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Susie

Librarian, Avid Reader, Audiobook Addict!

New Rockford, ND, United States | Member Since 2010

416
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 116 reviews
  • 167 ratings
  • 558 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Whimsey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kaye Wilkinson Barley
    • Narrated By Susanna Burney
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The magic was already there when cigar-smoking matriarch Elizabeth Calhoun established an artist's colony on an island off the coast of Georgia and named it Whimsey. Elizabeth's ghost still drops in from time to time to make sure things are going as she planned. There's also a wicked pixie named Earlene who fancies tight-fitting designer clothes and Louboutin stilettos.

    Susie says: "I want to live in Whimsey!"
    "I want to live in Whimsey!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book proves not only can you go home again but that you should. Emma tried to leave Whimsey in the past but when things go wrong in her life and her artistic jewelry line takes the hit , she eventually figures out she needs to find her inner magic again and with some help from her long dead aunt Elizabeth the only place that it can be found is on the island of Whimsey. I loved the scenes with Aunt Elizabeth and the crayon and the story of finding you crimson, we all need this lesson!

    I also enjoyed the pixie Earlene, I loved that she made silver glitter fall off of Emma without her even realizing it. Oh who am I kidding I loved every character in this book. The whole ensemble is there for a reason each with their own set of advise to Emma and when she finally decides to listen to all the people and island are trying to tell her things get much better for. I also want to see her jewelry; I want to see these colors the colors of a sunrise on Whimsey with colors no one has a name for.

    This book is right up there with Sarah Addison Allen in southern magical realism; in fact I think these two authors should get together because the big grand opening of the gallery needs a caterer and who better than the Waverly sisters!

    Susanna Burney narrates this book; her narration is good my only quibble was that sometimes her voices weren’t consistent. But overall I enjoyed her narration she didn’t go full out on a southern accent so it sounded fake she just had a hint of it that made it believable, her characters were good with my one quibble being the exception.

    I highly recommend this book to southern fiction lovers, especially fans of Sarah Addison Allen. This book has the same feel good aftereffect that Sarah’s books do. I was surprised to find this is Kaye’s first novel; I look forward to reading anything else she writes!

    5 Stars

    I received this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thanks for the pleasure of listening to this delightful story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
    • Narrated By Kristen Bell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (302)

    The first book in an original mystery series featuring 28-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. With the help of old friends - Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel, and even Dick Casablancas - Veronica is ready to take on Neptune's darkest cases with her trademark sass and smarts.

    Alison says: "Mars Attacks, succeeds!"
    "A Must listen for Veronica Mars fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel this is a must read/listen for Veronica Mars fans. I will say if you are going to listen to the audio don’t expect professional narration but expect Veronica to tell you the story, which I for one felt was only right. I think I would have had a hard time with anyone else reading Veronica than Veronica herself. I thought she did a good job at the narration and no one else could capture her little quirks of cadence and snark that the TV Veronica did so well and it made it easier for me to see the scenes in my head. I thought she had Mac’s voice down pretty good but at times it wasn’t consistent and I wish she had done a little more with Wallace & Keith’s voices, but overall I was very happy with how this was narrated and I am glad Kristen Bell herself did the narration as I said I can’t imagine hearing anyone imitating Kristin’s take on Veronica.

    This was a good story that started just weeks after the events of the Veronica Mars movie. I enjoyed the mystery and would have never guessed the outcome. Plus the added bonus of having these characters back in my life, it was funny I kept thinking where is Dick Casablancas, then tada there he was. Also I love Keith and every scene he is in even in the book he brings happy goodness with him, the last few scenes had my heart racing and soaring and all I could think was I love you Keith Mars! There are a few family surprises in this one as well *No Spoilers* that will tug at your heartstrings.

    I was delighted that this story was so good it’s a great mystery that had lots of twists and turns along the way and kept me guessing all the way to the end and surprised me with the outcome.

    As I said this is a must read for fans of Veronica Mars if we can’t have her on out TV screen at least we have the books to get us through





    ***Movie Spoiler*** Please stop here if you have not watched the movie
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    I still have a hard time picturing Logan in the Navy and I wish there had been more than just a couple Skype conversations with him. Hopefully he will be back from sea in the next book. And yes there better be a next book.


    4 ½ Stars

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Savage Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jean Zimmerman
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Jean Zimmerman's new novel tells of the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring, blazingly smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society. Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton - era Manhattan like a bomb. A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl's illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered.

    RueRue says: "Exceptional !"
    "Fantastic narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I received this book from netgalley and when I started reading the ARC I realized I was reading it in Edoardo Ballerini’s voice, so I took to twitter to tell the publisher that he should narrate this audiobook and my answer came from Edoardo himself saying he had just finished recording it and it would be out soon. So needless to say I stopped reading the ARC and waited for the audiobook and I was not disappointed, his narration was perfect his accents and characters were spot on and I found I was right his was the perfect voice for this audiobook.

