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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Horror (2012)
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 neighbour 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...

Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins

13 pages, Audible Audio

First published June 5, 2012

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About the author

Peter Clines

36 books4,008 followers
Peter Clines is the author of the genre-blending -14- and the Ex-Heroes series.

He grew up in the Stephen King fallout zone of Maine and--inspired by comic books, Star Wars, and Saturday morning cartoons--started writing at the age of eight with his first epic novel, Lizard Men From The Center of The Earth(unreleased).

He made his first writing sale at age seventeen to a local newspaper, and at the age of nineteen he completed his quadruple-PhD studies in English literature, archaeology, quantum physics, and interpretive dance. In 2008, while surfing Hawaii's Keauwaula Beach, he thought up a viable way to maintain cold fusion that would also solve world hunger, but forgot about it when he ran into actress Yvonne Strahvorski back on the beach and she offered to buy him a drink. He was the inspiration for both the epic poem Beowulf and the motion picture Raiders of the Lost Ark, and is single-handedly responsible for repelling the Martian Invasion of 1938 that occurred in Grovers Mills, New Jersey. Eleven sonnets he wrote to impress a girl in high school were all later found and attributed to Shakespeare.

He is the writer of countless film articles, several short stories, The Junkie Quatrain, the rarely-read The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope Robinson Crusoe, the poorly-named website Writer on Writing , and an as-yet-undiscovered Dead Sea Scroll.

He currently lives and writes somewhere in southern California.

There is compelling evidence that he is, in fact, the Lindbergh baby.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,999 reviews
Profile Image for Michael.
2 reviews2 followers
October 2, 2012
I am genuinely mystified by the positive reviews of 14, which are everywhere. I picked it up entirely because of the positive buzz, and was greatly disappointed. Not immediately, but progressively, until what started as mild curiosity ended as a struggle to finish.

Fourteen is often compared to LOST, and I agree with this assessment to the extent that -- like LOST -- it raises and ultimately fails to answer innumerable questions that only exist to make the mystery seem deeper and more complex than it is.

Like many “high concept” mysteries, 14 starts with an excellent idea but fails in its execution because the author underestimates the audience. Again, like LOST, the ultimate “answer” is completely unguessable, because the details that lead up to it are irrelevant and the level of absurdity is unpredictably high. This will doubtless gives some readers a sense of payoff merely because they guessed incorrectly, but it will frustrate readers who expect details A and B to add up to, if not C, then at least something and not wasted time as the story gradually gets around to telling you what it’s about.

That is the biggest problem with the novel. It’s blundering and telegraphed, with “mysteries for the sake of mysteries” and pop-culture references for the sake of pandering to its audience and -- worst of all -- characters who behave illogically so that the mystery will last long enough for a novel, and the events that trigger the finale will actually happen.

Even given that the characters themselves are uninteresting (worse, they are capital-I “Interesting!” which makes them all the more boring, because why explore a character when you can just give them histories and talents that are designed to do the work for you), nothing is more frustrating than characters acting illogically. They fail to do the obvious things because had they done anything a normal person might have done, the mystery would not have played out.

It would be impossible to explain their failures as characters without spoiling the book. Suffice it to say that the more you think about 14, the less sensible is the behavior of every character in it and the more profoundly and idiotically convenient are the details that lead them to the conclusion and the more confusing the mismanagement of those with more information than the reader.

It is ultimately maddening to know you have participated in a meaningless series of unexplained (and unexplainable) mysteries, but it is more maddening to have -- once the “big reveal” takes place -- no doubt as to the outcome whatsoever.

So, ultimately, if you liked LOST, as so many people did -- with its endless unanswered and ultimately pointless questions -- and particularly if you like the left-field ending of LOST, then you may appreciate the book. Again, provided you don’t care about the depth of the characters (which are more shallow than those in LOST) and you don’t think about the plot.

Another example of how popular does not necessarily mean good, even if you’ve enjoyed previous titles by the author.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,921 reviews10.6k followers
August 1, 2016
When broke and directionless Nate Tucker finds an extremely affordable apartment, things quickly take an odd turn. Why does the light in Nate's kitchen always act like a black light? What's with the seven legged cockroaches? And why are all the other apartments as quirky as his? That's what Nate and the other tenants of the Kavach building aim to find out. But will they survive what they find?

After reading The Fold, I had the fever and the only cure was more Peter Clines! 14 has all of what I loved about The Fold and was quite an engaging read.

14 is the tale of an apartment building that has more mysteries than the entire run of Murder, She Wrote. As Nate compares notes with the other tenants, the Kavach building slowly gives up her secrets. I could easily see 14 being an episode of The Twilight Zone or the Outer Limits.

When the purpose of the Kavach building was finally revealed, I was one happy monkey. To prevent spoilage, I'll only say that I didn't see it coming and I was really glad the direction the book went in after that.

Clines' writing is very suspenseful and the way he gradually revealed the history and purpose of the building was masterfully done. If the book has one weakness, I'd say it was the characters. Nate, Tim, and Veek were the only ones I was terribly attached to. The others were immigrants from Clicheville, if you ask me.

All the tie-ins to The Fold made me glad I read that book first. Actually, now I'm waiting for Clines to write another book to tie in with them.

That's about all I have to say. 14 has everything I look for in an odd read and was very enjoyable. Four out of five stars.
Profile Image for Trudi.
615 reviews1,414 followers
November 12, 2013

I have a book shelf named "what the bleep" for books that unexpectedly shock my delicate sensibilities, blow my mind, and/or turn it into a pretzel. Sometimes the "what the bleep" is shouted in disgust or disappointment (as in -- this book sucks and the weirdness cannot save it). Other times, I shout it with glee for books that break my brain or tickle it so deliciously I can't help rubbing my hands together and cackling like a villain ripped from the pages of a Marvel comic.

