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Elle in the Great NorthWest

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

Beaverton, OR, United States

ratings
275
REVIEWS
269
FOLLOWING
41
FOLLOWERS
225
HELPFUL VOTES
1040

  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6799)
    Performance
    (6325)
    Story
    (6326)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "Scalzi writes another winner/it's really different"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to the first hour of so of "Redshirts" I was sure it was just another funny story, full of sly humor and sassy one liners that make me laugh the way "Fuzzy Nation" and "Agent to the Aliens" did. When I heard about the book on Scalzis blog and read the beginning paragraphs I was sure thats where it would go-and I'm fine with that. I love his fun novels. Everyone needs a laugh at one time or another. Except for the head banging "He Said", "She said" dialogue that Scalzi writes (which seems to drive we audiobook listeners bonkers), the start of Wil Wheatons reading of Scalzi's new novel led me to believe I'd laugh the evening away.

    Then it got a bit serious. Funny, still, but serious with a strange twist that had me totally amazed at the concept. I had to rewind a chapter here and there because I was sure I'd missed something. I wasn't getting it all. As the novel got deeper into the left hand turn the plot had made, it didn't lose it's fun jauntiness but it did gather even more unexpected sober, tough thinking adding plenty of "I never thought about that before" to the plot .

    Character development is ...well..odd because Scalzi has developed his main protagonists along a couple of different lines. Pathways I had never considered in many years as an SF reader and viewer (and listener even). It's good character development...we know the protagonists- we have known them for years, even decades of Star Trek and they never seem to change..but these characters are sharper, more developed and very clever when they analyze their situation aboard the Universal Union Capital Ship "Intrepid", flag ship of the galaxy. They have a captain who is completely J.T. Kirkian in attitude and language, a ships engineer, doctor...in fact all the standard characters we have gotten used to seeing-including new ensigns wearing red shirts. The ones who die on away missions.

    I don't write spoilers so all this sounds vague but I want to encourage listeners to stick with the book through the irritating dialogue then listen carefully to the next few hours.

    As for the Codas,I think they add to the book. I don't know how else Scalzi would have added the information..it wouldn't have fit into the body of the novel. And though it isn't really vital information it is lore that adds to the novel and incases our knowledge of the characters. Some reviewers on the Amazon site discounted the codas entirely. I think they are part of the book and it's an interesting way to insert this data into the book.

    This is a book for SF lovers, Star Wars/Star Trek fans, ComicCon goers and generally those of us who grew up with Heinlein and Roddenberry, with Ray Bradbury (who passed away today at age 91) and Rod Serling, with Neil Gaiman and Isaac Asimov.
    Scalzi fits in with all these guys, especially the early Robert Heinlein YA books, though theres nothing YA about "Redshirts".

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    63 of 72 people found this review helpful
  • The Returned: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jason Mott
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (342)

    Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds healed through the grace of time.... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep - flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old. All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond.

    FanB14 says: "You'd Want to Return It"
    "Interesting premise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An off track idea that could have been developed much more fully, this is a real soft read.

    The story arc is lacking in cohesiveness to a large extent. I made a huge error by listening to the 3 Prequel short stories after I'd listened to the main story and they added absolutely nothing..

    I didn't hate it and it's better than MEH-Average, but not spectacular.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Choice: A Prequel to 'The Returned'

    • UNABRIDGED (40 mins)
    • By Jason Mott
    • Narrated By David Ledoux
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (329)

    Peter Galvin was just 17 when Tracy Whitland - the love of his life - vanished without a trace. In the years after her death, he had finally moved on, gotten married, started a family. He is content with his life now - happy, even - until Tracy suddenly and inexplicably returns.

    AudioAddict says: "My least favorite of the three prequels"
    "Prequel - not a stand alone short story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe worth the couple of bucks it cost, this 40 minute prequel is fairly blah. I purchased all 3 prequels after I'd heard the story and frankly, it is a waste of money by them. Listen to them first if you plan on listening to The Returned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sparrow: A Prequel to 'The Returned'

    • UNABRIDGED (40 mins)
    • By Jason Mott
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    Overall
    (383)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (336)

    When Heather and Matt Campbell find 10-year-old Tatiana Rusesa on the side of the highway, she is thousands of miles away from her village in Sierra Leone. She hasn't seen her family in almost two decades, not since she and her mother were killed by rebel soldiers. Now Tatiana has inexplicably returned, a lost orphan with no place to call home. As the world dives deeper into uncertainty and chaos, Heather is determined to save Tatiana and help her find her way back to her family. But how much is she willing to lose to protect a girl she doesn't even know?

