Book Reviews of The Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling
Author: Iris Johansen
Audio Books swap for two (2) credits.
ISBN-13: 9780553476729
ISBN-10: 0553476726
Publication Date: 4/1/1996
Rating:
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 5

4.5 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Random House Audio
Book Type: Audio Cassette
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

74 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 408 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I could not put this one down. Riveting mystery, great love story - this book has it all. Surviving a brutal attack, Nell has her destroyed face recreated and made beautiful. But will that be enough to keep her attacker from finding her and finishing the job he started? How can she escape when she doesn't know who wants her dead or why? A very good read!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Iris Johansen tells a great story, and her characters are always a little quirky, which keeps them interesting. She also does great bad guys, and these are among her best. I was sorry to finish it!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This is a great mystery with a bit of a different twist. The main character was strong and intelligent. Actually, all the characters were well-developed. I enjoyed the story very much.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 520 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
This would make a great Angelina Jolie film. A plain-looking, insecure woman is maimed because of a grudge she is not aware of, and through the miracle of plastic surgery becomes a tough, martial arts and weapon-wielding babe. Though not a realistic story, you'll nonetheless find yourself turning the pages to see what happens next.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 83 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Iris Johansen keeps you on your toes in "The Ugly Duckling." The main character, Nell Calder, survives an attack by a knife-wielding maniac only to discover her entire world has turned upside down. This book kept me captivated for days until I finished it. It's a great read.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 77 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Really good book, little romance, little murder, little mystery.
But, then again all of her books are good.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Another great premise Johansen has come up with for a story line. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A woman destroyed by a terrible act of betrayal loses her husband and daughter, only to find herself living with a new face, as she works to avenge her rage and grief against the man who shattered her world. She discovers stregnth she never new she had, and a will of iron along with a new life along the way.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Slow to start but once I got into the book I absolutly could not put it down.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Nail-biter! You don't know "whodunnit" until nearly the last page!!!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoy Iris Johansen. I usually do not pick a book from the auther. I pick from the book itself. However I will pick up all the rest of Johansen.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A good page turner! Will keep you on the edge of your seat.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on
Helpful Score: 2
I love Iris Johansen novels. I'm really into mystery so this was right up my alley.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on
Helpful Score: 1
quick paced and a good read.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Intense. Well written.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
VERY GOOD. A MUST READ.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow! Great story.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 238 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Much different than I was expecting. Good book though.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Tried a new author - not that much suspense or mystery - but a good read when you're waiting in a hospital surgery waiting room as I was!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 262 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book-not what I expected based on the jacket.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 275 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of Iris Johansen earlier books, a stand alone story before her best selling Eve Duncan books. If fate suddenly made you more beautiful than you ever dreamed possible, would it be the begining of a fairy tale or you worst nightmare. How far will she go for the revenge of her husband and child's murder? Good read!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 106 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Iris Johansen's books are great.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Johansen is always a good read. How do you cope with going from a plain Jane to a beauty queen and deal with a stalker?
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this one was a thriller and you fall in love with NELL. and get so caught up you can not put it down
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very fast paced. A really great main character and a compelling story.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on
Helpful Score: 1
A great, fun read!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really liked this book. I usually have a hard time reading books like this one but it was a fast read. The book also kept me drawn in wanting to know what happen next.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
excellent book...easy read...
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with an exquisite beauty found only in fairy tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending, instead, her descent into terror has just begun.

Her attacker is still on the hunt, determined to finish what he's started. And Nell, protected by a new face, is just as determined to fight bak and take her revenge. But to catch her prey, she will have to expose herself - even if it makes her a killer's prime target.