I am delighted to report that '14' by Peter Clines is of the latter variety. It truly is a Coupe de Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box. I think what I loved most about this book is that it doesn't play by any fucking rule book whatsoever. It's horror, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and episodes of Friends mixed with Scooby-Doo and the movie Singles all rolled up into one. It should be a bloody, confused mess, but IT ISN'T. Once it really gets going, it shimmies and jives like John Travolta boogying his way through Saturday Night Fever, with pizzazz and fervor and purpose. And a HUGE side helping of crazy pants.

And it TAKES ITS TIME. Oh, how I love it when a writer can give me some literary foreplay I can work with. Clines lays on the mystery quite thick in the early stages. There's something going on, with lots of hints and just enough reveals to keep us interested and reading on with bated breath. But for a long, long, time Clines keeps the mystery unsolved. The stakes get higher and higher. And the reveal -- while a creaky house of cards and not built of perfection -- is supremely shocking and satisfying. At least it was for me.

This book is a celebration of weird and wacky, finding the fun and the supremely creepy all in one place. Clines borrows from a lot of different sources including Lovecraft, House of Leaves, and John Dies at the End, and cooks it all up in an unforgettable stew of unique flavors and textures. He's a guy to watch. Read this book.
Profile Image for Ginger.
753 reviews371 followers
June 11, 2019
Have you ever read a book (or listen in this case) and it just surprises the hell out of you?!

14 was AWESOME! No, really, it was. I can’t believe I haven’t read this or heard about it more. I was looking for an engaging audiobook last week and came across 14.

This book has a mystery about a building along with hints of horror and sci-fi woven throughout.
How could I not try this? It's every genre I love thrown into a book!

Peter Clines shocked me with how much I liked this book. It is a slow build up to an amazing ending. It's a punch in the gut with how complex some of the topics are in this book. The build up didn’t feel slow to me and I was never bored with this story.

Our main character, Nate Tucker moves into an old building and starts to notice that the building is different. There's strange light fixtures, different room layouts to a padlocked door, number 14. It has green mutant cockroaches running around and Nate knows something is odd with the famous Kavach building.

All the characters in this book were great from our surprised leader of the group Nate Turner, the computer expert Veek Vishwanath, to the retired 60-year-old Tim Farr. The tenants that live in the building are all complex and have their own personalities. It was fun and thrilling to go on this crazy ride with the tenants in finding out what the Kavach building was all about.

The narrator of this book, Ray Porter was just so damn good!! He did all the accents and characters so well that I’ve got to listen to more audiobooks by him. Way to go Porter!

Honestly, the less you know about this book, the better it will be for you. It’s like opening a Christmas gift and realizing it’s a new video game and not a pair of wool socks. Nothing wrong with some cozy wool socks though!

14 was just such a pleasant surprise. I'm shocked with how much I enjoyed this book.
Kudos Peter Clines for writing an excellent and fun book!

Recommended to anyone looking for a great mystery book that has elements of horror, H.P. Lovecraft, The Mystery Gang, to a whole bunch of other stuff that I can't mention.
I don’t want to ruin the suspense and fun for you!!
Profile Image for Will M..
304 reviews615 followers
July 24, 2015
This highly acclaimed horror novel was very underwhelming for me. It's one of those novels with a perfect premise, but the plot was lacking. I don't think it's the author's fault though, because with the idea in his mind, endless possibilities were on the line. I enjoyed the novel overall, but I'm not completely satisfied.

There were more positives than negatives in this novel. I'm going to start talking about the negatives.

The plot contained a good amount of cliche, and that made it a bit bad. I hate cliches, and horror novels normally contain only a few. I'm not going to include the cliches anymore because that would result into spoilers. Let's just say I saw the ending coming, and also most of what happened in between. If you want something original, then yes the premise would make you happy, but the overall thing wouldn't.

What was great about the novel would be the good set of characters. From the main character to the minor ones, all of them were fully developed in the end. Nate was a great main character and he delivered what he needed to do. Right from the start he was entertaining, and so were his apartment neighbors. My only complaint would be the cliche things that happened with them in the end. I saw everything coming, once again.

The revelation was a bit absurd. I know that the novel was weird right from the start, but it went overboard with the revelation of the whole secret. I wasn't shocked or amazed at all.

3.5/5 stars. Time to wrap this review up because I have nothing else to say. This is one of those novels wherein I can't seem to comment much on it. No need to ramble on further. All you need to know is that the plot was not so great, but the characters were.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,964 followers
February 7, 2017
Break out your 1d6 investigators, it's time to do some dangerous explorations! Scooby-Gang style.

Seriously though, it's hard to describe what you love in a novel when it ought to come out as a great reveal and a near pitch-perfect blend of mystery, cthuhlu tales, science fiction, fantasy, and of course the mainstay of Horror. Because that's what this is. Pure Horror with all the greatest tidbits you could want from all the other genres. It reminds me an awful lot of his other novel, The Fold, in that it starts out pure mystery, takes a turn for the SF, and then blows us away with over the top investigator-eating goodness. :)

I was on the same page with the peeps the entire way, from crappy old apartments to crappy temp jobs to barely figuring out what we wanted to do with our lives. It was plain fun from start to finish and I'm so glad I finally got around to reading it.

Do you like genre mashing? I know I do. :) This one's for you.
Profile Image for Misty Marie Harms.
559 reviews332 followers
January 6, 2022
Nate is living a bland type of life. He hates his job. He's broke. No girlfriend to speak of. However, his luck is changing when he moves into an affordable brownstone. As he gets to know his neighbors, he notices something about each apartment. They are not the same in size. Other mysterious things seem to be happening around the complex. Then there is the thing about Apartment 14. Blocked off and inoperable. Nate and his neighbors are thrown into an ancient war, and they must protect the brownstone with their lives.

