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Elle in the Great NorthWest

I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

Beaverton, OR, United States

ratings
225
REVIEWS
219
FOLLOWING
38
FOLLOWERS
223
HELPFUL VOTES
835

  • The Innocent: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Taylor Stevens
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (223)

    Eight years ago, a man walked five-year-old Hannah out the front doors of her school and spirited her over the Mexican border, taking her into the world of a cult known as The Chosen. For eight years, followers of The Prophet have hidden the child, moving her from country to country, shielding the man who stole her. Now, those who’ve searched the longest know where to find her.

    Melinda says: "The Sequel That Isn't Equal"
    "A disappointment compared to The Informationist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Taylor Stevens second novel is, unfortunately without much of what made her first novel so exciting to read. I think it might have scored it lower if it weren't for the excellent narration which did a great deal to smooth out what would have been a jumpy story line.
    And while The Informationist kept me up all night listening, The Innocent tended to put me to sleep in many places...and I didn't even care to scroll back to listen over again.

    Reading an interview of Ms Stevens, she expressed that she wrote this book in 6 months because she was broke. It shows..and thats sad. I sincerely hope she spends more time on her third novel...Vanessa Michael Munroe is a strong character and Ms Stevens has built a solid background of side characters that could take her a long way with more development of the story line and plot.

    While the idea behind The Innocent is a good one, so much of the plot is shallow and without reasonable or believable development. Ms Munroes 'talent' of being an Informationist never comes to light-she isn't a researcher, in fact she seems to have others do this researching for her. She's now a tough woman with attitude and a tendency to knife people who piss her off. The intelligence shown in the first novel is gone from this one.

    Better luck, Ms Stevens, on your third book. I hope you have more than 6 months to give it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5158)
    Performance
    (3158)
    Story
    (3185)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "Derivative, Unbelievable, End of America novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This Post-Apolyptic end of the US as told in North Carolina is a thin copy of every bad end-of-the-world mixed with "the Commies are Coming" movie I've ever seen. It's hero is a cigarette smoking, fedora wearing, type of 40s college professor who obsesses about his coming lack of smokes as much as about the lack of insulin for his diabetic daughter. His only qualification as lead dude seems to be his reenactment in Civil War Battles every month or so. Therefore they call him Colonel. He's one of the most unrealistic heroes I've ever read. I could not figure out why he was such an admired man..I didn't get his high community value- it sure isn't in his thinking or reasoning ability. He's Average Man, mourning his wives death, living with his mother in law and daughters and functioning poorly as a parent. He makes stupid decisions, doesn't understand his 16 year old daughter just might be having sex or that he ought to take care of his wounded hand..he's Mr Peepers mixed with Maxwell Smart!

    Along with lame heroes comes equally lame dialogue..."81 people have died, professor, but everything seems ok." is typical. Now I've been to Asheville, it's full of counter culture people and the hero himself does these Civil War play things. They have lots of horses yet they are choosing to use the horses for food rather than for transportation...that could have just been thrown in for the gross factor to prep the listener for the dog as food part that comes up though.

    Publishers blurb says this book was touted "On the floor of Congress" Doesn't say why and I'm left wondering why.

    There are too many simplistic lines of dialogue to quote, just for humors sake, but believe me..I did a lot of rolling my eyes and going 'Duh' at many of them.

    If you want a good post apologetic book, try the Metatopolis series edited by John Scalzi. The characters in these short stories are, at least, intelligent.

    Don't was your credit..it's going back and thank you, Audible for the return offer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Public Secrets

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Renee Raudman
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (80)

    Emma McAvoy may have grown up in the limelight, but some secrets are hidden in a darkness no light can reach. Now on the verge of a successful career, and having fallen in love with the man of her dreams, Emma is looking to the future. Yet it’s the past that is about to catch up with her. For Emma, her childhood had been almost like a rags-to-riches fairy tale - until the tragic night that changed her family forever. But what Emma thinks she knows about that terrible night and the man she’s about to marry is only half the truth.

    carol says: "public secrets"
    "Written 1990, still a good book/ listens well"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3/4 of the way thru this, I started thinking this is one of Roberts older books and boy was I right. IMO, her older books are better than many of her newer ones.

    'Public Secrets' has all the drama of Robert's Irish trilogies, including the Irish accents..which,sadly, aren't done all that well by narrator Renee Raudman. Her male protagonists, who seem to be primarily Irish accented, do come across nicely, and the female protagonists have strength of character and determination for an early Roberts women character..they usually seem to be wimpy .

    The plot is as well written as character development and though at times, it seems a little convoluted-still I was able to follow the story line and characters. Lastly, the bad guy wasn't obvious to me. At least, he wasn't obvious enough to make him stand out for me. Thats always nice!

