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Elkay

ratings
90
REVIEWS
40
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
123

  • The Black Box: Harry Bosch, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2013)
    Performance
    (1708)
    Story
    (1692)

    In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box", the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

    Amazon Customer says: "Disappointing"
    "Okay, but not my favorite Bosch."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Maybe. Die-hard Connelly/Bosch fans will enjoy this, but it was lacking a bit in suspense and excitement. Maybe it was the narrator - he was fine, but he really just read the book out loud without a lot of emphasis on characters and individual voices.

    In previous Bosch novels, tension builds as Bosch gradually pulls together the evidence and the truth starts to take shape. Here, the mystery wasn't very complex, and each of Harry's steps in the case seemed more like tedious obstacles on the way to a foregone conclusion.

    There was a little character development between Bosch and his daughter Maddie, but nothing earth-shaking. An even smaller arc with Hannah, Bosch's ladyfriend from The Drop. Some very minor departmental politics that barely even register when compared to Bosch's old nemesis, Irvin Irving. In all, this was good, but didn't quite live up to my excitement for a new Bosch novel.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Michael Connelly? Why or why not?

    Absolutely! Everything else of his I've read/listened to, I've really enjoyed.


    What didn’t you like about Michael McConnohie’s performance?

    It would be hard to find a more perfect voice for Bosch than Len Cariou, who read several earlier entries in this series. The narrator was okay, but didn't knock my socks off.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe. I have a feeling if they ever tried to make these books into movies I'd hate them. Still, I liked "The Lincoln Lawyer," based on another Connelly novel, so who knows?


    26 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Switchblade: An Original Story

    • UNABRIDGED (50 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    Overall
    (335)
    Performance
    (299)
    Story
    (304)

    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"
    "What's the Point?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure what a reader is supposed to get out of this. There wasn't really a mystery here, there was no character development, no insights into Bosch's life, past, relationships, approach to detective work, nothing.

    I love Michael Connelly and have enjoyed (almost) all of his full-length novels, but this was a baffling disappointment and an empty reading experience - I thought I'd relish even a little dose of Bosch while I eagerly anticipate "The Burning Room," but I'd have been better off just waiting for the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Life: All Souls, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2132)
    Performance
    (2007)
    Story
    (1996)

    After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness's enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew's ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches - with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency.

    Loren says: "too many loose threads in this weaving"
    "Hopes Dashed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, and although I didn't like Shadow of Night quite as much, I had high hopes for The Book of Life. This book has gotten fantastic reviews, so it obviously works for most people. If you loved both of the previous books, you probably don't need me to tell you that you'll like this one, too. BUT. If you were beginning to have some doubts by book 2, you might want to save your money (or your credit) for something else.

    Characters move from city to city, discuss the incredibly urgent danger they face (but don't do anything about it), bicker, travel, drink tea, and discuss how possessive Matthew is about Diana. There is a seemingly endless review of vampire family politics and legal issues, and there is a huge cast of characters, although most of them are superfluous to the plot. Somehow Ms. Harkness made this all work in the first two books, but it felt to me like she had lost the rhythm and pace of the story in BOL. There is too much telling, not enough doing; too many plot points that go nowhere. There are many conversations that cover ground that has already been tread and retread in earlier chapters - I felt totally bogged down for the first 18 hours or so of listening.

    I so wanted to enjoy this book! I found the first two difficult to put down, but this one was all too easy to set aside. The ending was fine, but I'm still not sure it was worth the tedious slog through 20+ hours of listening to get there.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2874)
    Performance
    (2696)
    Story
    (2686)

    Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.

    G. House Sr. says: "Eloquent Fabulous Historical - Grand Continuation"
    "Thrilling Genre Casserole"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've really enjoyed all of the Outlander novels, but some more than others. As Jamie & Claire's circle of family & friends has grown, their goals - and the storylines - have gotten more diffuse, and this has diminished my enjoyment of the last couple of books, mostly because I never really connected with Brianna and her family, and am bored by the segments that focus on them.

    This book has more shoots & vines than any of the previous installments, but the pace of the early chapters really worked for me - there is a lot of action and adventure, and things happen very, very fast. Then - uh oh - we're with Brianna in the 1980s, but somehow, it's not boring! One of my favorite things about these books is the mystery of how the time travel actually works, and there's a fair amount of attention paid to the standing stones, the gemstones, how to "steer," and all that. Good stuff.

    More importantly, Brianna manages to be less annoying than usual, although she does commit some acts of inexplicable stupidity on a few occasions. She has a few great moments, too, so I suppose it all balances out.

    By the time the plot shifts back over to goings-on in 1778, I was a little sorry to be diverted from the Roger & Bree part of the story, which has never happened to me before! This latest installment has LOTS of battle, some very sad deaths, and more time travel (and time travelers!) than ever.

    Davina Porter is the perfect narrator for this series, and adds to the enjoyment with her personal awesomeness.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ravished

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Amanda Quick
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (141)

    There was no doubt about it. What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man. Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot. But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook Viscount St. Justin to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself.