So when I bought this book, I thought it was about a haunted apartment. I didn't realize it was going to take the turns it did. It was a nice surprise. Recommend!
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,812 followers
January 30, 2015
This is an excellent book, no doubt about it. It only fails to get a 5 star rating (from me)because there are a couple of stereotypes that screamed at me (and one that annoys me when it's used because by now it's soooooo tired) and a few stereotypical situations/plot devices.

BUT, that said I really like this one. The plot is admittedly well trod ground, but that in itself in not a bad thing. Built on a well established framework of/from horror fiction our writer handles it very well. There are as I've noted before very few if any totally new and unique plots/story lines. A great deal depends on how the author handles the idea/s and the characters he puts into the story.

Clines does an exceptional job and I've already purchased 2 more books by him.

No spoilers here, no inside comments that will give "it" away. I just recommend that if you like horror, if you like urban fantasy or if you're simply a fan of fantasy and/or horror you pick this one up. I really don't think you'll go wrong.

Very good book Mr. Clines. I hope you follow it up. Highly recommended.

Profile Image for TS Chan.
699 reviews868 followers
February 28, 2019
4.5 stars.

A fascinating and engaging genre-bending novel with excellent characterisation, elevated by the narrator's superb voice-acting.

14. Firstly, the number, when spoken in Chinese sounds like "will/must die". Due to this superstition, there are numerous buildings in my part of the world which do not use this number. You will instead get Level 13a or Unit 13a in place of 14, and sometimes even a jump from 13 to 15. I started the book with this notion at the back of my head. And all I knew about the story then was that the building was strange and mysterious. A potent and thrilling combination, and yet I was still pleasantly surprised with the direction the story took.

The narrative unfolded as the main protagonist, Nate Tucker, was looking for a new place to stay in Los Angeles under a tight budget. As chance would have it, he met someone who was just moving out of an apartment which has a rent that was almost too cheap to be true. I don't know about others, but when something was too good to be true, I tended to get suspicious.

As Nate moved in, he gradually met and came to know some of his neighbours. Veek, the "in-house wireless provider" who has a computer setup that was more elaborate and extensive than her job seemed to require. Tim, also newly moved in, a self-proclaimed ex-publisher that was much too knowledgeable than he should be. Xela, the artist with blue hair who loved to sunbathe naked on the rooftop deck. Roger, a grip in the movie industry who has the hots for Xela. Debbie and Clive, a lovely couple, who lived in the most unique apartment unit in the whole block. Then there's Oskar, the building manager, and a religious, self-righteous dude named Andrew, who according to Nate's POV has perfect Lego hair.

14 is a blend of mystery and science fiction, with a touch of horror and even fantasy. It is also a story of friendships forged through a common purpose, shared experiences and even desperation. I found the characters to be well-written. They felt so real and relatable that I can imagine being friends with them. In my opinion, this was primarily achieved through the natural dialogue between these characters, and Ray Porter's superb narration and voice-acting made it even better.

The story did take quite a while to unravel, so some of you might find it a bit slow in the beginning. However, the time it took to get to the big revelations made sense to me. It also served to develop the characters and their connections more realistically. Once I hit the halfway mark, I was trying to find more and more time to listen to the audiobook by taking long walks.

As this is the kind of book best experienced going in with as little information as possible, I am not going to elaborate any further. I will just say that it is a thoroughly engrossing novel that concluded satisfactorily, and I'm very glad that I've experienced it via the audiobook.

You can purchase the book from Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide); or the audiobook from Audible

You can also find this, and my other reviews at Novel Notions.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,644 reviews5,093 followers
June 17, 2022
page turner, page turner! this was fun.

despite all of the eerie, slowly-paced discovery that suddenly morphs into page-turning, fast-paced excitement, despite the lovecraftian flourishes and the mind-bending dimension-folding strangeness and the frenetic, you-are-there-now action set pieces, despite all of the wham! bam! of it all, there's one central component to the novel that really warmed my heart: the novel's own heart, which is front and center. this is a sweetly affecting novel about people supporting other people and how humans need each other. so much time is spent on its characters realizing that they not only enjoy each other's company - they need each other's company. humans need to connect with each other on, you know, a human level. the writing itself may have reminded me of mainstream tv writing, but I came away from the book really liking the actual writer. Clines seems like a decent, kind person.

so if you are in need of a bit of a break from these trying times - but you don't want to lose sight of the lessons that are currently being learned and relearned by, oh, the whole damn world - then you may want to give this one a try.
Profile Image for Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf).
445 reviews286 followers
December 13, 2015
Well, what an unexpected gem 14 was! Loved the audiobook! What an amazing performance by Ray Porter! I honestly thought at times that I was listening to ten totally different voices! Extremely impressive! Got LOST in it!

Nate has just moved into a new and dirt cheap apartment, and something isn’t quite right. With all the rooms of the building in fact… And the basement… And who is across the street in the car monitoring the building 24/7? What are the property managers hiding? And what on earth is in room 14? Its up to Nate and the other residents of the Kavach building to find out what is going on.

Wow! What an AMAZING bunch of characters. The characters in the Kavach building, were probably one of the most fun groups of people I have ever read about! What a diverse and entertaining group of people! Nate, the main character is probably the most dull of the lot, yet he was still extremely enjoyable to read about! “Only a publisher” Tim across the hall, sun baking artist Xela, the subtle as a sledgehammer computer geek Veek, not to mention the rest… Their interactions were witty and clever, making me laugh out loud on numerous occasions.

I loved the blossoming romance, and Veek was by far my favourite character! I loved her blunt attitude.

It took me in a direction I wasn’t expecting it to go to be honest. I had no idea what I was in for when I started listening to it. Not at all disappointed! I would class it as a cross between a horror/mystery/adventure/sci-fi/thriller.

I found the premise to be extremely clever. Really original. I’m looking forward to reading “The Fold” and the “Ex Heroes” series, also by Peter Clines.

