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Elizabeth

I read speculative fiction, YA, mysteries, entertaining nonfiction, & occasionally, heavier literature. I want it well written & literate.

Decatur, GA, United States | Member Since 2015

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 66 ratings
  • 523 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2015
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  • The Land of Laughs

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jonathan Carroll
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (312)

    Thomas Abbey is a man stuck in a rut. To kick-start his life, he takes a sabbatical to work on a biography of his favorite writer, the mysterious Marshall France. Although Abbey has been warned that France's daughter, Anna, has blocked all previous attempts at her father's biography, he is surprised to find her the soul of small-town hospitality and quite excited about Abbey's proposal. Even stranger than Anna's behavior, though, is the town itself. The people seem to know what their future holds - freak accidents and all - down to the hour.

    Daryl says: "It's Not You - It's Me"
    "Wonderfully imagined"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The reviewing format that audio has set up can be helpful, but in this case makes it difficult to say what I liked and disliked without "spoiling" this book. Because as with the other Jonathan Carroll book I read, "White Apples" I loved the book with reservations. What I loved was the amazing imagination at work here. My favorite sort of speculative fiction is a book that changes one thing about life as we know it, and plays with that concept. This book does that splendidly. I was enthralled. Which was a good thing, because as with "White Apples", I found the egocentric main character and very hard to empathize with. He treats the female characters as useful tools to be used and disgarded, with no real human attachment. Despite this,I would still recommend this book. It was a fascinating read.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3675)
    Performance
    (3260)
    Story
    (3258)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    Kevin says: "Great listen"
    "What Delightful Silliness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What delightful silliness. Douglas Adams would have enjoyed it, or think Carl Hiassen-like science fiction. Sends up venal politicians and diplomats, with a jab at Scientology to boot, all in an exciting, well written, delightful romp.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4659)
    Performance
    (4265)
    Story
    (4259)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Janice says: "What does it mean to be human?"
    "Just lovely"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Explore late 19th century New York's immigrant communities with this fascinating tale of a golem and a djinni. Strange circumstances throw these two superhuman beings onto foreign shores where they must learn to sink or swim, like all new immigrants, although with these two, the stakes are higher. Will the golem lose control and go on a killing rampage,? Will the djinni free himself from bondage to the evil magician that bound him? The lives of the two main characters twine and intertwine again and again. You will certainly enjoy the fascinating journey to the exciting , satisfying resolution of this beautifully told tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel (Peter Grant, Book 5)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    Overall
    (596)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (532)

    Peter Grant - cop, magical apprentice, and Londoner to the core - is being forced out of his comfort zone and into the English countryside. His latest case involves the disappearance of children in the small village of Herefordshire, and the local police are unwilling to admit there might be a supernatural element involved. Now Peter must deal with them, local river spirits, and the fact that all the shops close by 4 P.M.

    Amazon Customer says: "What a fun ride!"
    "Another good one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another good one in a very entertaining series, extraordinarily well read. A police procedural with magic, and wonderful humor. I can't wait until the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rithmatist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2734)
    Performance
    (2471)
    Story
    (2486)

    More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings - merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

    Brandon says: "Beware of the chalk!"
    "Fascinating world building"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It's not a novel that will change your life, but a rollicking good tale, particularly notable for the vividly imagined world of the "rithmatists" I may have been irritated at the teenage protagonists choices ( I bet you too will yell at your iPhone or computer, "What do you mean, "no one will believe you"!), but you will be riveted until the end. It pulled a fair number of elements from Harry Potter, which made it all the more amusing that one villain seemed to be read as a dead on Snapes imitation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6370)
    Performance
    (5847)
    Story
    (5848)

    Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

    AudioAddict says: "And I didn't think I liked fantasies..."
    "What fun!"
    Overall

    Gripping story, solid protagonists, dastardly villains, courageous female characters, sinister plots within plots, adventure, humor and a wonderful reader. Thoroughly hooked and very much looking forward to more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fuzzy Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4789)
    Performance
    (4231)
    Story
    (4231)

    In John Scalzi's re-imagining of H. Beam Piper's 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesnt care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorps headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporations headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, thats not up for discussion.

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn says: "Short, sweet, and satisfying storytelling."
    "Great, Rollicking Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Fuzzy Nation again? Why?

    Yes, because it is a fabulous roller coaster ride. Exciting and funny, this book begins with an apparently morally bankrupt character trying to weasel out of responsibility for an environmental disaster he has caused. By the books end you are cheering for him. Making that journey had me sitting up until three in the morning, listening in the dark.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack Holloway, the main character is a sleaze bag. A wisecracking disbarred lawyer, who teaches his dog to detonate explosives. Will he do the right thing in the end? Read it and find out.


