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)
We all know a significant part of how well you enjoy a book is how well the narrator performs it and Ray Porter did a great job. Beyond that, the story had enough twists and turns to keep it fun. Sometimes you could anticipate where the story was going, but it happened in such a way that you were happy to see you were reading the characters right. Definitely built some great tension at the end. Will look for more by the same author and narrator.
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.
14 is a deceptively engaging tale that begins innocently and gradually builds to no-holds barred suspense with world ending implications. The story is set in current time with our hero, Nate, a 20 something slacker with a dead end job, looking for a cheaper place to live. Nate finds a cheap apartment. Ever so slowly, odd and out of the ordinary things begin to pile up. Along the way, Nate engages with a menagerie of characters living and working in the building, each with their own experiences with building quirks. Nate assumes control of this band of intrepid investigators as they gradually explore and uncover the mystery of the building that goes back >100 years and save the planet at the same time.
The compelling aspect of this story is the slow, gradual unfolding of the mystery so that as each new tidbit is uncovered, Clines can really "kick it up a notch" and goes on adding more and more curve balls. By the time the true nature of the building is revealed, the listener is ready to believe anything and will still ask for more. Nate's eclectic troop is also a perfect ensemble cast of supporting roles that adds to the believability of the story.
The narration is excellent with a great range of voices and tone as the tale moves from laid back to white knuckle. Expect this to be a fast listen after the first third when the suspense really begins to build.
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 had no idea what to expect from this one and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. The plot twists were very unpredictable and the characters easy to like/hate as needed. To put the cherry on top the narrator was excellent.
This mystery of a weird rooming house with strange happenings looked like it might be fun at first with a bit of mystery and quirky characters, but those characters never got interesting after the intro, and the plot was very slow moving. I think had I been a 14 year old boy, I might have liked this. The dialog was snappy. After listening to more than half, I found myself thinking more about what I'd listen to next, so I stopped and got a new book.
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!
Jonny B Loca
This is a perfect example of a great book being paired with a great audio book narrator. Ray Porter does an exceptional job of bringing this world to life. I can't imagine this book being experienced any other way than as an audiobook.
Where do you hide a building?
Just when you think you know where this story is going; it takes an astonishing twist. Fast paced ride that sucks you down the Sci-Fi rabbit hole. If you like 14; definately give Peter Clines Ex-Heroes series a try.
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.
Devourer of all books fantasy
I have read a few of Peter Clines books (Ex-Heroes and Ex-Patriots) and enjoyed them. I was eager to see what this new book was about. This was a very well done mystery/thriller/sci-fi/paranormal read. It is completely engaging and really keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.
I got a copy of this to listen to on audiobook. The audiobook was very, very well done. I enjoyed listening to this even more than I think I would have enjoyed reading it.
Nate has a bad job and no girlfriend and needs a new place to live after his roommates move out. One of his buddies from work tells him about this apartment that is a great deal. Nate calls and there just happens to be a unit available. It’s super cheap, clean, and utilities are included. It seems like a dream come true until Nate notices strange things...like the glowing green cockroaches, the kitchen light that turns every light bulb into a black light, and the padlocks on apartment 14. Nate is drying to unravel the mystery...but at what cost?
This was a very well done and creepy book about a strange apartment that has secrets within it that are centuries old. The mystery is built slowly over time and is absolutely engaging. The characters are just regular people...kind of. As Nate talks to his neighbors he starts finding out that everyone has a few strange things in their apartment.
I really enjoyed watching the characters investigate all of the strange things they found and enjoyed how they had to piece everything together. You just never knew what “strange” thing would pop up next. Then you were forced to try and figure out how the heck it fit in with all the other strange things.
The mystery is absolutely engrossing. It was so hard to stop reading this story.
The characters are all great too. In the beginning they all seem like just normal people with not a lot of money who are dependent on the low rent the apartment building offers. As the book continues you find out they all have special skill sets and these skill sets may be exactly what is needed to unravel all these secrets.
