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Ellen

I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

Chesterton, IN, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
308
REVIEWS
132
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
166

  • Remake

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Christopher Kipiniak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    In Remake, Connie Willis explores the timeless themes of emotion and technology, reality and illusion, and the bittersweet place where they intersect to make art. It's the Hollywood of the future, where moviemaking has been computerized and live-action films are a thing of the past. It's a Hollywood where Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe are starring together in A Star Is Born, and if you don't like the ending, you can change it with the stroke of a key. A Hollywood of warmbodies and sim-sex, of drugs and special effects, where anything is possible.

    Aser Tolentino says: "I Don't Even Like Musicals..."
    "Silly and Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have a bias on this book. I've always loved it. But it makes a wonderful listen as well. It's a completely unexpected bit of silly by an author who does it best. Treat yourself. This is a complete delight.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    Overall
    (12109)
    Performance
    (9758)
    Story
    (9877)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "A Storytellers Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a lot of fun. At a certain point I find Klovth a bit pompous and full of himself, but it's still a grand set of stories within stories.
    I'm hoping the next book will show him as more grown up and less self involved. He does suffer from examining his navel overmuch and noticing how smart he is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1274)
    Performance
    (1136)
    Story
    (1158)

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

    Melinda says: "Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer"
    "Good historical effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't love this book. But it was quite solid. There are three story lines for three generations. The first one with the boy taken by Indians is fabulous. The other two just weren't the same standard, but they were well written,
    I do believe it to be a pretty solid look at the very odd relationship in Texas from the Texicans, the American Settlers, and the Indians. The end is sort of miserable. but realisitic. Bottom line,, these are not very nice ,sensitive or socially responsible souls. That being said, it's probably properly historic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Darkling Thrush

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Josh Lanyon
    • Narrated By Max Miller
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (126)

    Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches' grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries' old murder.

    Tony Squared says: "A Magical Story"
    "Very Steamy Stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know if I will finish this book. I am not a prude or a homophobe. But the sex scenes go on for ever and there's as sneering quality to the narrator that I found past annoying.. That's a shame because I think there's a good story in here.

    If you have problems with male homosexuals, this book will probably offend you deeply. I am not offended. But the sex scenes went past my interest, and were graphic enough to be icky.

    If you are male and homosexual, you'll probably love it. It's not badly written. It's just a bit too much.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mask of Atreus

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By A. J. Hartley
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    An obscure museum's dead proprietor lies in a secret room surrounded by one of the world's most astonishing collections of Greek antiquities. Only a priceless Mycenaean death mask has been taken, along with the bones of a legendary hero thought to exist only in ancient myth. Looted by the Nazis, the treasures are still being sought by those whose dreams of glory remain undefeated.The mask is an unparalleled discovery that will be a force for devastating retribution in the wrong hands. But by the time museum curator Deborah Miller learns the truth, it may be too late....

    Martin says: "See if you can spot the "twist" (Hint: You can!)"
    "My, this was fun."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was absolutely silly fun. Some problems with the black maid's accent (she sounded strongly Brooklanise). I wouldn't say it was serious but it was quite entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (376)
    Story
    (373)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "Delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't expecting much from the book. I was so delightfully surprised. It's wry and funny and an interesting look into Laotians.
    It's also a pretty good ghosts story. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (206)

    When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in.

    Jen says: "Beloved Bess"
    "Sort of Dry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing in this book made me
    Like the Characters
    Anxious for what would happen next
    Interested in these people's lives.
    It wasn't a bad read. But it wasn't very good either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1129)
    Performance
    (1032)
    Story
    (1041)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Molly-o says: "Don't miss this one"
    "Science in it's weirder corners"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did love this book. It's about a woman naturalist at the turn of the 18th century. She's brilliant, spoiled, unlovely and heart wrenchingly brave. It's the heart of darkness for women, done brilliantly.
    Do read it. Astonishing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Splendor of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Indu Sundaresan
    • Narrated By Sneha Mathan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (76)

    In 1942, Sam Hawthorne, a young U.S. Army captain, arrives in a tiny, princely state in western India. He carries combat wounds and several secrets, one of which is the real reason behind his visit: to find his brother Mike, an idealistic American soldier who disappeared after joining the local struggle for independence from the British.

    Alice says: "Loved this audiobook"
    "A Nice Enough Romance ( and I HATE Romances)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This does not start like your standard romance and it doesn't end like it either. Which is to its favor. There is also a subplot ( although I'd have liked to see it developed more) that has nothing romantic about it.
    However, I was terribly weary of how very much these people were attracted to each other. Endlessly.
    All of this need to take into account that I normally never read romance, and I generally loath it as being sadly delusional.
    The accent was charming and appropriate. And the writing was written to be read aloud which I did appreciate.
    It was a very interesting look into India in the Raj days, and that was what got me through. If you like romances, I suspect you'll like it very much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Telling

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (130)

    Once a culturally rich world, the planet Aka has been utterly transformed by technology. Records of the past have been destroyed, and citizens are strictly monitored. But an official observer from Earth will discover a group of outcasts who still practice its lost religion-the Telling. Intrigued by their beliefs, she joins them on a sacred pilgrimage into the mountains...and into the dangerous terrain of her own heart, mind, and soul.

    Cindy says: "Tell me about it!"
    "Just Beautiful. Just Brilliant."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This may be the best Ursula K I've read since the Left Hand of Darkness. Beautifully written, incredible characters and a lovely transformation. Treat yourself. This is a marvel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteenth Child

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Patricia C. Wrede
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (796)
    Performance
    (723)
    Story
    (727)

    Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent - and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild. With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Erin - Audible says: "History, Magic, Teens, & Not An Inkling of Romance"
    "Nice Juvenal Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm sort of damning with faint praise. This was a perfectly pleasant read. It's a child's viewpoint, and it never really transcends that in a way that grabbed me. Nice premise. I'd like to see the next in the series just to see if a more adult character would have more substance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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