    What does Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi (Introduction) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wheaton is a fine, interesting reader. I was particularly struck by his voicing of the alien creature, Papa. It was much, much better than the narrator's voice inside my head, and added so much to the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Many times I laughed out loud. Once I cried.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is based on a sixties novel, "Little Fuzzy". I was surprised when I went looking how to spell a character name to learn fans of the original novel seem to really hate this book. Not having read it, I have no way to compare. Perhaps Mr. Scalzi sacrifices some of the depth of the original for an exciting read? Maybe listening to a talented reader bring it to life makes it more than it would be in print? I only know I really, really enjoyed listening to it, as I did the other two Scalzi novels I have listened to., and I have just added another to my library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Among Others

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (832)
    Performance
    (720)
    Story
    (722)

    Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

    Eoin says: "Subtle Character Piece"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Among Others?

    Talking about the most memorable moments would risk spoilers


    What does Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Finding out what Welsh sounds like when I can't travel there was wonderful, and greatly added to the story


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A fascinating journey with one of the most memorable of literary young people


    Any additional comments?

    Have you read Jo Walton? I just finished "Among Others" and am very excited to find she has written a bunch of other books. "Among Others" is set in South Wales. The main character is fifteen, and a survivor of something horrible in her past, something not explained at the beginning of the book. She also talks to fairies, but the reader is unsure if they are really there or the product of a traumatized mind. Her main character, Mor, is wonderful. She is fifteen, brilliant, troubled, geeky, and obsessed with Science Fiction (Meg from "Wrinkle in Time" combined with Holden Caulfield), and the SF part is wonderful because the story is a frame for lists, discussion, and debate about books that I read during my first love affair with the genre, as the book is set in 1979. I loved this book, but it had something in common with one of my other favorite books, "Swamplandia". I think the author was propelled by her fabulous characters, and fabulous world, and didn't know how to end her story, so the ending was somewhat abrupt, a tad deus ex machina. But I will forgive her that because it was a fabulous journey. I listened to this book, and found the reader, Katherine Kellgren, to be wonderful. I had no idea what a Welsh accent would sound like (my kids were enormously amused by my struggle with the language in "The Dark Is Rising" series) so I was fascinated with the lilt and nuance of the language, but the aural book was also frustrating because I so wanted a written record of all the books mentioned and discussed. I should have used the note taking and bookmarking features, but I was too anxious to find out what happens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Royal Pain: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (2794)
    Performance
    (2424)
    Story
    (2402)

    The Queen of England has concocted a plan in which penniless aristocrat Lady Georgie is to entertain a Bavarian princess and conveniently place her in the playboy prince's path, in the hopes that he might finally marry.

    But queens never take money into account. Georgie has very little, which is why she moonlights as a maid-in-disguise.

    Coffee Lover says: "More Royal Fun!"
    "Fluff-y Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Royal Pain the most enjoyable?

    Talented reader reading entertaining story with much sly humor .


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Will lady Georgiana survive penury, difficult relatives and friends, dead bodies in the bathtub, and murder attempts or be shipped off to a backwater to be lady in waiting to an aging royal? Time and an entertaining read will tell.


    What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

    Wonderful voicing of diverse characters


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Giggled repeatedly


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swamplandia!

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Karen Russell
    • Narrated By Arielle Sitrick, David Ackroyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (302)

    The Bigtree alligator-wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, formerly number-one in the region, is swiftly being encroached upon by a fearsome and sophisticated competitor called the World of Darkness. Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, has just died; her sister, Ossie, has fallen in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, who may or may not be an actual ghost.

    Suzn F says: "Sometimes Brilliant, Sometimes Disappointing"
    "Amazing, powerful, haunting, and funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Swamplandia!?

    The wonderful, screwy fabulous Bigtree family.Before circumstances send them spinning out of control, I wanted to be one of them, wrestling alligators, and running wild in the Florida everglades.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ava Bigtree of course. Precocious, funny, brave, the loss of her mother leaves her untethered and vulnerable to evil.


    What does Arielle Sitrick and David Ackroyd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrators vividly capture the voices of Karen Russell's wonderful characters


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Unforgetable


    Any additional comments?

    This is a wonderful, wonderful book, one of my favorites of all time. Everyone should read it. That said, I thought that Russell didn't know how to end it. I found the last bit of the book weaker than the start, but it is still an a fabulously imagined world with characters that jump off the page, voices that will stay with you for the rest of your life. How can a book be side splittingly funny, and heartbreakingly tragic.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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