    This book grabbed me from the start and it did keep me guessing as to who was killing the men, however there were times the story was disjointed and hard to figure out when in time it was, because it is told in flashbacks.

    I liked it but I didn’t love it. Parts of this story I really enjoyed and as I said it kept me guessing and I would have never guessed who the eventual killer ended up being, so that was good, but the way the story was told I felt hampered the story. I felt at times it was because Hugo, who is telling the story, was so frenetic and so the story felt that way too.

    I also felt I didn’t really get to know Bronwyn (savage girl) at all even though this story is about her and I also felt like Hugo didn’t really get to know her either and that his fanatic love for her that was on the verge of obsession was all in his head from his first meeting with her, so their “love story” almost felt forced to me because we the reader had no idea just what her feelings for Hugo may have been. I wanted to know more about Bronwyn and wish there would have been a little more about how the family was able to get her from Savage Girl to ladylike Bronwyn.

    What I did enjoy was the sense of the time and it also has a bit of a gothic feel and the edge of your seat I can’t figure out who the real murderer is, was well done.

    This was a good story but the frenetic way it is told is a little off-putting.

    3 ½ Stars
    5 Star Narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Missing You

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (427)
    Performance
    (369)
    Story
    (376)

    Number-one New York Times best-selling author Harlan Coben set huge sales records with last year’s Six Years - and he’s poised to do it again in his next breathtaking stand-alone thriller. Harlan Coben, author of six consecutive instant number-one New York Times best sellers and a total of 24 award-winning, best-selling, and internationally acclaimed novels, returns with another ripped-from-real-life thriller full of impossibly high emotional stakes and the real-to-life characters for which he has become famous.

    Susan says: "I Ain't Missing You"
    "Be ready to sit in your garage to keep listening!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Harlan Coben has written another non-stop thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat, and make you never want to stop reading! This book grabbed me immediately and never let go till the very end. I really like the character of Kat and would read more books with her in them.

    What would you do if you found your ex (the one who got away) on a dating site well you find his picture but the name isn’t the same and when you message him he at first doesn’t seem to remember you. As if that isn’t bad enough some kid (Brandon) shows up at your door saying that same man went away with his mother and he thinks she is in trouble. Throw in a mystery about who really killed Kat’s father and away we go on this rollercoaster ride of a story. Be ready for twists and turns and red herrings, which will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

    I love Harlan Coben’s books he always writes a good solid story with a mystery that keeps you on your toes, there was one part of the story I had figured out but my theory was not what Coben ended up writing so I still wasn’t 100% right and I love that in a mystery. I liked the fact that there weren’t any cardboard cutout characters in this book each character had their own identity and back story, which made me care about them even the ones that didn’t last long.

    January LaVoy’s narration was very well done I liked that you always knew who was talking and that everyone had a voice, I must mention though there are times some of her male characters sound like cartoons but that was only a couple people so it was easy to overlook. This is my second narration by January and I really enjoyed both so I will seek out books where she is the narrator. Very well done narration.

    If you can’t already tell I loved this book, so the only thing I can say to you is, what are you waiting for get to listening!

    5 Stars

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Obeah: Crossroads, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Sandra Carrington-Smith
    • Narrated By Dave Fennoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Upon the passing of her beloved grandmother, Melody Bennet receives startling instructions that she is to take the ashes of Grandmama Giselle to southern Louisiana. Melody must step far outside her comfort zone in the suburbs of North Carolina to fulfill this dying wish. She finds herself blindly navigating the exotic, sometimes hostile environs of New Orleans and Bear Bayou, and immersed in a subculture based on an ancient West African religion. At this unexpected crossroad, she discovers new cultures and beliefs - and new dangers - and awakens to a new way of seeing the world and her role in it.

    Karen says: "Interesting"
    "Narrator adds the perfect amount of spookiness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Even though our heroine is female it didn’t bother me at all that this one was narrated by a man because he was amazing and added to the spookiness of this book. Dave Fennoy has this voice it’s the voice of every scary Voodoo witch doctor that’s ever been heard or read he was perfect for this book. His voice is a cross between Barry White & Dion Graham and I really liked it and was very surprised to find out this was his only audiobook on audible so did some digging and found out he is a voice over actor and has some impressive credits to his name in commercials, animations, games and documentaries. I for one hope he narrates the second book in this series because it won’t be the same without him! I also hope he will narrate more books because I could listen to him all day! There were times the music between chapters was annoying and times it felt like it fit in so just a warning to those of you who don’t like music in your audiobooks.

