Written by: Peter Clines
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: Sci Fi Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
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.
Nate is a mediocre worker at a dead end job, with no real friends. He struggles from pay check to paycheck and is glad to find a new apartment building at a great low rent. Soon after he moves in he begins to notice oddities about the building. The light in his kitchen will only work as a black light. The light reveals strange green, iridescent roaches in his apartment that have one extra leg. He shrugs off the strangeness until he begins to see inside other apartments and finds more oddities. Nate begins to make friends with other tenants: Veek, the brilliant computer nerd downstairs; Tim, the ‘new guy’ who always seems to have the right answers and the right tools. Next door is Xela, the frustrated artist with blue hair and an attitude. Roger who lives downstairs with his loving wife, is a “grip” who deals with the shadows of movie making.
As the tenants become friends they discover that each of their apartments are different shapes and sizes. Other apartments are locked with chains and there is the old elevator that has never worked as far as anyone remembers. And where is the power source to feed the building and computers considering there are no apparent power lines?
Nate becomes obsessed and the group works together uncovering clues about the building. What they discover is scary and amazing. The author sets Nate and friends as Scooby Doo characters on a haunted house type mystery and makes fun references to H.P. Lovecraft. I think this is not a story to listen to at night as it is creepy, bordering on horror at times. The twists are startling and awesome.
I found the entire story unexpected and totally engaging. I recommend it to readers who enjoy humor in a dark mystery with suspense and weirdness.
Audio Notes: Ray Porter does a wonderful job with the narration. He captures the different voices and characters and keeps the story moving at a steady clip. Although I may not have heard Mr. Porter as a narrator before, I can appreciate that he is a popular narrator. His reading enhanced my enjoyment of the story.
I selected this from my own Audible Library. It is part of my Audio Challenge.