I just finished this book last night - couldn't put it down. If you like a good thriller with a great ending this book won't disappoint you.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Thriller. Tale of revenge, betrayal, and survival.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 178 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good author--good book
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book. I have read it muli times.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on
Helpful Score: 1
THE UGLY DUCKLING was captivating from the beginning and nothing like the fairy tale for which it is named. The story of Nell Calder, an average looking woman who was told how ugly she was all of her life and came to believe it, is thrown into the middle of murder and mayhem. What she didn't realize was that she was at the center of that nastiness. She miraculously survives an assassination attempt, while everyone else at a party is murdered, including her daughter. She comes through, but is so badly injured she requires a completely new face, compliments of the world's top plastic surgeon. All of the recovery is arranged by Nicholas Tanek her self-imposed guardian angel, or is he?
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this was one of her best
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Highly enjoyed, fast paced and a quick read.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 809 more book reviews
Great mystery you can't put down.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 313 more book reviews
I normally like Iris Johansen, but this novel left something to be desired in my eyes. The book starts out with our heroin being so very meek and, while not ugly, very "plain" and somewhat plump. This irritated me, as it's assuming, as so many other books do, that the plump women in the books are always plain or ugly, OR that if the woman in the book is plain, she's always heavier than the described "beauty," which, of course, is always thin and in perfect shape. Get real people. Just once I'd like to read a book where our heroin is just a plain, average-looking, average-sized woman of today, if not heavy. So anyway, of course, after the attack, Nell receives plastic surgery, including more than is really necessary, which turns her into a "Helen of Troy" outrageously beautiful woman. Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything for giving Nell more brains. So many times throughout the book she's ready to go off half-cocked to run down her daughter's killer and her attacker...forgetting that the attacker is a professional hit man and she doesn't even know how to use a gun or find the hit man!! Again, no brains. Her savior and our hero, Nick, is the typical good-looking, studly man who's going to train her and, eventually, plots with her to take down, not only the hit man, but the man who hired him. Blah, blah, blah. You've read it, heard it, a dozen times before, and, I'm sure, written so much better, too. While I'd love to get this book off my bookshelf, I can't give it a review it doesn't deserve. Iris Johansen, sorry girl, you wrote a flop this time.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on
This was a great adventure novel with a little romance thrown in. I loved how mysterious all of the characters were. I never knew what to expect to happen!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 33 more book reviews
I loved this book, I could not put it down.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 65 more book reviews
The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with and exquisite beauty found only in fiary tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending. Instead, her descent into terror has just begun. Her attacker is still on the hunt, determined to finish what he's started. And Nell, protected by a new face, is just as determined to fight back and take her revenge. But to catch her prey, she will have to expose herself even if it makes her a killer's prime target.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 1829 more book reviews
Great story, enjoyed very much.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 73 more book reviews
One of my fav aurthors!!!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 2 more book reviews
The ending was abrupt, but it wasn't disappointing. I would guess it would be worth getting the unabridged version.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 257 more book reviews
Awesome! Will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end!
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 171 more book reviews
GOOD MYSTERY AND ROMANCE
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on
Nell's story, (including murder, suspense and revenge) is a page turner.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 145 more book reviews
There were parts that were slow for me, but once it took off, I really enjoyed it and it made me want to read the rest of her books.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 8 more book reviews
Thriller, stalking, and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 344 more book reviews
The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with an exquisite beauty found only in fairy tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending. Instead, her descent into terror has just begun. Her attacker is still on the hunt, determined to finish what he's started. And Nell, protected by a new face, is just as determined to fight back and take her revenge. But to catch her prey, she will have to expose herself - even if it makes her a killer's prime target.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 389 more book reviews
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Plain, soft-spoken Nell Calder isn't the type of woman to inspire envy, lust - or murderous passions. Until one night on an exotic island in the Aegean Sea, at an elegant gathering that should have cemented her husband's glorious career in finance, the unimaginable happens ... and in the space of a heartbeat, Nell's life, her dreams, her future are shattered by a spray of bullets and the razor edge of a blade. Though badly hurt, Nell emerges from the nightmare a woman transformed. Delicate surgery gives her an exquisitely beautiful face. Rehabilitation gives her a strong, lithe body. And Nicholas Tanek, a mysterious stranger who compels both fear and fascination, gives her a reason to go on living: revenge - at any price. Enigmatic, with a shadowy past and more secrets than Nell could ever imagine, Tanek knows far more about the attack than he is willing to admit. Yet when he divulges the identity of her assailant to Nell, he makes the biggest mistake of his life. For as Nicholas gets closer to his quarry, he'll find his carefully laid plans jeopardized at every turn by a bold woman daring to strike out on her own. And Nell will find her mission imperiled by Tanek's dangerous magnetism, a temptation to which she cannot afford to surrender.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 93 more book reviews
Fast pace story.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 58 more book reviews
A great psycological thriller/romance.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 459 more book reviews
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Plain, soft-spoken Nell Calder isn't the type of woman to inspire envy, lust - or murderous passions. Until one night on an exotic island in the Aegean Sea, at an elegant gathering that should have cemented her husband's glorious career in finance, the unimaginable happens ... and in the space of a heartbeat, Nell's life, her dreams, her future are shattered by a spray of bullets and the razor edge of a blade. Though badly hurt, Nell emerges from the nightmare a woman transformed. Delicate surgery gives her an exquisitely beautiful face. Rehabilitation gives her a strong, lithe body. And Nicholas Tanek, a mysterious stranger who compels both fear and fascination, gives her a reason to go on living: revenge - at any price. Enigmatic, with a shadowy past and more secrets than Nell could ever imagine, Tanek knows far more about the attack than he is willing to admit. Yet when he divulges the identity of her assailant to Nell, he makes the biggest mistake of his life. For as Nicholas gets closer to his quarry, he'll find his carefully laid plans jeopardized at every turn by a bold woman daring to strike out on her own. And Nell will find her mission imperiled by Tanek's dangerous magnetism, a temptation to which she cannot afford to surrender.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 8 more book reviews
All Iris Johansen books are excellent.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on
One of my favorite female authors
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 608 more book reviews
If fate suddenly made you more beautiful that you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fairy tale, or your worst nightmare?
The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with an exquisite beauty found only in fairy tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending. Instead, her descent into terror has just begun.