    I really liked this book; however I am not sure I would have liked it as much if I had read it in print. But since I did listen I really enjoyed it, it was suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. This is paranormal suspense about Voodoo and Hoodoo.

    Melody’s grandmother dies and asks that Melody take her ashes back to the Louisiana Bayou, but what her grandmother doesn’t tell her is the inheritance of “The Sight” that she also passed on and that there is an old book that she needs to take care of as there are many willing to kill for. Melody didn’t know anything about Voodoo or Hoodoo but soon finds out her grandmother did which comes as a shock to Melody. When she gets to Louisiana things get even weirder plus she is threatened by a man who says the book her grandmother stole is his and he will get it back no matter what. So we have a mystery a family story with some ghosts and hoodoo going on!

    This isn’t a story I would have been drawn to but since it is up for an Audie Award I listened to it and am glad I did, it had just the right amount of suspense and the paranormal add a little Catholic Church baddies to the mix and this made for a good story. I was glad a certain someone didn’t end up being a bad guy (you’ll know if you read it) and I am curious if that relationship will go on to the next book (which there is not an audio and that needs to be remedied!). I am curious if certain characters will carry over and which ones that will be. I liked Melody I thought she took everything in stride and it was a lot to take in and I’d love to see how she goes forward and what becomes of ‘the Sight’. This book grabbed me enough to want to continue on with the series.

    4 Stars
    5 Star narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter People: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jennifer McMahon
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (150)

    West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, 19-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary....

    Susie says: "Atmospheric, Haunting, and Addictive"
    "Atmospheric, Haunting, and Addictive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I don’t think I took a breath for the last hour or so. I did not want to put this book down, I needed to know what exactly was going on with everyone in the book!

    This is a great story, atmospheric, haunting, and addictive. I loved how all the stories came together and all the timelines were very well written and flowed beautifully with each other. The past & present stories were both great. I also really liked the characters especially Sara because I think she went through the most emotionally.

    This is a hard book to review because the way the story wraps around it would be so easy to spoil it for someone and I wouldn’t want anyone to not get the full effect of how this story plays out. So much of the story leaves you guessing and wondering what is real and what is not and I enjoyed the parts of Sara’s diary that gives so many clues as to what is really going on but also leaves much unsaid or lost. The craziness of the first big reveal caught me totally off-guard it wasn’t something I expected at all and that makes for a great book!

    Cassandra Campbell & Kathe Mazur were the narrators and I thought they did a wonderful job even if their voices are very similar you still knew who was telling the story. I thought they were able to bring a softness to the tale when warranted and creeped me out just enough!(which is a good thing)

    This is so much more than a ghost story it is also a story of family and what that means and how you treat people may come back to haunt you (heehee see what I did there?). But the ending OMG the ending in reference to Katherine did she?? Didn’t she??? And poor Ruthie I feel bad for her. Sorry, but just had to have my say on that and make it spoiler free, when you read the book you will understand and Yes you really do need to read this book!

    Lesson #1 from this book let the dead stay dead!

    5 stars

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Speaks the Nightbird

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2280)
    Performance
    (2026)
    Story
    (2014)

    The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies -- and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....

    aaron says: "Dark, Twisted Period Piece with GREAT Characters!"
    "Great Book Fabulous Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A lot of this review is just my thoughts while listening to the book…

    This book was so hard to put down between the great story and fabulous narration by Edoardo Ballerini I wanted the world to go away so I just listen without interruptions.

    From English gentleman, to slaves, to women, to Indian Chiefs and everything in between Edoardo Ballerini is so absolutely amazing! Ballerini has earned a spot in my favorite narrators list his narration of this book was absolutely amazing. I will listen to anything he narrates!

    There were times this book made my blood boil , these sickening men the way they treated and talked to Rachel and she just had to take it but I loved that the author let us know that our champion Matthew was feeling the same way right along with me! Matthew is so far ahead of his time and has his own mind and doesn’t go along with the hive mind thinking of this witch hunt. I have all these feelings about Rachel’s innocence but when she asks Matthew to hold her hand my mind says, but, but what if she is evil?!!? Great writing plus the hesitation the narrator (Ballerini) puts into Matthews’s voice had me on the edge of my seat. Matthew getting the whipping just broke my heart and made me sick to my stomach but it was an amazing scene.

    I can’t stand this Reverend Jerusalem the minute I hear his voice the hair on the back of neck stands up if she really is a witch she should smite him! And Bidwell too he is such an ass!

    There are times I feel so bad for Rachel it makes me want to cry and I am not sure I would have such strong emotions without the fantastic narration.

    I was a bit shocked by a certain scene with a horse.

    I don’t know why this has been shelved in horror because as usual the demons and devils are just good old human beings. This book is not paranormal, fantasy or horror it is just a good old fashioned mystery.

