was able to get through this book.
"A fascinating addiction"
This book draws you into the daily lives of the people in it and simply compels you to carry on listening
The discovery of what is underneath
It is fascinating to find that you have been listening to what are essentially mundane descriptions but never feel that the words are wasted. The characters draw you in and let you be part of the tale
"Took me somewhere I wasn't expecting"
I didn't expect the book to go where it did. Consequently I had to readjust my boundaries of acceptance/credibility, but once I did, it was an interesting ride. Didn't expect where the book took the characters (and me) and didn't expect the ending.
Yes Yes Yes Excellent characters, brilliant storyline
An unexpected plot line, Really good characters
He brings the Characters to life, he's able to voice them in such a way that by the time your half way through the book you know who's speaking without the he said she said.
Please someone pick this up for a film, make a brilliant film.
Can we have a 14 2 plz
"On the edge of your seat read"
I really enjoyed this book. It kept me guessing throughout and ended in a way I would not have anticipated. A good read with lots of twists and turns.
"I wasn't expecting that!"
I would listen to it again because the last quarter of the story so took me by surprise that I want to go over the rest again to see how it lead up to the climax
I liked the characters and the twists and turns and revelations about their individual secrets. The way the story starts off banal and everyday and builds into the fantastical is excellent.
I enjoy the way Ray reads books and puts emphasis and drama into the important bits yets conveys the boredom and irritation when describing the everyday and munane. You could miss the importance of some of the novel if you were just reading it.
I found it kept me engaged and interested all the way through although this did wane towards the end with the monsters coming onto the scene whch just made me annoyed. I do think the more writers try to describe aliens the more it undermines their credibility. I prefer it when things are left more to the imagination. I had admiration for the way Clines tried to present something unique though and I know I engaged emotionally with the book because at the end when the main character took on the job of caretaker of our world I felt proud and sad it was ending for now.
It definitely needs a sequel please! I definitely feel there is more mileage in this concept and more adventures to be drawn into just like the tales of Narnia.
This is a mystery novel, with scifi and horror elements. I enjoyed the development of the puzzles as the main character slowly got to exploring his new home and the people he shared it with.
I love 'low' Sci-fi that is to say, less space craft and Aliens and more our world a little different. That aspect of 'little different' is a major factor in this book, as you never know HOW different there world is (if at all?).
There were certain points in the story where I couldnt stop listening and had to find out what would happen next. Which are hard to conveay without spoiling the story.
I had no idea what to expect when I began listening to this book. It came up in one of my recommendation emails and I thought it sounded interesting so gave it a go. Turned out that was a great move as it's one of the most interesting and original books I've listened to/read in a long time! I even recommended it to my mum! I thought the narration was spot on and there were so many unexpected twists and turns it really keeps you interested and unable to stop listening!
"Dragged me back into the world of audiobooks!"
Yes! This book, at a time when i found it difficult to motivate myself to listen to anything, managed to grip me from the first to the last.
Tim. Being largely from his perspective we really got to know how his mind worked and his personality shone through. As serious and shocking as this book was for the large part, Tim's humor brought things back to reality for me time and again.
You thought Lovecraft was just some crazy old coot? Think again...
If you have read and enjoyed any of HP Lovecrafts major works then consider this audiobook . The intertwining worlds of that and this are very well done and the referencing of Lovecraft is exquisite to the literary ear.
"I can see the mini-series now."
This book is a light, but very entertaining book. It seems to be written with a view to it being filmed, as it has a cinematic quality to it, drawing on lots of ready cultural themes.
Opening door 14 is cool. Took me by surprise. The author writes action very well.
I didn't notice it! he inhabited each character very well and never obstructed the story. Seamless performance.
An ancient evil is closer than you think.
Occasionally a little silly, and incredulous, but the heart is in the right place, and the action and story base is very good.
"So not the book I thought it was going to be..."
Layer upon layer, like pealing an onion, "14" twisted and turned all the way, never boring and with tension growing, the characters developed bit by bit and the story slowly unfolds. I ended up with a book that I didn't think I had bought....and I loved it all the more for that.
Despite some initial reservations, an absolutely great performance from Ray Porter too.
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