    I found the story line to be OUTSTANDING if not HEROIC in content, the characters of the protagonists to be believable. and finally the villains are just as nicely written as the heroes.

    Well worth a credit, just don't expect a new books

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Selkie Spell: Seal Island, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sophie Moss
    • Narrated By Hollis McCarthy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (139)

    American doctor Tara Moore wants to disappear. On the run from an abusive husband, she seeks shelter on a windswept Irish island and dismisses the villagers' speculation that she is descended from a selkie - a magical creature who is bewitching the island. But when a ghostly woman appears to her with a warning, Tara realizes it was more than chance that brought her to this island.

    American Valkyrie says: "Comforting and Engaging Voice, Exciting Story"
    "Nora Roberts want-to-be, not bad/not great...Meh?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it enough to look forward, slightly, to the next in the series but I'm not in love with it by any means.

    As I wrote in the header, it's a great deal like the usual Nora Roberts trilogies. NR always has Irish brothers or sisters, each of whom is haunted by a disturbed past falling in love with the mysterious stranger from someplace else. This is derivative enough to be penned by NR, down to the 'fisting her hair in his hand as they fell in embrace'.

    And speaking of the love scenes, they are either quite mild in writing when compared to MsRoberts' typical ones or the narrator here, Hollis McCarthy, doesn't have the voice to bring these interludes to their maximum pulse leaping ultimate fruition.

    Another comment on McCarthy, IMO, shes just too American voiced to pul off a good Irish accent. The mens Irish voices just don't take me there when compared to other narrators. I think the producer might have done this series poorly by not hiring someone perhaps like Adrian McKinty narrator Gerard Doyle.

    I scored this 4 stars and a Meh..for average. A tad bit better than average, it's a long haul from literature and even from excellent romance novels. Sophie Moss has a lot of potential but I can'd admire this obvious rip off of Nor Roberts stock-in-trade.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Think of a Number: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Verdon
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (413)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (280)

    Arriving in the mail over a period of weeks are taunting letters that end with a simple declaration: “Think of any number…picture it…now see how well I know your secrets.” Amazingly, those who comply find that the letter writer has predicted their random choice exactly. For Dave Gurney, just retired as the NYPD’s top homicide investigator and forging a new life with his wife, Madeleine, in upstate New York, the letters are oddities that begin as a diverting puzzle but quickly ignite a massive serial murder investigation.

    Kelley says: "Fresh and Frightening!"
    "Excellent Police Procedural novel-new author-GREAT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think this was an Audible 'deal' book that I paid a few dollars for, in any case, it would be well worth a credit. The protagonist is a retired NYPD detective who finds himself wound into a serial killers plot to destroy a small police department in upstate New York.

    I found the story arc to be well constructed and tightly written with wonderful character development and excellent visualization of the area where it takes place. I felt I came to know the people and the surrounding territory as I listened. Since I enjoy books where I get to know the characters, I enjoyed listening very much.

    It's a longish book, which makes the need for a good narrator even more important. George Newbern is new to me and I like the way he reads the story..I'm putting him on my list of narrators to check out.

    I got the feeling this was the start of a series, but haven't checked..I hope Newbern narrates following books.

    If you enjoy police procedural type of novels, this is a good one for you to try

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond the Black Stump

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    When Stanton Laird, American geologist, goes prospecting for the Topeka Exploration Company in the savage Australian outback, he finds something a good deal more precious than oil.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Davina Porter is a wonderful narrator"
    "Davina Porter is a wonderful narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've gotten on a kick of listening to books I read when I was in college, in 1960 and there abouts. Nevil Shute was a wonderful author and "On the Beach" was a seminal book for me, as a young person raised in the "Drop and Cover" bomb raid trials every school in Los Angeles practiced. The atom bomb was very real to us..but that has nothing to do with "Beyond the Black Stump", does it?

    I read this as a senior in high school and was fascinated by Australia when I did. The vastness of the continent amazed me, as did the primitive way people lived in 1955 in the outback..the frontier.

    This book is dated, but fully shows the bigotry that was rampant back then, before the civil rights movement here in the States. If you can get by that, and not want to re-write the way things were, it's a great story about two people who fall in love. About Australia in its time of just starting to be civilized. About the excitement of the oil speculator and the misery of an arid land with no water.

    As for the narrator, Davina Porter is a favorite..she narrates all Diana Galbendon's "Outlander" series and does a credible job of an Australian accent.if you enjoy Bruce Courtenay's books about that land you'll like this slightly different outlook on it.