    This was a long story (31 hours on audio) but it kept me rapt the entire time it never bogged down and I enjoyed every word. This was such an interesting look at life at the end of the 1600’s, the superstitions that ruled people’s hearts and the recent fever deaths that still remain in people’s memory. I will definitely continue to listen to this series especially since Edoardo Ballerini narrates them all!

    I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to more from this author and narrator.

    4 Stars
    5 star Narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2447)
    Performance
    (2228)
    Story
    (2222)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Great narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I maybe shouldn’t have started this one so soon after finishing The Wedding Gift because there were some similarities, but this book was different in that Sarah Grimke was a real person. The other similarity between The Wedding Gift and this book was the slave, Handful, was always hoping to escape she and her mama saved money so that they could finally get away and be free. But of course things don’t work out as hoped.

    Sarah was so far ahead of her time that when she was gifted a slave on her 12th birthday she asked her daddy for remuneration paper so she could free said slave when she turned of age. As she grew older she was also not only an abolitionist but also suffragette at this time in our country's history these two and hand-in-hand.

    There were times in this book when I wanted something happy to happen, just anything even a tiny thing but it never did. But this is probably more true to the real circumstances of these women’s lives.

    I love Sue Monk Kidd’s writing and this was a good story if not at all happy. This book also had real people so I had a lot of fun researching after I was done. I loved the alternating chapters between Sarah & Handful because sometimes the same event was seen so differently from each woman’s viewpoint it was very fascinating.


    The narration by Jenna Lamia & Adepero Oduye was absolutely spot on. As always Jenna was great as Sarah and new to me narrator Adepero Oduye was fantastic as Handful, I would definitely listen to more books by her. These two were great choices for these two women and all the secondary characters.

    Fans of southern fiction won’t want to miss this one. I also learned a lot about Sarah Grimke that I never knew because I had never heard of her and that is sad because she did some amazing work.

    4 Stars


    Full Disclosure: I did receive an early review copy of this from Netgalley but then I saw that Jenna Lamia was one of the narrators so waited and bought the audiobook.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Firebird

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (718)
    Performance
    (663)
    Story
    (660)

    Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When a woman arrives with a small wooden carving at the gallery Nicola works at, she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird - the mythical creature from an old Russian fable. Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna who leads her into the past on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.

    Sue says: "More heavy on the romance than the historical"
    "Unique talent of bringing together so many genres"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Susanna Kearsley has a unique talent of bringing together so many genres seamlessly into one book, this book has historical fiction, magical realism and romance with none being overwhelming. We travel from the present day to Jacobite Scotland and Catherine’s Russia in psychic flashbacks. Nicola has unique ability, she can touch an object and see its history and when a woman brings in a wooden firebird she sees a girl named Anna when she touches it and must figure out who she is and where the firebird comes from, which leads her from Scotland to St. Petersburg, but she isn’t traveling alone she asks friend and ex-flame Rob to accompany her because his gift is even stronger than hers, his is more seeing spirits of the past and he sees the future too. But is Rob only doing it out of kindness and friendship or does he want more than that.

    We “meet” Anna at Slains castle in Scotland where she finds out things about herself and her past that send her off to find her real family, this path takes her to France and Russia. I don’t want to give too much of this story away because the way it builds to the climax of Anna’s story is written so beautifully that I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. But she meets some amazing people and she doesn’t go through any real hard times because it seems like there is always someone there to look out for her, but I liked her spunk and her spirit.

    I truly enjoyed this book and have found a new swoon worthy crush in Rob, I enjoyed he and Nicola’s relationship as it grew into something more (and if you follow my reviews you know I’m not one for too much romance). I think my favorite scene was when he drives her to the airport. (Yes that is all I am going to say you’ll have to read the book to see what I am talking about) ;)


    Katy Kellgren never ceases to amaze me with her amazing capacity for accents and varied voices both male and female. She makes it sound like there are way more than one person narrating because each and every character has their own unique voice and accent. I will always choose a book in audio if she is narrating.

    I will read anything his author writes she has such a beautiful way of phrasing and such a talent at mixing the genre’s and time periods.

    4 ½ Stars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Switchblade: An Original Story

    • UNABRIDGED (50 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (188)

    An anonymous tip puts Bosch on a case that has remained unsolved for decades, the vicious stabbing of a teenage boy whose body was found in an abandoned Old Hollywood restaurant. Cold cases are often the toughest: With no body, no murder scene, and no fingerprints, Bosch nevertheless gets lucky when DNA evidence from the murder weapon points to a known killer. But the DA insists that science alone is not enough - he needs the case to be bulletproof before he'll take it to court.

    L. O. Pardue says: "Good for a short Short Story by a Favorite Author"
    "Good Short story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a good short story and so happy to have Len Cariou back as Harry Bosch!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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