I am a bit mixed about the ending. On one hand I really enjoyed it, but on the other, I feel it didn’t really answer all my questions as much as it could have. Ultimately though it was still a satisfying conclusion. It just could have been more I think. That’s the main reason for my 4 and not 5 star rating.

Would I recommend 14?

Yup! Especially the audio version! Great performance, was kinda sad when it was over! And it really made me want to invite all my friends over for a beer on the roof!

“A ladder’s a flag pole with delusions of grandeur.”

For more reviews visit my blog
1 review
February 13, 2013
I would like to caution future readers on purchasing this book. The first 10 hours or so are fairly interesting but the plot devolves into cheesy madness shortly thereafter. Even before however, there were pretty obvious flaws that I was willing to overlook at the time (not after the story unfolded) namely 1-dimentional characters and worse, those characters behaving in unrealistic ways in order to keep the story going. Truthfully I’m rating it as a two so you the people don’t write it off as some disgruntled reader that didn’t like the ending. Otherwise it would be 1 rated.

The story takes a dive faster than a Stuka dive bomber after the characters open room 14. Room 14 is a portal to deep space in another star system…. the space is contained and held back by a door…. Enough said. Soon after we are introduced to “squales” or giant alien flying creatures that look like “ a cross between squids and whales… with bat wings” Here I gotta digress; how many times are we going to see half mindless, enormous aliens that feed on human flesh? Are we really that simple of a creature? Those are our fears?... The giant squales flew around telepathically babbling about “food you are my fooood, cattle! Mine mineee!” It became embarrassing actually. The only redeeming quality of the book was the premise of a machine disguised as a building. To be completely fair I just came off of reading the whole “A Song of Ice and Fire” George R.R. Martin series, so I may be a bit more critical of writing that is not on that level (honestly whether or not that is your cup of tea everyone should read it, period). Anyway I would advise everyone to look somewhere else.
Profile Image for Char.
1,634 reviews1,488 followers
March 4, 2021
Usually, I don't like to know too much about a book going into it. In this case, I'm SUPER happy about my policy because 14 is chock full of surprises!

At first, I thought this was a haunted house/apartment story. The mystery factor was strong and sucked me in right away. Slowly, as the tale unfolded, more and more information was discovered and this story morphed into something else entirely. I love when that happens!

I'm not going to say any more about the plot, but I will say that Ray Porter narrated the hell out this story! I'm off to see what other books are in the Threshold series, because this one was so much fun!

Highly recommended, especially on audio!

*I bought this audio with my hard earned cash.*
Profile Image for Ash Wednesday.
441 reviews524 followers
August 3, 2013
It was always wrong when the pest got so big you could hear them walking.

Now I can't be the only one having goosebumps over the thought of giant roaches making those skittery noise in the kitchen, can I?

Show of hands, who's a fan of LOST?

Okay, who's a fan of LOST because of the Jack-Kate-Sawyer storyline? Or maybe Boone. Remember Boone, Losties?

Yeah, this might not be for you.

On the other hand, if you're a fan of The Dharma Initiative, the giant foot, Penny's boat and tried 4 8 15 16 23 42 in the lottery at one point, then JACKPOT! This might just end up on your favorites shelf.

This book, with the dirty creepy locked door cover (good choice on that one, by the way), did a very good job in driving me against the wall in trying to figure out what brand of crazy is going on half the time. The other half I spent picking my jaw from the floor from the crazy twists, turns and out of this world reveals Peter Clines dragged me into. It's quite tricky to review this book because half the fun is coming into it blind.

For a stretch in the beginning, 14 felt like playing a JJ Abrams-themed video game except instead of being set on an island after a plane crash, happens in a strange apartment with an uncanny mix of people who find themselves being pulled deeper and deeper into investigating the mystery of their abode. One would think that an apartment with "padlocked doors, strange light fixtures and mutant cockroaches" would drive people away but apparently, for the price of 565 dollars a month (inclusive of utilities) people in LA are desperate enough to overlook that if you throw in an amazing view of Hollywood in the deal.

I rather liked how this story unfolded. How you're given clues (either through Nate or the other tenants' perspectives), diagrams and photos that you get to store in your inventory, to be picked later on in the story to crack a mystery or solve a puzzle which will give you a piece of the bigger puzzle in turn. It was quite fun trying to guess where things were heading, but is infinitely more entertaining when you get the reveal afterwards because, I shit you not, you can't possibly guess what's behind door number 14. It's THAT insane.

While the mystery gradually grows more and more complex (and it really gets pretty… out there towards the end by way of ), Clines did very well in making me care for the characters, all things considered. I pretty much liked everyone (especially Tim Farr) and I found the dialogue and the banter between any of them at any given time quite entertaining.
"I've got a thing about heights."
Nate glanced at her. "I thought you had a thing about bugs?"
"I've got more than one thing, it's allowed."
"You were okay up in the loft, said Debbie.
"Because the loft is a nice big space with guard rails," Veek said. "A ladder's a flag pole with delusions of grandeur."

But at the same time there's an underlying melancholy to each of the characters' backstory, made more stark by finding the comforts of friendship among others who are aimlessly searching themselves, which I think balances the disturbing reveals quite nicely. That despite the amount of insanity going on in that building, there are people that are desperate enough for some direction in their lives to be drawn to that chaos than be repelled by it.

Though I'm still pretty bothered by that these people's default reaction to the mutant roaches wasn't KILL KILL KILL but was "hmmm… interesting" instead. (Because seriously, people. Hygiene.)

Yet for all the thrills this book managed to put out, it did fail some on the pacing for me. More often than not, I found myself wishing the characters would just talk to each other and do away with the third person narrative because it can get a little too detailed and winding which does wonders for providing tension but messes with the spatial and temporal order of things in my brain. There's a lot of action and movement in the story but I found myself having to go back a few paragraphs because I couldn't get a clear picture in my head what was going on.