The book is well written and easy to read. It’s a blend of lot of different genres; thriller, paranormal, sci-fi, steampunk. I am not going to say a lot more about the plot because it would ruin the story.
Overall I absolutely loved this book. The mystery is so well done and makes it impossible to put the book down. The characters are just ordinary people put into an extraordinary scenario where they have to use the skills they are best at to solve this mystery. Really really loved this one. I am eager to see what Clines writes about next.
"LOST - the novel"
This book relay has that "cant put it down" factor! As more and more mysterious happenings are revealed i found myself shouting "what is this building!"
This book reminded me a lot of the LOST TV series especially towards the ending where it gets a little bit crazy. If your not a fan of sci-fi then this book is not for you, but to all others I would definitely recommend.
The narration is also fantastic, one of the best I've listened to in fact, many different male, female and ethnic characters and Ray Porter does a brilliant job bringing them to life.
"King +Tarantino + Lovecraft + Lost = 14"
I liked the interaction between the main characters. My headline mentions Tarantino and Stephen King. The book as the smart talking banter of a QT film, the characters riffing on Scooby Doo, Lost etc. Like Stephen King it features well rounded characters who are in events well over their heads. You care for them when things start going wrong and I guarantee you'll be rooting for at least one of them to come out of the events in one piece! King was also a huge fan of Lovecraft and the Eternal Gods and that influence is strong in 14. The book also is comparable to the TV show Lost because you aren't sure what is going on and you want to know why the government is covering up the events in the house.
The walk down the tunnels below the house was really well read. Its where the books mystery is begun to be revealed.
It would give away too much of the plot to reveal that! I think the strength of the book is until at least half way through you're not really sure what the mystery of the house is.
I listened to 14 over two shifts and I think you could quite easily be drawn into the book and listen to it in one go! The first half you're trying to figure out what's going on at the house and by the second half you want to know who survives. The book opens with a narrative enigma and you hope its not your favourite character that is involved in that sequence!
Kudos to Ray Porter for a great narration. There are some scenes where there are half a dozen people discussing what is happening and its easy to follow because Porter gives each character their own voice.
wow , whatever you have just been reading, this will something completely different.
For once I had no idea at all what was going to happen in this story. Some people have compared this to the tv series lost , allthough I can understand why , I don't totally agree because this one makes much more sense.
It's intriguing and exciting throughout.
great narration .
"Still sitting in the car 10 minutes after arriving"
I listen to audio books while I drive and often measure the quality of the book by how much respect I give to stopping the playback upon arrival. Some books I'll just pause as soon as I stop, mid sentence, mid word, they tend not to be great. Others I'll wait until a paragraph end - these candidates consider themselves "a good read".
I found myself still sat in the car 10 minutes after reaching my destination with 14. Great characters, an enthraling story and some really great plot twists left me always wanting more. While not without some minor plot holes this book is just plain entertaining.
"Starts as a puzzle and ends as all out madness"
Just wonderfully mad, as if the author starts out to create a X files creepy thriller then gets all Lovecraft berserk and goes sailing into la la madness... Great fun.
"A Twist at Every Corner"
Gripping, Innovative, Surreal.
Hmm, there's not really anything I've read that compares, It's an original tale.
He reads the book well and conjours up the different characters with his voices.
Yes! Although I couldn't but I looked forward to each listening session to find out what was going to happen next. A real edge-of-the-seat ride, and you WILL NOT get the ultimate twist in the tale.
If you like science fiction and want something original, buy this audiobook.
Good plot made great by the narration, first class
This is the first of ray porters I have listened to
"Fab book, addictive story, easy listening"
I find it hard to get into a book, but this book hooked me in straight away, enjoyable from the start. Very visual descriptions, I was picturing it as a film throughout. The relationships between characters are nicely done, the story isn't in any way predictable (well I didn't know where it was going!) and just as you think it's all tied up, and what will the author do with the next 20 odd chapters, it gets quite bizarre! But not bad bizarre, well worth downloading to find out!
"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!
"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.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content