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Elle in the Great NorthWest

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

Beaverton, OR, United States

ratings
232
REVIEWS
226
FOLLOWING
40
FOLLOWERS
226
HELPFUL VOTES
898

  • Abducted: Lizzy Gardner, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By T. R. Ragan
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (533)
    Story
    (535)

    Escaping from a madman should have been the end of her nightmare. Instead it was only the beginning...Lizzy Gardner was just seventeen when she was kidnapped by the psychopath known as Spiderman, a serial killer terrorizing her California hometown. Imprisoned and tormented for months, Lizzy narrowly escaped with her life and Spiderman vanished without a trace. But if she thought he would forget her, she was dead wrong.

    Sarah says: "Good story but pretty disturbing torture scenes."
    "Bored sounding narrator-could be much better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The precept of this story should be exciting and offer tension and fear to the listener.

    Instead I found myself bored out of my wits and didn't bother to finish listening-it was too obvious how it would end.

    This could be blamed on a lackluster narrator with few skills in interpreting the authors words or with an author who didn't write sufficient tension into the book. In either case, this was a short waste of my time.

    I can't recommend nor will I bother with the second book unless theres a new narrator,
    I might try and read it myself-if I see it at a used book store...but really, there are so many better books out there-why bother?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sea Swept: The Chesapeake Bay Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By David Stuart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (961)
    Performance
    (667)
    Story
    (684)

    A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father calls him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changes overnight.

    Louise says: "Outstanding"
    "Great narration and classic NR writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I honestly thought this series of 4 books was written 15-20 years ago..it seems to be a classic in her genre.

    David Stuart is an excellent narrator who gave a typical and not always touching Roberts book a touch of class. Both the first and second book in the series are narrated by Stuart, the 3rd and 4th novels in the series are good, narration wise, but not of the same quality.

    The 4 books in this series take place in the Chesapeake Bay part of the eastern seaboard, the 4 protagonists, all adopted step brothers whose early childhood years were those of abuse and terror. Novel 1, Sea Swept, tells the story of European playboy and fast car and/or boat driver Cameron Quinn. A man whose life is now one of supermodels, road races, winning tickets and a future of fun and sex. As I said...a typical Roberts story arc that manages to excite and enthuse readers.

    However it turns out that this novel is of excellent Nora Roberts style and between the 3rd and 4th novels the quality remains 5 star

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Time

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (259)
    Story
    (260)

    Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

    Jan says: "Pickiest Reader Would Be Willing to Give 6 Stars"
    "One of her finest novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written in the now predictable multi character style, Leaving Time is a superior work IMO. Picoult has written a few books that I couldn't get thru but this was an all night listen for me-all nite and into the next day in fact.

    I admired the primary protagonist and really felt for her. The secondary characters, especially the young son, were equally well written, with lots of character development and family conflict.

    Story arc flows beautifully from scene to scene-I'd give it more stars were they available.

    Buy it!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Man Called Ove

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Fredrik Backman
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Thoughtful and meaningful novel / an unusual novel"
    "Thoughtful and meaningful novel / an unusual novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a different kind of book-the only similar novel is one I read this year called "The Trustee of the Toolroom". Both are about different men who don't 'do' social very well and have no idea of the kind of impact they have on others.

    In Ove's place, this surly and sometimes mean protagonist swears he hates cats but adopts a freezing cat. He meets the one love of his life and she keeps him mostly human until she dies. He begins to plan his own demise but can't seem to accomplish it because people have started to depend on him.

    This is a wonderful listen and one of the best I've heard this year.

    Narrated by 2 different voices, a man and a woman. I listened to Newberns narration and am tempted to purchase the other narration just to see how the feminine perspective changes the story.

    Well worth a credit.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Festive in Death: In Death, Book 39

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    Overall
    (687)
    Performance
    (626)
    Story
    (627)

    Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn't count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest. Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who'd been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler's enemies, she's also dealing with her Christmas shopping list - plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband's upcoming holiday bash.

    BG853 says: "A Feast for In Death devotees"
    "Can I be getting tired of Eve Dallas? Could be!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was more than a little bored by the newest in Robb/Roberts 'In Death' series. Not a surprise as its the 39th book, which has to be a record setter maybe behind only Mary Osbornes 'Magic Tree House' kids series.

    I had a difficult time keeping my interest, until the Christmas party-the details of the party were wonderful..I wanted to dress up and be there with everyone. Generally though I found the plot typical of many other 'in death' novels and wonder if it isn't time for some new story arcs for the characters.

    I think the only character which has grown is Peabody and wish more growth was written into Dallas herself. Surely it's time for her to be able to remember when holidays are. The things that were cute or funny at the start, Dallas' dislike of PDA in Peabody and McNabb for example, have been going on long enough for her to get over it and move along.