After turning the last page, it did feel like I've been immersed in the author's universe of strange far too long and certain scenes and mysteries could have been cut short and resolved in a paragraph instead of a chapter. LOST aired for six years, this felt like I've read it for three even if it was just 300-something kindle pages. It was entertaining but I always felt like I was on the brink of getting bored.

But for offering something completely unique and delivering on the "genre-bending" promise, the JJ Abrams fangirl in me can't help but slow clap for a good effort, convincing me enough to add another book from this author in my TBR pile. The perfect blend of talent and crazy is strong in this Peter Clines person, his other book deals with retired superheroes vs zombies... how can ANYONE say no to that?
Roger nodded. "Right. Getting stuff done to your brain makes your nose bleed. I read that in a book once."
"You read a book?" said Veek.
"Wait for it…" said Roger. "Annnnd…. fuck you."

ARC provided by Permuted Press thru NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
Profile Image for Becky.
1,339 reviews1,629 followers
February 27, 2013
This book ruined my day today. I started it yesterday and flew through 80% of it, forcing myself to stop around 1am because I had to work today. But, I stopped right when things were getting really intense, and I couldn't stop my brain from trying to continue the book in my head. So I didn't get very much sleep last night, and therefore today dragged by in a haze of exhaustion and crankiness.

This was not improved upon arriving home to find my boyfriend sleeping on the couch. I want to sleep, dammit! But NOOOO... I have to make dinner and be the responsible adult... blah blah blah. Being a grown up sucks.

ANYWAY. So I finished the last 20% of the book, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Some of it was a bit horror movie predictable, but all in all, I liked it a lot.

I liked the mystery, and the investigation, and the way that real life people were tied into the story. I liked the feel of it, the vibe I got from it, and I like that not everything was explained.

Good stuff, and I've already recommended it to a couple of the guys at work, who I think would enjoy it. :)
Profile Image for Veronique.
1,231 reviews169 followers
February 6, 2017

What a fun book!

The narrative introduces Nate, a run-of-the-mill guy stuck in a dead-end job, looking for a place to live in L.A. By luck, he finds an apartment that is not only greatly located but cheap too. The other residents seem ok, but very soon Nate starts noticing strange and weird things...

Clines spends plenty of time fleshing out his characters, especially the main ones, to the point that you just become attached to them. The same is true with the plot and setting, and yet the narration doesn't feel slow. On the contrary, it is immersive, suspenseful, and funny (humour always works well as the counter balance).

This is labelled a horror story but really it is more of a mystery/adventure with a horrific element. As the clues stack up, you can't help being drawn into it, trying to put the pieces together. Loved it.
Profile Image for Steve.
962 reviews94 followers
May 31, 2016
Almost instantly becoming one of my favorites, Peter Clines' "14" is a near-flawless mystery-thriller-horror (in that order) with human characters as richly portrayed as the book's strongest presence: the hauntingly unforgettable Kavach Building. What begins as a self-referenced Scooby Doo hunt for clues into the apartment building's eccentricities soon becomes a treasury of mind-bogging concepts of time/history, space/location, and insider/outsider. Reality is challenged and rocked to its foundation. The less known going in, the better, but there are few authors that can tie references to/from The Matrix, Scooby-Doo, Star Trek, Star Wars, HP Lovecraft, Nikolai Tesla, Ghostbusters, and Lost into one cohesive book!

In reference to mentioning "Lost", it's worth noting unlike that promising TV series that was crushed beneath the weight of its lack of focus and forethought, "14" delivers a fulfilling and contextually sensible conclusion that leaves very few narrative stones unturned. A lot of the fun here is in carrying on an internal dialogue with the characters as they discuss the myriad explanations for the madness surrounding them.

Essentially a locked room mystery as experienced outside the room, Peter Clines is on top of his game. With a pace as fast as lightning, and a plot that quakes like thunder (as well as a thoroughly creepy cover), this should soar to the top of book lists everywhere and stay there long after the initial reading is through.

The audiobook was fantastic, too. The narration was superb, and it's no wonder this book was chosen by Audible.com as the best Sci-Fi novel of 2012.
Profile Image for Melody Sams.
63 reviews30 followers
June 14, 2018
What a weird little trip! I’d expect nothing less from the author of The Fold. If you don’t mind a bit of a slow build up, you’ll be rewarded with some really fascinating and inventive sci-fi throughout the second half of the book. It definitely had a similar tone to The Fold, and I can’t help but think those two books might be connected. I’m definitely looking forward to more of Clines work!
Profile Image for ChopinFC.
269 reviews75 followers
April 19, 2019
14 was easily the strangest and the most wild ride book-experiences I’ve read in 2019!

For those of you about to embark in the ‘14 book’ experience beware:

It’s a crazy messed up roller coaster ride, which will either leave you breathless and laughing or puking your guts out by the end!!

No. really. It’s that type of a book! I knew as little as possible going into the book, and as the pages flew by, I kept asking myself: what the fudge am I reading?? To characterize the book in the ‘horror’ genre, or sci-fi would be a little disservice. The book is a true ‘melting pot’ of horror (the spooky ‘holy shit’ type), sci-fi ( time-space continuum stuff), mystery, thriller, and many others!

Peter Clines does a superb job in hooking the reader with a multi-layer horror/thriller from the very first page to the last! There were so many crazy ‘twists’ imbued in the story, that when Clines finally lays it out thick I was stupefied!

In a nutshell, the book is about ‘Nate’. Nate is a single dude, struggling to get by in Los Angeles when he suddenly has to move out. Nate strikes gold, when he finds a super cheap rental in a lovely brownstone called the Kavach building. From the offset everything is hunky dory, but looks could be deceiving...uauauauaua!!

'Kavach building'

Everything about ‘14’ struck the right chord! The characters well developed and flushed out. Nate, is a fun very realistic protagonist who you can’t help but root for the whole time! The rest of the characters were so unique, and came in all genders, ethnicities and ages. Clines, really does a superb job at making all characters feel ‘real’, and some of them you really hate or love as the story unfolds.

