14 By Peter Clines, Narrated by Ray Porter Audiobook review

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….

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….

14 by Peter Clines is a very enjoyable sci-fi mystery book. Nate Tucker is looking for a new place to live and is recommended an apartment by a colleague. The rent is unbelievably cheap and despite a warning that the building has an odd vibe he jumps at the chance and moves in. The apartment and facilities seem too good to be true for the price but Nate experiences no issues. Well almost none, his kitchen light only put out black light, no matter what bulb is used it will only put out black light…..and there are green cockroaches with an extra leg. BUT apart from these minor oddities the palace is sweet! 

Soon Nate meets neighbour Veek and finds her room has an oddity too, it’s always 69°f no matter the weather or use of heating. Veek then shows Nate there is more, the building is not connected to the power grid. These mysteries ignite Nate’s curiosity and together with Veek he starts exploring the mysteries of the building, soon roping in many other tenants of the building who are also curious about the oddities of the building. The scooby gang is born!

 The scooby gang’s main members are Nate, Veek, a data entry clerk by day and hacker by night. Zeela, a struggling artist who likes to sunbathe nude on the building’s roof. Roger, a film grip and all round good guy. Tim, a retired book publisher with a particular set of skills. Clive and Debbie, a married couple who are very likeable, she a teacher and him a carpenter. Between them they share enough diverse skills to start looking into and solving some of the mysteries of the building. Every answer seems to leads to more questions though. Rooms full of math equations and writing in a strange language, a lift that doesn’t (and has never) work, a sub basement, compases not working and more!

There are other residents of the building who are interested in the building that aren’t in the main group, mainly Mrs Knight, an old slightly racist lady who has lived in the building for 25 years and provides some history of one of the rooms that everyone who ever lived in committed suicide within a year. The other is Andrew, a prissy religious holier than thou type who isn’t very well liked.

I really like the dynamic of the main characters and the way they interact with each other, they have interesting stories and funny dialogue and good chemistry. I like the pace of the book too, it gives you a small answer while building up bigger questions for the real mystery of the building. It does suffer a bit towards the end when you have most of the answers, I know a lot of people are put off by the turn the book takes towards the end but I’ve listened to this book a few times now and I think you just have to keep a very open mind to fully enjoy it. Leave your skepticism at the door with this one, it’s more fun that way. There are things in this book that aren’t very sciency for  sci-fi and that’s especially true for what is actually in room 14, that literally is just a big WTF moment. I thought it was cool,but it’s highly improbable. You won’t see it coming that’s for sure! Once you understand what’s going on the last act is where a lot of people seem to not like it so much and I was the same the first time around, but it’s grown on me. Like I said, open mind.

The narration is top notch! Ray Porter is one of my favourite narrators having done the bobiverse books (which are amazing, go listen) and this is another quality performance from him. He brings characters to life amazingly and delivers lines with the right emotions every time. He can always make me laugh with his delivery of lines. Not much more to say on this point, you can’t really go wrong with Ray Porter!

Would I recommend this book? Yeah definitely, it’s a good fun mystery that will keep you hooked wanting to know the answers. It moves at a great pace and has interesting characters with good chemistry. The end is a little weak compared to the rest and you really do need to leave any preconceptions of what is possible at the door to really enjoy it fully but it’s worth a listen for sure and if you enjoy it there are more books set in the same universe.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Unrulymind is written by Alex and Joe

Sci-fi and fantasy fans

Between us we have read or listened to hundreds of Sci-fi and Fantasy books. We very much enjoy discussing and recommending books to each other. Now we would like to open that discussion a bit wider and see what you guys have to say.

Looking forward to some great listens and some greater comment discussions.

Alex

Joe

Audible

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Our Favourites