    Recommended-Highly

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (641)
    Performance
    (577)
    Story
    (579)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "Absolutely Delightful Listen Highly Recommended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As the daughter of an engineer, this book tugged on my heart. For anyone not of the technical bent, tis a wonderful listen for the story.
    Narrated by the iconic Frank Mueller, this classic Nevil Shute novel brings back excellent stories written beautifully. And narrated by Mueller, a person of acclaim in the history of audiobooks, makes this a one in as hundred type of listen.

    Romance, a very likable protagonist and the effect he has on his followers as a writer for an engineering weekly magazine, a bit of suspense with the sailing of a yacht and so on, this is a wonderful listen for anyone.

    Highly Recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Life Support

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (159)

    Dr. Toby Harper works the night shift in an emergency room. She spends her daytime hours alone with her mother who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. When elderly Alzheimer's patients from the same retirement home start dying mysteriously, Toby is the only one suspicious enough to investigate. As a result she finds herself, her mother, and her own sanity at risk.

    suepoulin says: "Very Engaging!!"
    "Solid but dated medical thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Its hard to beat Tess Gerritson when it comes to medical thrillers and impossible to beat George Guidell when it comes to dramatic storytelling.

    This was a slightly yucky "doctors gone bad" story that hasn't aged very well. I remembered reading it in the early 90s and thinking 'this could never happen' . 20 years later it doesdn seem nearly as impossible. But it's still yucky when it comes to mutant births.

    I still like Gerritsons work but am going to seek newer novels.

    Not worth your credit

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blank Slate

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tiffany Snow
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (142)

    As a cyber-hacker born into a family of thieves, Clarissa O’Connell thinks she’s seen the worst the criminal underworld has to offer - until her brother is arrested and she’s forced into a pact with the notorious crime boss known only as Solomon to free him. For FBI agent Erik Langston, the world is divided into black and white, wrong and right. So he’s made it his life’s mission to hunt down Solomon. When Clarissa’s cyberattacks begin to topple Solomon’s enemies, Erik is hot on her trail, believing her to be the key to bringing down Solomon and his empire.

    MickeyMarie says: "Absolute waste of time and money"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mediocre "FBI agent falls for the bad girl, the bad girl is really good" type tale.
    Tanya Eby is just average as a narrator..she doesn't do justice to the sex scenes that are written in a so-so manner.

    I listened to the whole thing but didn't feel compelled to pay attention very closely.

    It's going back. It was a Daily Deal so it's really no biggie...no credit waste.

    I really appreciate Audibles Return Policy..Thanks Audible!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edward Adrift

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (261)

    That’s the flummoxed state of Edward Stanton, a 42-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome. His job, his therapist, and his best friends are all gone. Even his nightly ritual of watching Dragnet reruns has short-circuited. But a call from his friend Donna in Idaho, telling him that her son Kyle is in trouble, launches Edward from his rigidly scheduled existence in Billings, Montana, to the open road. He and Kyle, a sweet little boy turned sullen adolescent, debate football, music, and bodily functions (“Why do you pee so much?” Kyle asks).

    Marjorie says: "Edward Stretches Himself"
    "Not quite as gripping as "600 hours""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this interesting but not as compelling as the first book. There was FAR to much of the "Edwardisms" that we're clever in the first book and far less development of new characters.

    It's a " have to hear" if you've heard and appreciated 600 hours, but I suggest holding expectations down. Luke Daniels got a bit campy with some if the narration I thought.

    Still worth the credit just to hear the final outcome of Edwards story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 600 Hours of Edward

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (679)
    Performance
    (623)
    Story
    (623)

    A 39-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.). But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone....

    Lulu says: "A Very Good Book with a Very Difficult Hero"
    "Luke Daniels IS Edward"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Im in awe of both the authors work and the narrating by Luke Daniels in this unique story of Edward, a middle aged man with Aspergers/OCD who is reliant on his authoritan father for support, being unable to work in a typical office environment.

    Edward and his fathers interaction forms a great deal of the conflict in this story..as Edward tries to grow his father pushes him down. A very sad reflection on many parent/adult child relationships.

    The novel shows a side of OCD that has become well know these days. Lancaster writes with a gentle knowledge of the situation and developes his characters beautifully. This is a sort of quiet novel, with achingly complex interpersonal relationships...unless the reader knows an OCD patient, Edward may seem awkwardly backwards, yet Lancaster draws him out with sympathy. I was especially touched at the "Dragnet" scenes, where Edward has substituted Jack Webb and the Dragnet characters for a father and family.

    Once again, Luke Daniels shows his talent as one of the best of the modern audio book narrators. Kudos, Mr Daniels, for another wonderful narration.

    The very sad ending pulls the entire story together but left me feeling equally sad for the characters.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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