Unquestionably, my favorite part of the book experience was unraveling the ‘mystery’! As a famous movie once said, ‘life is like a box of chocolates’; well in ‘14’ the story was the box of chocolates, and each mystery revealed was a different flavored and textured chocolate. Some were nice and sweet, yet some just tasted like shi….

'14' many Mysteries...

'14' is a fantastic, mystery-horror-sci/fi story which will leave you yearning for more, which literally knocked my head off!

5 Stars
Profile Image for Midas68.
155 reviews12 followers
June 30, 2016
First half was pretty Good!!?!
2nd half was a sadistic exercise in Lobotomy.

It's hard to be mature and review a book with one word when that word is
But it pretty much does the job spot on.

So many DUMB responses from characters, that the only way to forgive/forget one is to be amazed how bad the next one is.

Spoiler Alert

A CIA like group in control of a Science Magical building machine that protects our universe from a Lovecraftian Nightmare feel that it is in our(Humankind's) best interest to let a Handful of Newbs=People who move in for the cheap rent without a clue that they are now the protectors of our world. And to incredibly bestow this most important of jobs to them and fail to imply how All Important the job is by failing to actually tell any of them about it. And as the Poop clogs up the fan, they continue to go about leaving it up to good fortune/Blind luck that we are saved after the Nitwit Renters screw the pooch and put our universe in dire straights.

The Inside man who has a clue never acts like he's there to save us from ourselves, as he goes along with every dumbassness after dumbassness idea the clueless come up with.

Basically the author tells us that there is only one thing saving us from being food slaves to Soggoth and his band of No-Goods and that it is wise not to protect it/ while entrusting it to people who know nothing about it and letting them tinker with it like a Presidents nephew playing around with the Nuclear button. Then hope they figure out how to save us all after they hit the button.

I know our government will eat its own tail, But this is putting a kindergärtner in charge of grading College papers.
We know our Govt. will act like the Third Stooge from time to time, but it's always when money is involved(We can at lest count on them being smart enough to count the moola before they sell there soul)

By all the glowing reviews apparently Lots of people like fantasy and do not mind characters who act unrealistically in fantastic situations. I think a author's job is to make the fantastic as realistic as they can and the more Fantastic means making it even more believable. Simple things like pausing more then a second when out of the blue, squids from planet Voltron air guitar your twin brother to Liquid Death.

I certainly see the effects of having half the editors from publishing market being fired.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,132 reviews309 followers
February 5, 2017
A very fun genre-bending read. I read The Fold in 2015 and thought at the time that some parts of it didn't really work for me, but after reading this one, The Fold makes more sense. I think the two books work well as companion novels, with this one providing some context for the other.
Profile Image for Veeral.
360 reviews133 followers
October 30, 2012
Let me start by saying that this was one of the best mystery/ horror books I have read this year.

This book has being compared to the TV series Lost and I can understand why. Because as I have said earlier, this is one of the tautest mystery/horror thrillers I have read in a long long time.

So, I would try to review this book without revealing even the mundane details which I think might hint towards the mystery of this book.

Basic Plot

Nathan (Nate) Tucker is our down-to-earth protagonist who has an underpaying job and as a result, is in dire need of a cheap apartment to stay. A stranger recommends him a building with unbelievably low rent (by Los Angeles standards, of course). Nathan rents the room and starts noticing weird things happening in his apartment. When he befriends other tenants, they too admit noticing peculiar things occurring in the building. So, a sort of “mystery solving club” is formed.

Sure, like any other book, this book has got its ups and downs but I ignored little mistakes to enjoy what is essentially a very gripping tale.


They say that the journey is always more interesting than reaching the destination itself. For me, reading this book was an experience reminiscent to that. Peter Clines steadily builds the suspense which keeps you turning pages to know what happens next but the final reveal makes you a little sad that the mystery is over.

You know what I really loath the most in a book? To end a chapter mid-action in order to raise the level of an already non-existent suspense.
Hello, Dan Brown!

Let me give you an example. (The story is imaginary)

Chapter 23 (continued)
Prad Bitt hoped that nobody from the Mafia would find him here but then suddenly there was a noise of car tires screeching on the gravel from outside. He cringed and slid under the stall as far as possible. There was a loud blast and half of the rotten door splintered.

A shadow appeared in the doorway and raised the shotgun towards him.

But then suddenly the chapter ends mid-action and we are treated to a very boring chapter about some other parallel plot line of little consequence.

Chapter 24
Zooey looked at the butterflies fluttering in the garden from her window and thought of Prad. Flutter flutter inconsequential flutter of time wasting plot flutter flutter 10 minutes of more flutter flutter then 4 more pages of flutter sad sad Zooey flutter.

After an excruciatingly painful and restless 15 minutes of reading Chapter 24 which seems like 15 hours at the time, we finally read about Prat Bitt again.

Chapter 25
Prat knew his time has come. The shadow looked ugly. That it looked horrible might have been the understatement of the millennium. He thought that they have sent the ugliest person in the world to kill him and that made him chuckle in spite of himself.

After all, he guessed, only the ugliest person in the world could make even his shadow look ugly.

Then the shadow moved into the light.

Prat said, “Mmmm....Mum!? I am saved! Hoorah!”

You see, that’s what you get more often than not when you read mysteries/ horrors/ thrillers. But in 14’s case, Cline has avoided such annoying midway chapter endings as well as inconsequential revelations. You have to read this book to really feel the difference it brings to the flow of the story compared to a clichéd mystery novel.

Numerous Tropes
Peter Cline has tried to cram as many tropes as possible in this book and has somehow succeeded most of the time.


Plot Holes, Physics be damned
Yes there are some major plot holes and there is one chapter in particular where Cline has unintentionally contradicted some major laws of Physics. That might be objectionable to some readers, but I gladly overlooked them here as this was really a treat to read. There are some red herrings as well, but nothing that would make you cry in the end, ”What the hell was that, then?”