    Pamela says: "Characters voices a disappointment"
    "Could Not Finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some people like Anne Flosnik's narration; I guess I'm not one of them. I find her deeply annoying; it sounds almost like she's patronizing me when she reads.

    The incomparable Barbara Rosenblat read almost all of Amanda Quick's work for Recorded Books; very few of those are currently available on Audible, which is too bad. Flosnik's narration was unlistenable (for me) and I had to stop listening about 3 hours in. Maybe Audible will be able to buy the rights to the Rosenblat editions of the Amanda Quick books - until then, no more of these!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadowheart: Medieval Hearts, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (125)

    A fatally dangerous man...and the woman who stands in the way of all he's ever desired. Beautiful and ruthless, the elegant assassin Allegreto will stop at nothing to regain his rightful place. And the perfect instrument has just fallen into his hands, in the lovely form of Lady Elena - the long-lost princess of the land he intends to wrest back from his enemies. But she is no mere maiden to be possessed.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Another Kinsale Winner!"
    "Perfectly Astonishing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is such a thought-provoking book.

    Laura Kinsale is known for sending her characters on long, difficult journeys, physically, intellectually, and emotionally. It's one of the things I really like about her books; the characters' struggles have costs and transform people over the course of the story. This story is no exception to that trend. The story begins with a setup familiar to many readers of historical romance: the young and innocent maiden taken captive by a violent, troubled outlaw and forced into a marriage, or at least into bed, where she eventually comes to love him. This is one of the most problematic things about the genre, but Kinsale, as usual, quickly mixes up the formula and creates something completely new.

    Instead of presenting us with a milquetoast heroine who succumbs to piratical ravishment, Kinsale gives us Elena, who never misses a lesson and continually finds some agency even when she seems most helpless. One review I read of this mentioned the "disturbingly alpha hero" as a possible problem for some readers - I'm almost done with this book, and I'm wondering if maybe they meant the "disturbingly alpha heroine?" Yes, Allegreto is powerful, wicked, menacing. He does things that are not okay to advance his own interests. But pay attention to Elena and I think you'll find an capable, intelligent heroine who takes charge of every situation through the application of a little wit and daring. I never saw her as anything but an equal to Allegreto, and I didn't think he was over-the-top macho - in fact, he was desperately, beautifully vulnerable.

    Much has been said about the sadomasochistic nature of the sex scenes; I didn't find them troubling at all. Everything made sense within the context of the story and the characters' experiences, and the romance between the H/h was so intense at times I actually found some of their conversations more overwhelming than their physical intimacy.

    Laura Kinsale really pushes the boundaries of romance, but it pays off in this sensational novel. Nicholas Boulton totally kills the narration, too.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • For My Lady's Heart: Medieval Hearts, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (215)

    Pursued by her enemies, flattered and courted for her lands, a powerful, devious princess is desperate to reach refuge. Haunted by the shadow of the young assassin set upon her, Princess Melanthe knows that an ice cold countenance is her only protection. To succumb to love is the greatest danger of all. She can trust only one man amid the lies, the mysterious Green Knight - a true knight who never wavers once he gives his heart; a man who cannot comprehend deceit.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Refreshingly Different"
    "Thought I wouldn't like this...I was wrong!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read and enjoyed many Kinsale novels, and when Audible started offering them narrated by the perfectly astonishing Nicholas Boulton, I snapped them up one by one...and stopped when I got to "For My Lady's Heart." I tried to read this years ago and didn't get through even the first quarter of the story - at the time, I was put off by the quasi-Middle English and the slowish start.

    I was tempted to listen to this only because Nicholas Boulton is magic; he doesn't just perform, he transforms. So, during a dry spell, I finally decided I'd give this a try.

    The beginning still requires some patience. Yes, there is some Middle English, and yes, if you are a really persnickety scholar of the medieval period, you might be bothered by it. I decided that while it isn't perfect, it was at least consistent enough to set the tone of the book - fully modern English would have felt too jarring given the antique nature of this story. From what I understand, the author wrote the dialogue entirely in Middle English, and between herself and her editor, they negotiated a version that was modern enough for her readers but archaic enough to suit the story and characters. And the Mr. Boulton narrates the book and makes it all wonderful. Seriously.

    If you've enjoyed other Kinsale novels, you will find a lot to like here, too - the hero is utterly lovable, a profoundly good man whose ultimate task is to redeem the haunted and capricious heroine from her mysterious past. As usual with Kinsale, it's not just a good romance novel, it's a good book. Glad I overcame my doubts and listened to this one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lord of Scoundrels

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Loretta Chase
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (715)
    Performance
    (658)
    Story
    (657)

    Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain, is big, bad, and dangerous to know. No respectable woman would have anything to do with the "Bane and Blight of the Ballisters", and he wants nothing to do with respectable women. He's determined to continue doing what he does best - sin and sin again - and all's going swimmingly…until the day a shop door opens and she walks in.

    Marcheta says: "Witty dialogue highlights battle between the sexes"
    "Yes, It Really, Actually Is That Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't think it was possible for this book to live up to its hype, but it did. It might have even surpassed it. Does it contain a host of romance novel tropes and dated stereotypes? Of course, but I'm glad I didn't let that stop me from reading/listening.

