Author: Peter Clines
Narrator: Ray Porter
Runtime: 12h 34m
Nate Tucker is at a dead end data entry job and needs a new place to live. He like so many others in LA had dreams of Hollywood life but it didn’t pan out. With roommates moving out Nate needs a place to live and hears about an apartment complex waaaay to cheap for LA. 500 a month, all utilities paid.
He moves in with some odd neighbors. Zeela, a waitress/painter who frequently sunbathes naked on the roof. “Veek”, a slim pasty Asian girl who controls the building Wi-Fi and has a very powerful computer system linked to playstations. Roger, a movie grip and Californian surfer guy. Andy, a rigid evangelist. Tim, a publisher who knows everything he’s ever published, Debbie and Clive, a middle-aged couple who owns a contracting company and their building manager Oskar. The building is also odd. There are no power lines to it. It crawls with green-spotted cockroaches that never eat anything. People have died regularly in one of its rooms. A few of the oddities they discover are:
- Writing under the paint on their walls
- Mine tunnels in the sub-basement
- No power lines leading to the building yet power runs throughout.
- Each Apartment is drastically different in structure, architecture and floor plan to the point of randomness.
- The Cavach Building is a national historic landmark but finding out why leads to dead ends.
- Green-spotted cockroaches scuttle through apartments but never touch food, never seem to eat and die when taken away from the Cavach Building
- The elevator doesn’t work and hasn’t for decades.
- The seven-padlocked apartment ‘14’, which has been painted so much the paint has sealed the door shut.
This is only some. What is up with the Cavach building? Is it just as old and as historic as everyone makes it out to be? Or is there more to it? And are any of the neighbors involved in it? Nate is determined to find out.
The book will take you by surprise how smooth the narration occurs. The beginning introduces the main character, Nate, and his situation that leads him ultimately to the Cavach building (his cheap-o apartment). At first it will seem quite dull for a chapter or two as characters are introduced and Nate’s disposition toward them is explored. When the neighbors begin to explore around the Cavach Building it immediately revs up suspense. Clues are tossed out with no sign on discovery that result in one too many questions in the middle of the book. Thankfully all question marks laid throughout the book are discovered by the end so there is no worry for cliffhangers or unanswered questions. Throughout all portions of the book the characters share the spotlight with the plot with brief explorations into the various neighbors. Not to mention the various quips of banter they have during all sorts of scenarios.
As a stand-alone book it is a great listen. The structure of the plot isn’t too difficult to understand, the characters are organic and far from stock. Fans of Cthulhu however enjoy 14 all the more. Ray Porter does an excellent job with characterization and mood.
Story (of 5): 5
Excellent pacing, intriguing hooks, satisfying characters and answering the questions it presents by the end of the book.
Narrator (of 5): 5
Great characterization, excellent mood-setting, voice-style of characters memorable and easy to follow and excellent tenor.