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Elle in the Great NorthWest

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

Beaverton, OR, United States

ratings
228
REVIEWS
222
FOLLOWING
39
FOLLOWERS
224
HELPFUL VOTES
862

  • Terms of Enlistment

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Marko Kloos
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (720)
    Performance
    (668)
    Story
    (669)

    The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth.

    DAVE says: "Solid military sci-fi."
    "Fairly good novel-Superior Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this book because it was on sale AND narrated by Luke Daniels. As others have mentioned, Daniels can read the phone book and entertain me. He's the kind of narrator who canl lead me to a book I might not have been interested in previously. Reading the reviews, I was going to not purchase this Scalzi like story except that Daniels narrates it and , damn, he's one good narrator. Did I mention that?

    "Enlistment" is, sadly, a John Scalzi rip off-and Scalzi frequently admits to following in other SF writers footprints. Enlistment was so similar to Old Mans War Old series, but isn't nearly as well written't ......OMW was a great series and Enlistment is so-so.

    Andrew, the depressed welfare kid who hasn't ever had anything of quality in his life, is a young version of Scalzi's "John Perry" an aging man who traded his failing health and senior citizen boredom for a new mutant body and opportunity to help save human life in the galaxy.

    As there are only 2 goods so far in Kloos series we shall see if it continues to follow OMW. If so, I'd recumbent just buying Scalzis novels..they are excellently written, much better than those 2 that Kloos has written.

    Except for Luke Daniels..I'll gave this 4 starts simply because Luke Daniels has the ability to make any book into an excellent one.

    3 of 3 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
    (526)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (295)

    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
    (771)
    Performance
    (722)
    Story
    (721)

    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
    (1493)
    Performance
    (1373)
    Story
    (1381)

    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
    (5250)
    Performance
    (3246)
    Story
    (3273)

    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
    (233)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (212)

    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 Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sophie Moss
    • Narrated By Hollis McCarthy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (183)

    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
    (420)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (285)

    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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond the Black Stump

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (743)
    Performance
    (672)
    Story
    (673)

    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
    (213)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (160)

    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

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