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Ellen

I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

Chesterton, IN, United States | Member Since 2008

123
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 113 reviews
  • 283 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Graveminder

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Melissa Marr
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (125)

    Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you." Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers....

    Kim says: "Give it a listen...you will be rewarded!"
    "Haunting and Strange"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book with all it's differences. It's backwoods Appalachia, mystified with guardians of life and death. It's a mythology I've never run into from Appalachia but it fits much of what is there. It's also very small town. And a lovely read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Guns for the Dead: A Graveminder Story

    • UNABRIDGED (39 mins)
    • By Melissa Marr
    • Narrated By DJ Holte
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The worst part isn’t being dead, but finding a job. Francis Lee Lemons wakes up in the land of the dead, unemployed and bored. As a criminal in his life in modern America, he figured that the best plan in his afterlife is to stick to what he knows. But getting in with the local crime syndicate - run by an 1800s gunslinger, Alicia - isn’t that easy.

    Ellen says: "Short but fun"
    "Short but fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a spin off from Graveminder, although it has only one of the original characters in it. It's a short story, and suffers from that. But it's a nice view into that world and I hope it means Marr will write more about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (245)

    "My name is Mike Ross. I'm a Ferryman. I help people with ghost problems, or ghosts with people problems. Funny thing, no one ever helps me with my problems. Civil War ghosts bent on killing me, Skinwalkers who just want my body, and a vindictive spirit linked both to my bloodline and my destiny... It turns out the dead still hold a good deal of influence over the world, and they don't want to give it up. I'm in way over my head. Fortunately, I'm too stubborn to quit."

    DonNel says: "Like Harry Dresden? You will love Michael Ross!"
    "Not much substance, but fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Graveminder, and this is as short story spin off. It explains a bit of the world of the dead. I'm hoping it means there will be more in this series soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fair Peril

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Nancy Springer
    • Narrated By Gabrielle De Cuir
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Buffy - a fat, 40ish, divorced mother - encounters a talking frog and, ignoring the warnings of fairy tales, does not turn the frog back into a prince. Trouble ensues when Buffy's rebellious teenage daughter Emily does kiss the frog; soon she and handsome Prince Adamus disappear into the enchanted land of Fair Peril. It is up to Buffy to rescue Emily and, in the process, learn that magic does exist in the most ordinary of lives.

    Ellen says: "My favorite fairy tale"
    "My favorite fairy tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I dearly love this book. It's the punch line to the joke that starts" I caught a talking frog". It has some wonderful things to say about middle age and about self help.
    The performance does some very odd things with volume that I really found distracting. Once I got used to that, it was still the book I loved.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Quiver: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Holly Luhning
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Danica, a young forensic psychologist, is one of many who have been drawn into the orbit of Bathory's enduring legend. Danica has moved to England from Canada to work at Stowmoor, a former insane asylum turned forensic hospital, and one of her patients is Martin Foster, imprisoned for murdering a fourteen-year-old girl. Foster is a menacing but fascinating patient, and Danica begins to suspect he may have belonged to a cabal idolizing Bathory and reenacting her savage murders.

    Ellen says: "Distressing but compelling"
    "Distressing but compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a heart of darkness kind of book. It's about Elizabeth Bathory, and she is a nasty piece of business in any century. It's also a very interesting look at psychopaths without saying it's about them. It was a compelling read but I could see the end chapters away and that was a disappointment. It''s also terribly graphic. I would say it's pg35 (No. I wouldn't hand it to someone in their irresponsible tweens.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Sister's Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By various
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2691)
    Performance
    (935)
    Story
    (934)

    New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

    Lisa says: "Wonderful Book, Very Emotional"
    "These people aren't real"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise that you would have one child as parts for another child is so obnoxious that I can't believe it passed the sniff test. But that's not the worst part of this book. The worst part is that the characters end up getting exactly what they were fighting for ( which is morally repugnant) after they supposedly had learned better.
    The parents are incomprehensible. The two sisters really do, I think, have an understanding of each other. But the ending took all of that, smeared happy jelly on it, and stuffed it down your throat.
    Did I say I didn't like this book? I really didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Declare