If you don’t know any Indian languages, then this wouldn’t be a problem for you. The building in 14 has an Indian name and I knew what it meant right from the start and it sort of gave away some of the major plot.

Last 1/4th of the book drags on, comparatively
Cline reveals his main mystery at about 3/4th way into the book. In my opinion, the book should have ended in maximum 20-25 pages after that, somehow. But it didn't and as a result, it felt dragged.

Ironically, the last 1/4th part consists of almost all the major action of the book.

But whatever its faults, chances are, you will like this book. I did.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Michelle .
255 reviews79 followers
July 14, 2021
Fantastic writing, memorable characters, mystery and intrigue, and badass Lovecraftian monsters. What more could a girl want?
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,260 reviews222 followers
February 7, 2017
A man wandering through life aimlessly finds friends and a compelling mystery when he moves into a new apartment building.

Nate's new building is an interesting place. The kitchen in his apartment has a light fixture that gives off black light no matter what bulb he puts in it. The place seems to have an emerald green cockroach problem. Apartment 14 has four enormous padlocks on its door. And as Nate begins to meet his neighbors, they all have pieces to add to the mystery as well. As Nate slowly becomes obsessed with it, the investigation that he and his new friends undertake begins to come together as a bizarre story that goes back a century and may become suddenly and terrifyingly relevant.

I've read this out of order as The Fold is set in the same world and features cameos from some of these characters. I have to draw a strong parallel to that book, in that the mystery and setup take a long time, part of which is getting to know and appreciate the characters, and then there's a hectic action sequence once all is revealed. Of the two, I think it's better done with this book, at least partly because I think the characters in this one are better and it's great seeing an amiable no-hoper like Nate emerge into a leader with a strong sense of purpose.

Overall I really enjoyed it (but I would recommend reading this one before the Fold, the cockroaches are too much of a giveaway when you read them the other way).
Profile Image for Bill.
1,547 reviews108 followers
August 25, 2016
This one starts out a bit of a slow burn as we are introduced to the Kavach building and its tenants. Then it morphs into a mystery/thriller type of story, as the characters who call the apartment building their home start to experience strange happenings and messages hidden within the walls of the Kavach. As more is revealed, it quickly becomes apparent that something much more sinister is going on here. Much more.

Enter the Squales. No wonder the rent was so affordable.

I enjoyed this one very much and wasn’t expecting the turn it took at around 60% or so. I convinced myself it was a standard haunted apartment story based solely on the cover. Turns out there is a wee more to it. That’s what I get for thinking.

A well written and crafted tale with depth of character and a unique story line. This one had a bit of everything, sci-fi, thriller, mystery, and horror. There was even a hint of a love story in here. Crazy. Well done.
Profile Image for Sheila.
951 reviews84 followers
March 27, 2018
3 stars--I liked the book.

This rating is largely based on the story. It was exciting, fast paced, and completely bonkers. This is sci-fi (pretty "hard" sci-fi, too) with some horror elements, and unlike anything I've read before. The story was great fun!

The writing however... oh boy. The writing gets 1 star--I didn't like it. I'm pretty sure this was written at a 4th-grade reading level. Characters are blank and there's no beauty in the prose. Female characters were especially bad, since they all seemed to crush on the loser main character. (Tip for male writers: great breasts are not a character trait. And if the only reason a character has great breasts is to make another female character jealous, it's time for a rewrite.)
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,084 reviews2,945 followers
November 1, 2020
4.0 Stars
This was such an entertaining scifi horror novel that played around with the trope of the "home  that felt too good to be true". The first half of the story was my favourite part because I loved the slow unravel of the mystery surrounding the building. The second half required a lot of suspension of disbelief, but once I went along with it, I had a lot of fun. More weird than spooky, I would definitely recommend this one anyone who loves when horror and science fiction crossover.

I highly recommend the audiobook version because the narrator, Ray Porter, did an excellent job with his performance.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,030 reviews2,604 followers
November 29, 2013
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...

I'd like to start this review off with some background information. So for the past year, I've been playing a massively multiplayer online role-playing survival horror game called The Secret World. The developers' description of it as a "dark fantasy" MMO is quite apt, due to its paranormal setting and the creepy mysteries-of-the-unexplained nature of the story and quests, heavily inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. So that's why when a fellow gamer asked me for a book recommendation that has the same kind of vibe, my mind immediately went to Peter Clines' 14.

At the time, I hadn't read the book myself but I'd heard good things and knew from its description and others' reviews that it could be thematically and atmospherically similar to what my friend was looking for. A group of tenants living in a strange apartment building where bizarre things like strange light fixtures, wonky room temperatures, and mutant green cockroaches with extra legs are an everyday occurrence? The book definitely has that creepy-paranormal feel going for me.

Anyway, little did I know, in so many ways this book turned out even more like The Secret World than I could have possibly imagined. Those familiar with the game will know that there are certain types of quests called "Investigation Missions" that require the player to find facts and solve puzzles. That's pretty much how I saw this book. The main character Nate and his fellow neighbors gather to examine all the oddities they've found in their own apartments, and together they try to solve the mystery of the old Los Angeles brownstone they call home.

Overall this was a fantastic read, quite different in tone and subject compared to the author's other books that I've read and very much enjoyed, mainly the Ex-Heroes series. But the things I loved, such as Clines' light style and funny dialogue, are still all there. I've noticed he is excellent when it comes to writing about large ensemble casts. In the case of Ex-Heroes, it was his engaging and unique band of superheroes; in 14, it's the diverse group of tenants living in the strange Kavach Building. Clines gives them all distinct personalities even if at times they are a little cliched, and the conversations that result are always natural, witty and entertaining.

