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... (from Goodreads)
This book is making me want to live in a mysterious and possibly dangerous apartment!
— Oct 14, 2013 04:55pm at Goodreads
I’ve always been a little scared of Los Angeles– probably from accidentally watching one too many Real Life Gangs shows on Crime TV when I was younger. If I could live in a building like the one in 14, though, I’d move there ASAP!
The Kavach building is definitely the highlight of the story: it’s surreal and full of mystery and way more interesting than most of the people who live in it. I don’t want to give too much away, because following the characters through their investigation of the building is about 70% of the fun of this book, but basically think of that weirdo building from the first Ghostbusters movie.
Upside of the writing is that it maintains a good level of mystery-suspense through ’til the end, when it switches to a full on scifi story with aliens and everything. Downside is that the POV switches so many times I got seasick. I’m never really sure where I stand with multi-POV books; usually I’m cool with two, but more than that and I tend to get annoyed. (But I sometimes get multi-POV confused with omniscient narration, so, idk.) 14 is mostly from Nate’s POV, and I think it should have stayed that way the whole time. Would have been more effective overall, I think. I also thought it was super boring to have to spend 5 minutes listening about how Nate unfold a paperclip or something. Bah.
Speaking of Nate, the characters in 14 were so normal as to become practically boring, though luckily they did have tiny sparks of interesting-ness. It made the book more realistic, at any rate. Unfortunately, the most interesting character died and missed out on the happy ending! Le sigh.
But omg, the happy ending was PERFECT! I’m so glad I pushed my way through the admittedly slow first half of the book, because it was totally worth it for the second half. I LOVE happy endings!
Quick note on the reader, Ray Porter: good differentiation between male and female characters (the female characters even mostly sounded like girls) AND good differentiation between all the characters in their accents/style of speaking/etc. Would definitely read another audiobook read by him again.
I’d also read another Peter Clines book. Despite my problems with the boring bits and the multiple points of view, I very much enjoyed the mystery and scifi/fantasy mix. I had a LOT of fun trying to solve the mystery before the characters, too!
If you’re a fan of weird, Lovecraftian horror stories mixed with mysteries and Los Angeles, you’d probably enjoy 14 as well. Definitely check the audiobook out, too.
Read: October 8-18, 2013