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Tim Powers
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (87)

    As a young double agent infiltrating the Soviet spy network in Nazi-occupied Paris, Andrew Hale finds himself caught up in a secret, even more ruthless war. Two decades later, a coded message draws Professor Andrew Hale back into Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Elements from his past are gathering in Beirut, including ex-British counterespionage chief and Soviet mole Kim Philby, and a beautiful former Spanish Civil War soldier-turned-intelligence operative.

    art says: "Oh Fish. Art Thou Constant???"
    "Interesting history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tim Powers for some while has taken characters out of history, added a paranormal element and has told the story in that light. This one is hot and cold running war spies. It's a very fun book, but it is disjointed and hard to follow on the timeline. But the characters are a hoot and the look into a spy's life is chilling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor's Soul

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Angela Lin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (623)
    Performance
    (565)
    Story
    (571)

    New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson is widely celebrated for his Mistborn Trilogy and contribution to the final three books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. In The Emperor's Soul, a Forger named Shai can copy and re-create any item by using magic to rewrite its history. After being condemned to death for attempting to steal the emperor's scepter, Shai is given one final chance. She' ll be allowed to live if she can create a new soul for the emperor, who hovers near death.

    debbie says: "A Great Short Novella that is Long in Story"
    "Lovely and unexpected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book for several reasons. It looks into an artist's soul in a way that is illuminating. It looks into who we could have been if we were someone else. And it's a look at court life that is probably quite accurate if distasteful. It made me wish the world worked the way that the writer described.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Bayou

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By James Daniels, Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (744)
    Performance
    (588)
    Story
    (593)

    Declan Fitzgerald had always been the family maverick, but even he couldn't understand his impulse to buy a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans. All he knew was that ever since he saw Manet Hall, he'd been enchanted - and obsessed - with it. So when the opportunity to buy the house comes up Declan jumps at the chance to live out a dream.

    Phyllis says: "Not the Norm"
    "Overdone romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will confess to a prejudice against romances. But this one is particularly inane. The male lead thinks like a girl, responds to stimulus like a girl and is unrecognizable as a man. Although you can't miss that he's supposed to be one. And the ghost line is over obvious. I should have known better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Quarantine

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John Smolens
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The year is 1796, and a trading ship arrives in the vibrant trading town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. But it's a ghost ship - her entire crew has been decimated by a virulent fever which sweeps through the harbor town, and Newburyport's residents start to fall ill and die with alarming haste. Something has to be done to stop the virus from spreading further.

    Ellen says: "Neatly written bit of historic fiction"
    "Neatly written bit of historic fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a light topic and it's not by nature pleasant. But the characters are fun, and I believe the history to be viable. Not a great book, but certainly a good one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Close Your Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Iris Johansen, Roy Johansen
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (327)

    A music therapist who thrives on helping others, Kendra Michaels cherishes the ordinary life she has achieved after stem cell surgery restored her sight. The skills she perfected during those sightless years - the ability to pick up the most subtle audio, olfactory, and tactile cues in the world around her - coupled with her laser-sharp mind - have made her a uniquely potent observer and problem solver. Kendra’s uncanny way of connecting the dots is as baffling to law enforcement as it is legendary.

    Yvonne says: "Loved it!"
    "Does she glow in the dark?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise of this book is that someone blind will perceive things other people don't. The protagonist is blind, regains her sight and then become super humanly able to perceive people. She very rapidly reads everyone and is astonishingly annoying.

    It's a good enough mystery, but the characters are blown so far out of proportion on that they can't be real, and the book is clearly not s&f. It's a near miss in several ways. Not terribly bad but sadly not developed well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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