    AudioAddict says: "Touching prequel that will leave you wondering..."
    "So so prequil to The Returned"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe worth the couple of bucks it cost, this 40 minute prequel is fairly blah. I purchased all 3 prequels after I'd heard the story and frankly, it is a waste of money by them. Listen to them first if you plan on listening to The Returned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First: A Prequel to 'The Returned'

    • UNABRIDGED (33 mins)
    • By Jason Mott
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    Overall
    (509)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (440)

    It's been just over a year since Edmund Blithe died, and just over a month since his fiancee, Emily, stopped wearing her engagement ring. Emily has finally begun to move on - until Edmund mysteriously and inexplicably returns. Edmund is only just the beginning. Around the world, people's loved ones are returning from beyond, seeking only to reenter the lives they left behind.

    Maddy says: "Under the Spell"
    "A s0-so shortie prequil"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe worth the couple of bucks it cost, this 40 minute prequel is fairly blah. I purchased all 3 prequels after I'd heard the story and frankly, it is a waste of money by them. Listen to them first if you plan on listening to The Returned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Whistling Past the Graveyard

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Susan Crandall
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (453)
    Performance
    (403)
    Story
    (404)

    In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old spitfire Starla Claudelle runs away from her strict grandmother's Mississippi home. Starla hasn't seen her momma since she was three - that's when Lulu left for Nashville to become a famous singer. If she can get to Nashville and find her momma, then all that she promised will come true: Lulu will be a star. Daddy will come to live in Nashville, too. And her family will be whole and perfect.

    Laurette says: "Feisty red-headed little girl takes on the south"
    "Somewhat juvenile but still entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Appropriate for a 10+ year old to listen, the story of the early 1960s in the south brings a lot of emotion into this story arc. I loved it and think my 10 year old grand daughter will also get a lot out of the story. If anything, it will bring up points to discuss about the strife between blacks and whites, it takes place around the beginning of the equal rights strife.

    Starla is a young woman who wants to find her mother. Starla believes mom is a famous singer in Nashville and after messing up at home, where she lives with a crabby grand mother. Starla decides to walk 600 miles to find her mother.

    As the story progresses, the listener is introduced to a number of wonderful black characters, especially strong black women, who direct her towards the successful life she is seeking.

    As someone who was an equal rights activist during that period, I can relate to the situations and incidents author Crandall brings to this thoughtful story.

    This isn't a trashy young adult novel but is appropriate for young adults who are interested in this period of American life.

    I recommend it highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wonder of All Things

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jason Mott
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (107)

    On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators, killing and injuring dozens. But when the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds miraculously disappear. Ava has a unique gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments.

    Elaine M. Panzeter says: "Where there are miracle there is greed"
    "Excellent Novel-Recomended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story so much-ther plot was effective and there weren't any holes that I couldn't fill.

    Julis Whelsn is a wonderful narrator, though her mens voices aren't very good, she brings great feelings to the story. Her diction is sharp and emotion is drawn from the story arc that brings the reader/listener tino the plot.

    No spoilers here....you need to listen to it to understand the issues that are brought out in this story.

    I enjoyed the book very much and highly recommend it to readers/listeners who enjoy tension and a bit of mystery in their reads.

    It's not great literature but it is a wonderful listen and superior 4 star book and narration.

    ENJOY!!



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tech World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By B.V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1291)
    Performance
    (1196)
    Story
    (1200)

    The Galactics arrived with their Battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined a vast Empire that spanned the Milky Way. Our only worthwhile trade goods are our infamous mercenary legions, elite troops we sell to the highest alien bidder. In the third book in the series, James McGill is deployed on another alien world. His third interstellar tour is different in every way. Rather than meeting up with a primitive society, this time he’s headed to an advanced world.

    D says: "Dying isn’t enough this time"
    "Young Male Adult type of Science Fiction--Mediocre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The begging of my young adult grand son to listen to this led me to purchase it for our road trip.

    If you're not of that age, or if you're a woman who enjoys good kick ass SF-don't bother with this series.

    Full of mediocre sex scenes, the protagonist, James McGill sleeps with every woman he meets. Plus he is so unrealistic when it comes to being in a military outfit that it's absolutely silly...NO MORE Larson for me. My grandson paid me back for this book so I'm not out any money at least..apparently it's perfect for juvenile minds-but there is so much better in this type of military SF out there..John Scalzi's "Old Mans War' comes instantly to mind.

    Buy that instead

    Big wow.