    The Marquess of Dain was unloved by his remote parents and so naturally, he decided to spend the rest of his life in a constant self-destructive orgy of drink, prostitutes, and gambling, among other things. Jessica Trent is a beautiful and virtuous young woman with no fortune, living by her wits and trying to rescue her idiot brother from Dain's malevolent influence. Generally I'm tired of rakes being reformed by the magic of a good woman's love, but thanks to Loretta Chase's intelligent, light, tripping prose, this plot actually ends up making sense. It was delightful. And amazing.

    One of the reasons it works is that Jessica is the best romance novel heroine of all time. She actually behaves like a rational human being, who happens to be fabulously self-confident and mature and spectacularly awesome.

    Dain, of course, has to overcome his demons, and in the process he spends a lot of time brooding and being kind of oblivious to Jessica's greatness. It totally doesn't matter; I had so much faith in Jessica to bring him around, and he had enough self-awareness to see how his issues were destroying his life and he really wanted to overcome them. Also: unlike some "classic" romance heroes, he does nothing without Jessica's explicit, enthusiastic consent.

    I also loved the secondary characters, and actually wished there were more of them - especially Jessica's grandmother. Also, the narrator was amazing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Illusion

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (159)

    Irish immigrant and private detective Molly Murphy is thrilled to have a ticket to see world-famous illusionist Harry Houdini. But before he can even take the stage, the opening act goes horribly wrong—and the sensational Signor Scarpelli’s lovely assistant is sawed in half. In the aftermath, Scarpelli accuses Houdini of tampering with his equipment. Who else but the so-called Handcuff King could have got a hold of his trunk of tricks, which he keeps under lock and key?

    Elkay says: "Stop Taxing Your Delicate Ladybrain"
    "Stop Taxing Your Delicate Ladybrain"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've mostly enjoyed this series - there is definitely a formula at work here, but it results in a good, light story with attention to historical detail. However: I flat-out HATE Daniel Sullivan, the main character's love interest, and I'm quickly losing respect for Molly as she seems to be oblivious to his unrelenting sexism. Also, Daniel and Molly keep having this conversation:

    Molly: I need you to use your police skills to find out X.
    Daniel: I will not, because I disapprove of your pursuit of your career, and also I think you are a hysterical female and no crime has actually occurred, you just think there is one because you are so fantasy-prone.
    Molly: But (however many) people have died, and someone tried to kill me!
    Daniel: Then your work is too dangerous and I forbid you to pursue it. Also, you're just imagining things.
    Molly: I've also been receiving threatening letters/been poisoned/been locked in a trunk and thrown in the river, etc.
    Daniel: Your delicate ladybrain is just overwrought (pats hand patronizingly). When we are married, you will not have to think anymore, you will just do what I say. Won't that be easier? Also, stop pursuing this dangerous career, which is full of terrible danger, even though you have imagined all this danger.

    Adding to his terribleness, Daniel hates Molly's friends and actively works to keep her away from them, is embarrassed by her whenever he is with any of his friends or colleagues, and frequently mentions how once they are married, she will be too busy doing laundry and raising babies to do anything outside the home, in a "joking-not joking" kind of way. At the beginning of the series, there was some nice romantic tension between these two, but at this point I think the best thing that could happen would be for Daniel to die and for Molly to run off with Sid and Gus to start some sort of lesbian commune for artists and detectives.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (4556)
    Performance
    (3903)
    Story
    (3880)

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Alice says: "Happy addition to a difficult genre"
    "Fun and Brilliantly Narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have recently finished this entire series, and I pretty much loved the whole thing. These are deftly written, a lot of fun, and I honestly think they were made to be read by Katherine Kellgren. I don't think I'd have enjoyed them half so much without her narration. Are the stories a little contrived, a little formulaic after a while? Sure. But the characters are charming, the prose effortless, and the mysteries compelling enough to carry the whole thing off.

    I thought these might be a little too cute for me, but they're actually reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works from the 1930s, to which they consciously pay homage. Bowen's books come by their high ratings honestly, so go ahead and give it a chance.

    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
    (370)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (337)

    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....

    D. says: "Get past the narration of the first chapter"
    "Deliciously creepy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is such a original, compelling, and flat-out freaky story. All the elements of a classic haunting story are here: something terrible in the woods, a tragic and violent historical event (or series of events), a teenager and her innocent young sister left alone in a spooky farmhouse out past the edge of town, unexplained deaths...but McMahon has assembled all these familiar elements into an unsettling, dark story that is fresh and unpredictable.

    The story unfolds in two time periods: 1908, in the pages of Sarah Shea Harrison's diary and descriptions of events from the points of view of other characters, and in the present day. This is a twisty, complex story, but the pace builds and the spookiness escalates as the reader/listener and the protagonists gradually piece together the clues and start to figure out what's really going on.

    I stupidly started listening to this while I was alone in the house for the weekend, and the spooky atmosphere definitely had me steering clear of the basement and double-checking the closet doors - but at the same time, I couldn't stop listening!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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