    I see some new characters-a new doctor in the coroners office who doesn't really like Dallas - I'm sure that conflict will rate a couple of books where they are forced to work together then finally develop respect for one another.

    And isn't it time for Dallas to get over spazzing about Roarkes money? Or maybe it's time for me to quit buying these novels when they first come out.

    In any case..except for the Party scene, this novel was a "Meh.......bland"

    you'll buy it if you love Roberts/Robb anyhow so pay me no attention. I think I'm going to find one of her older novels to download and listen to..I notice Audible has quite a few of early Roberts books-books that really caught me up as a younger woman and which might be attractive to me now...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 44 Scotland Street

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (612)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (370)

    The brilliant Alexander McCall Smith became an international sensation with his New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. His award-winning wit, made famous through that series, is fully on display in 44 Scotland Street.

    J. Rogers says: "Smith's answer to Maupin"
    "Funny, well contrived with great characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    equals a fun novel to listen to. I laughed so many times while listening, and had a smile on my face when I wasn't laughing!.
    Alexander McCall Smith is a new author to me, as is Robt. Mackenzie as a narrator..what a match. Great Energy of this author and narrator. I can't wait to listen to the second book.

    This is a case where the narrator increases the readers (listeners) experience of the book.

    I couldn't decide on a genre..romance? Psychological novel?, Lost Love? there are so many fun characters that you grow to enjoy.

    GET THIS!!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Escaping Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (844)
    Performance
    (789)
    Story
    (790)

    When society ceases to exist, who can you trust? After the collapse of the nation's power grid, America is under martial law - and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting.

    Linda Likes to Learn says: "WARNING! DOES NOT END SERIES! CUT FOR PROFIT?"
    "The “HOME” novels by Angery(sic) American"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is for all 4 of the novels written by self named (and spelled) Angery (sic) American..a writer who needs an editor and proof reader more than my grand daughters 4 grade class.
    While his EOTWAWKI novels are interesting, he, sadly, writes cardboard characters. As a woman from a prepared family, who has her own back pack, bag and 2 man tent packed just heavy enough for her 71 year old body to carry on a days hike.. Additionally I have met many other women who camp, hunt, shoot, fish and whose family is prepared. One would think that the hero, Morgan, is the only prepper in Florida. Most women who are active in prepper communities aren’t anywhere near the very lame women A. American writes in his novels. All his women are bitchy or needy, all the teens are stereotypical angst filled teens - including his hero’s daughters..and he does nothing to teach them how to survive, I was interested in the books but also very frustrated by them.

    The plot is unrealistic what with the Post Office taking over running the country with FEMA help..really? Who is going to believe that. Most of us learned a great deal by Katrina, even we not in the south have learned to be prepared for disaster and what is and isn’t acceptable to our family for survival.

    I won’t comment on the initial use of logo and name branding..it didn’t continue thru out all 4 books, thank goodness.

    Finally, the narrator..much has been commented on about his lack of pausing..I also bemoan his lack of correct pronunciation for simple words..an Editor was really needed for this final production.

    If you listen to the first book then you will be grabbed into the series but they don’t get any better as they progress..just more far fetched. However as the little girl in the book says..at least there aren’t any Zombies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1590)
    Performance
    (1467)
    Story
    (1475)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "The “HOME” novels by Angery(sic) American"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is for all 4 of the novels written by self named (and spelled) Angery (sic) American..a writer who needs an editor and proof reader more than my grand daughters 4 grade class.
    While his EOTWAWKI novels are interesting, he, sadly, writes cardboard characters. As a woman from a prepared family, who has her own back pack, bag and 2 man tent packed just heavy enough for her 71 year old body to carry on a days hike.. Additionally I have met many other women who camp, hunt, shoot, fish and whose family is prepared. One would think that the hero, Morgan, is the only prepper in Florida. Most women who are active in prepper communities aren’t anywhere near the very lame women A. American writes in his novels. All his women are bitchy or needy, all the teens are stereotypical angst filled teens - including his hero’s daughters..and he does nothing to teach them how to survive, I was interested in the books but also very frustrated by them.

    The plot is unrealistic what with the Post Office taking over running the country with FEMA help..really? Who is going to believe that. Most of us learned a great deal by Katrina, even we not in the south have learned to be prepared for disaster and what is and isn’t acceptable to our family for survival.

    I won’t comment on the initial use of logo and name branding..it didn’t continue thru out all 4 books, thank goodness.

    If you listen to the first book then you will be grabbed into the series but they don’t get any better as they progress..just more far fetched. However as the little girl in the book says..at least there aren’t any Zombies.

    0 of 0 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
    (5397)
    Performance
    (3388)
    Story
    (3417)

    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.

    Sara says: "A terrifying story"
    "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
    (331)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (304)

    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.

    Lisa says: "Long, Dark, Depressing, Boring & Disappointing"
    "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 Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sophie Moss
    • Narrated By Hollis McCarthy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (206)

    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

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