    Don't bother with this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steel World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2770)
    Performance
    (2564)
    Story
    (2573)

    In the 20th century Earth sent probes, transmissions, and welcoming messages to the stars. Unfortunately, someone noticed. The Galactics arrived with their battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined their vast Empire. Swearing allegiance to our distant alien overlords wasn't the only requirement for survival. We also had to have something of value to trade, something that neighboring planets would pay their hard-earned credits to buy. As most of the local worlds were too civilized to have a proper army, the only valuable service Earth could provide came in the form of soldiers....

    D says: "Classic Space Opera"
    "Sophomoric Young Adult semi Si Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't understand the 5 stats..is it just because young twenty somethings like the juvenile sex scenes? The almost super hero attitude that James McGee, boy mercenary, exudes via B V Larsons first book in the 'Undying Mercenaries'?

    Whatever it is, get real reviewers! This is non scientific, unrealistic juvenile Si Fi thats got little actual entertainment value.

    I've never been in the military, but I worked for a big multi national corporation and even in that world, someone who is as out of step with his superiors wouldn't be promoted-much less even kept in the business or service. He argues with his superior officers constantly, defies orders and goes off on his own. Great if one is an independent mercenary such as Jack Reacher or John Rain or even a local county sherif like Walt Longmire but no, James is a grunt newly..canon fodder really. With a BIG MOUTH.

    Yet his continual bucking of orders gets rewarded! In any military he would be discharged with poor references.

    And the constant bed jumping..ah yes, just what a 22 year old wants to read. McGee gets any girl, then leaves. Every time. And these women are not written well..they are paper thin surface creatures while McGee is written large.

    Boyett does an ok narration-not superior but it goes with the tone of the story line.

    The plot is fairly good..at least there is a beginning, middle and conclusion..the book stands on its own feet and you don't HAVE to buy the second in the series-which if anything is worse that this one.

    There is much better Science Fiction out there-look for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dust World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1815)
    Performance
    (1685)
    Story
    (1687)

    The Galactics arrived with their Battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined a vast Empire that spans the Milky Way. Our only worthwhile trade goods are our infamous mercenary legions, elite troops we sell to the highest alien bidder. In 2122 a lost colony expedition contacts Earth, surprising our government. Colonization is against Galactic Law, and Legion Varus is dispatched to the system to handle the situation. Earth gave them sealed orders, but Earth is 35 lightyears away.

    D says: "They’re back ready to die; again"
    "Perfect for a horny 20 something male"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this 2nd episode in the Undying Mercenaries series at the frantic request of my 22 year old grandson. We listened to the first novel on a long road trip and he wanted the second for the trip home.

    The first one was basically a young adult/teen script. the men were heroes, the women were plastic se objects of hard assed bi$ches. No regular strong women. Sadly it gets much worse in this second volume.

    Great for a 20 something with no real idea of what an actual woman is like, Larson writes his female warriors as surface characters..which is really sad. The protagonists, James, sleeps with any and everyone..and even if the women complain about his male ho attitude, he simply shines them on...this isn't what I want my young adult grand kid to be like at all! I realize this is a comic book in audio form but really, can't Larson endow some of his female characters with an actual personality? The closest he came was to the native woman (who he screwed of course) who showed some guts...but not much.

    I can't recommend this for actual adults..or for women who are the least bit sensitive to ranting masochistic writing.

    I'll get the third boo for my grandson..so figure 22 is a good average age/maturity for a man who might appreciate this series.

    The plot is fairly good...the narration is fine. My complaint is the writer. I guess I know not to count Larson in as a SiFi writer I can appreciate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • London Twist: A Delilah Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Barry Eisler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (57)

    For Delilah, the Mossad's top seductress, the parameters of the assignment were routine. The contractor: MI6. The objective: infiltrate a terror network, this one operating out of London. The stakes: a series of poison gas attacks on civilian population centers.There's just one wrinkle. The target is a woman - as smart, beautiful, and committed as Delilah herself. And for a cynical operative thrust suddenly out of her element, the twists and turns of the spy game are nowhere near as dangerous as the secrets and desires of the human heart.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "VERY sexy Lesbian moments-be prepared"
    "VERY sexy Lesbian moments-be prepared"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    WOW can Eisler write a killer woman with woman sex scene. If this isn't your thing, I suggest you avoid this novella length supplement to the John Rain series.

    The story was a great one and sex wasn't the only thing it was based on..a good plot line and we got to know the new character fairly well.

    Enjoyable if you enjoy reading a sexy book...not much more than a Nora Roberts book but more explicit IMO.

    A shortie..don't spend a credit on it..just buy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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