In terms of the story, I think some might find it slow to take off, particularly at the beginning and especially if you're expecting something more along the lines of pure horror. There are certainly horror elements in this book, but for the most part there's nothing too frightening. Is 14 scary? No, not really; there's nothing that would give me trouble sleeping anyway. But creepy and a bit unsettling? Definitely. This eeriness strengthens throughout the course of the novel with each new discovery of weirdness in Nate's building, every one of them adding to the atmosphere.

Beyond that, it's going to be hard to talk about the plot without giving too much away. I can't say I was a big fan of the ending, but after all that build-up everything does come to a head in a big, meaningful, almost overwhelming way. That, I can guarantee.

In general, 14 is a tough book to categorize, but think a mix of science fiction and fantasy with a dash of horror, with emphasis on mystery, paranormal, and topics relating to unexplained phenomena. It's a lot like the show Lost in this regard, but with a heavier dose of humor. A fun read all around, which held my attention from the first page to the last.
Profile Image for Cindy Newton.
622 reviews129 followers
November 7, 2016
I've been mulling the ending of this book for a few days now, and I think I can now give it three stars. Right after I initially finished the book, I was leaning more toward two stars. I know many of my friends were enchanted by this story, but I just . . . wasn't. I really liked The Fold, and saw some similarities in the plot concepts. I felt like the presentation of that was handled much better in The Fold than in 14.

*** SPOILERS AHEAD *** Proceed at your own risk!!

The context was much easier to envision and accept in the other book. The premise of this book--the house as a machine that holds the alternate universes at bay--just seemed a little too much to wrap my head around, and left me with so many questions. If the house/machine was built in fairly recent history by what's-his-name (the skeleton in the wall), then what was going on before that time? The squales were roaming the Earth unchecked, and no one talked about it? They had access to the Earth but just didn't know it? I mean, why weren't they here? Maybe I missed that part--I did listen to the audio version.

I found quite a bit of the book boring as it slowly built up to the big reveal. The parts where they met endlessly to discuss their confusion about the measurements of their apartments--that was less than exciting. Then they actually started measuring, which was even more of a snoozefest. There were some exciting parts, such as discovery of the skeleton, and, of course, the fact that apartment 14 was occupied by--Outer Space. Why? I didn't understand why there was a portal to space in this machine. The plot seems to pull rather heavily on Lovecraft, even incorporating him into the history of the machine and creating a link between the alternate reality and his "fictional" creatures. Maybe if I had already read Lovecraft's stories, this book would have resonated more with me. (Yes, Lovecraft is on my to-read list; I just haven't gotten to him yet)!

I liked the characters, especially Tim. He was definitely my favorite! And I have to know this--is there anyone who read this book who didn't know that Andrew was not a good guy? I mean, was there anyone who could not immediately tell that he was going to be trouble? I'm not sure if his eventual actions were supposed to be a surprise, but I thought his real role was painfully obvious from his first appearance. Viek (not sure of spelling--audiobook!) came across as old and grumpy most of the time, but I was okay with the way things turned out.

My problems with the writing are well-documented in my status updates. There was A LOT of repetition of certain phrases, mainly "shrugged," with "nodding" and "smirking" coming in as honorable mentions. Michael was kind enough to look it up for me, and "shrug" was used over 100 times! I mean, it's such a specific motion, and when you think about it, how often do people actually DO it? Not very, in my experience! It just really bugged me. Other than that, I found the writing very simplistic and somewhat lacking in the descriptive element.

All told, it was okay. I liked the ending enough to pull it up another star, but I think The Fold is the superior tale. Don't mark it off your list because of me, though! I'm probably reading it wrong. I have always seen myself as a fan of sci-fi, but the last few books I have read in that genre have annoyed me more than anything else. I think I will avoid sci-fi for the remainder of the year--maybe 2017 will be a better year for it!
Profile Image for MeinKampfy.
78 reviews2 followers
December 8, 2012
the only mystery here is why so many people are dolling out four, five stars for this book.

aside from the obvious parallels to Lost (read: numbers, mysteries native to a foreign space), there is also this rag-tag group of people who behave like insane people, all revolving around the one quickly emerging male  'leader'-- an Every Man, who yarns for a purpose in life. this plot device worked mostly for Lost because that was, foremost, a drama about individuals and their relationships (and, they were stuck on an island ); it fails horribly here, because these characters are hardly individuals--they're paper thin stereotypes-- and hard-to-believe-outside-Hollywood stereotypes, at that, and there are no real relationships. having a few beers in a rooftop doesnt mean a damn, even in a world where your building HASN'T had 26 suicides in the same apartment. 

the girls are constantly fetishized and hard to tell apart except for the creepy smiley stepford wife. i never notice this sort of thing, either, so this book must be laying it on pretty thick. then again, i frequently struggled to keep the guys straight, too.

in fact, i found the protagonist, Nate, supremely uninteresting. almost despicable, really. the only character i thought was of any interest was Oskar, the super, the one person these characters seem to actively hate. 

worst of it is, the author is clueless about motives and goals of real people, committing every annoying horror movie trope there is. that is, they all act in the most illogical way ever. and when they're not acting illogically, they're acting like they never left highschool. come to think of it, if this whole thing took place in a high school dormitory, with everyone's physical ages brought down, it would make more sense.

if the point of science fiction is exploring ordinary people placed under extraordinary circumstances, this book is pointless. 

also, author uses 'prissy' and 'bro' unironically--in the case of the latter, very often. 

story movement is tedious. i skipped pages without missing a beat; they tend to be six hundred words telling what could be done in a hundred.  what i found was that, reading only the first and last sentence of one paragraph, i could count six paragraphs ahead, to read the first and last sentence there, and still be a part of that Scene/Act. those of nate doing nothing in particular or moaning and daydreaming about nothing in particular, however, were hard to stomach, and had to be skipped entirely.

Peter Clines' '14' only makes me want to read House of Leaves again.
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