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)
You'll find me chattering and chasing shiny things.
I'm sure I can't say here anything that hasn't already been said, however I was so impressed, I felt like I had to. I also don't want to reveal anything, because the minimal knowledge I had before listening made the unfolding of the story so much more fun! This was such a solid listen on all fronts. The characters were engaging, the story interesting, the source of the mystery was terrific. By the time it had ended I wanted to hear more!
The absolute best thing, though, was the narrator. If there were some way I could give Ray Porter more than 5 stars, I'd give him an enthusiastic 10! His accents were credible, pronunciation:impeccable, and timing and flow: spot on! The thing I loved the most is that his interpretation never got in the way of the story he was telling. I've never found a narrator, aside from Jim Dale, I felt I would gush about - Ray Porter is gush-worthy!
Laughter is the best medicine, but if you are laughing for no reason, you may need medicine.
This was another book purchased solely on reading reviews and I'm glad I did. Reading the story description alone I never would have used a credit on this book, strange goings on in an apartment complex just didn't "pop" for me but there were so many positive reviews I gave it a shot. The narrator is the same guy that reads the Joe Ledger series and I really like his voice and characters, he did it again on this book and even added an Indian accent. The "goings on" in the apartments was interesting enough but what happens toward the end of the book was very suspenseful and exciting and that's all I will say about the content.
This is one of those audiobooks that I really can't see how no less than 90% of listeners will enjoy and a sure bet that your credit won't go to waste.
I used a credit on this one over a year ago. It sat in my library for a long time- so long in fact that I would have returned it without listening to it if I could have (time limit had passed) since clearly I wasn't going to get to it. I finally decided, hey why not.
I am so glad I did.
This was the surprise of the year for me, as far as books were concerned. Utterly engaging and believable. The characters developed well, as did the plot line. No forced culmination- everything fit and made sense based on the build up. That is not to say that the book was predictable- far from it actually.
It's funny, sci-fi, and horror, mixed into a solve the mystery plot line. Great characters. Just... believable, even with as out there as the plot line is.
The narration was fantastic. I'd listen to Ray Porter any time. I'm going to have to give Clines' other books a try, even though the ex-superheros series doesn't appeal to me on the surface. If they're as engaging and well written as this was, I can't see not liking them.
Is it the best book ever written? No. Is it worth a credit and your time? Absolutely.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Mysterious apartment building with low rent in Los Angeles raises healthy curiousity for young tennants. Sharing freaky details about lights and green cockroaches, the gang and slowly comes together in the shape of the Mystery Bunch, complete with Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Velma investigating the oddities of their dwelling.
Each character was interesting and relatable with Nate as the reluctant leader trading barbs with Veek, the oober-intelligent hacker. The guys and nudie sunbather, Zela meet on the roof to watch sunsets and share a few frosty beverages. Found myself enjoying the eccentricities of the gang. Narrators did an excellent job for each voice. Fresh take on a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys caper, searching for answers leading them into an other worldly caper.
The mystery unravels into a science fiction (not psychological) thriller. Enjoy.
I've never read Clines before, but if the rest of his work is on par with 14, I think I will have read all of his work by the end of the month. I devoured 14. I missed a project deadline at work because of 14. I really want there to be a 15, 16, and 17, even though I am perfectly aware that would make no sense.
Bottom line? This was a fun book with a fantastic narrator. Nothing deep really, but it didn't need to be. It was perfect fantasy/horror genre pulp. The entire thing is destined to be a movie that will inevitably fall far short of the story Clines has written. For Clines' financial sake, I really hope that happens anyway. Keep up the good work Peter.
There are few things better than a good story well told!
I downloaded this book thinking it would be a haunted house story. It's so much more. I hesitate to say more because I would not want to give away anything. I'll just say there is a mystery that you will not guess. Not in a million years. The story is part science fiction, part horror, part thriller. I definitely wanted to finish it in one sitting.
It is difficult to review this book without ruining the experience. I thought I knew where Clines was going, then BAM--he changed directions and utterly surprised me. I did not see where he was going with 14 and was questioning Audible placing it in the Sci-Fi category..I was sooo naive! I believe I can make some comparisons without giving the plot away:
It is part Stephen King and part Frank Peretti (I think I should stop there as you are probably completely baffled...as you should be! This is utterly unique!). 14 is bizarre and wonderful.
Ray Porter did a fantastic job. I put him in the same category as Scott Brick and Kate Reading (2 of my favorites). He gave each of the characters their own personality. The evil characters made my skin crawl and I cheered for the heroes.
Recommended, I just cant tell you why without spoiling it~
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
m night shyamalan wishes he could tell a story as good as this! i'm not sure i can add anything to what other reviewers have already said.
i bought this based on what another reviewer wrote, "it's lost meets national treasure." i bought it based on that. and boy oh boy, i was not disappointed! plus, i've read clines' other work and have definitely enjoyed his stories.
that reviewer hit it right on the head. 14 is a mix of lost and national treasure. there is a great cast of characters, and the plot builds as the story continues to pull you in. you helplessly want to keep listening and finding out more. who are these characters? are they really who they say they are? what is up with the history of this apartment building? why are some of the doors chained and locked up? what is in the basement?
this is a unique story, not like one you've heard or read before. i kept trying to guess, but i was wrong, pleasantly wrong as the story revealed itself.
like lost, the story pulls you in. unlike lost, this story has a good ending! my only disappointment was that i wanted to know a little bit more about a couple of the characters. i wanted to know more about a certain character's checkered past and how one character got the job she did.
like national treasure, there's a mystery and a history behind the apartment building. unraveling these leads the characters on an interesting quest to save the world. that may sound hokey but trust me, this is definitely worth your credit to find out why that's not a flimsy cliché.
if you like a good mystery with an interesting and unique payoff, then this audiobook is for you. if you've liked clines' other work, then you'll love this b/c it's his best in my opinion.
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 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 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.
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...
"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!
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.
Hilarious, entertaining madness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Solid first 3/4's...dissapointing finale."
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.
"Oh I loved this book!"
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!
Can't compare it to anything really, all new and very enjoyable!
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.
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!
Buy it if you like a good story, fantasy, suspense and laughing!
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.
"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 ...
"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.
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