Her attacker is still on the hunt, determined to finish what he's started. And Nell, protected by a new face, is just as determined to fight back and take her revenge. But to catch her prey, she will have to expose herself--even if it makes her a killer's prime target.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 6 more book reviews
This is an older book but well worth getting; I read this years ago and HAD to reread it. Haunting story about an overweight girl who is transformed....
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 11 more book reviews
not realistic to my life, but a good read
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 12 more book reviews
I couldn't really get into this book, and actually stopped reading about 1/4 way through, which I never do. Just wasn't crazy about her writing style, maybe.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 5 more book reviews
liked it-had some twists
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 496 more book reviews
This was a new author for me. The book seemed to hold my interest with an interesting plot.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 756 more book reviews
From the back cover: If fate suddenly made you more beautiful than you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fairy tale...or your worst nightmare?

A spectacular tale of revenge, betrayal...and survival
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 18 more book reviews
Very good thriller.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 116 more book reviews
If fate suddenly made you more beautiful that you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fairy tale, or your worst nightmare?

The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with an exquisite beauty found only in fairy tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending. Instead, her descent into terror has just begun.

Her attacker is still on the hunt, determined to finish what he\'s started. And Nell, protected by a new face, is just as determined to fight back and take her revenge. But to catch her prey, she will have to expose herself--even if it makes her a killer\'s prime target.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 1072 more book reviews
If fate suddenly made you more beautiful than you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fairy tale, or your worst nightmare....good Johnasen novel...quick read...good thriller...moves right along....
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 76 more book reviews
Read it quite awhile ago but no i liked it.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 63 more book reviews
If fate suddenly made you more beautiful than you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fairy tale, or your worst nightmare....
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 98 more book reviews
The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with an exquisite beauty found only in fairy tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending. Instead, her descent into terror has just begun.

Her attacker is still on the hunt, determined to finish what he's started. And Nell, protected by a new face, is just as determined to fight back and take her revenge. But to catch her prey, she will have to expose herself - even if it makes her a killer's prime target.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 111 more book reviews
Plain, soft-spoken Nell Calder isn't the type of woman to inspire envy, lust - or murderous passions. Until one night on an exotic island in the Aegean Sea, at an elegant gathering that should have cemented her husband's glorious career in finance, the unimaginable happens ... and in the space of a heartbeat, Nell's life, her dreams, her future are shattered by a spray of bullets and the razor edge of a blade. Though badly hurt, Nell emerges from the nightmare a woman transformed. Delicate surgery gives her an exquisitely beautiful face. Rehabilitation gives her a strong, lithe body. And Nicholas Tanek, a mysterious stranger who compels both fear and fascination, gives her a reason to go on living: revenge - at any price. Enigmatic, with a shadowy past and more secrets than Nell could ever imagine, Tanek knows far more about the attack than he is willing to admit. Yet when he divulges the identity of her assailant to Nell, he makes the biggest mistake of his life. For as Nicholas gets closer to his quarry, he'll find his carefully laid plans jeopardized at every turn by a bold woman daring to strike out on her own. And Nell will find her mission imperiled by Tanek's dangerous magnetism, a temptation to which she cannot afford to surrender.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 5 more book reviews
This is a very intense thriller. A real page turner.

From back cover. If fate suddenly made you more beautiful than you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fairy tale, or your worst nightmare.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 74 more book reviews
If fate suddenly made you more beautiful than you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fair tale, or your worst nightmare.....
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 534 more book reviews
The back cover of "The Ugly Duckling" asks: "If fate suddenly made you more beautiful than you ever dreamed possible, would it be the beginning of a fairy tale, or your worst nightmare...?" However, that rhetorical question does not even come close to scratching the surface on this thriller by Iris Johansen because by the time Nell Calder is transformed into a beautiful swan she is already living a horrible nightmare. As a little girl it was pounded into Nell's head by her mother than she was never going to be the swan, always the ugly duckling. As an adult Nell is married to a handsome executive and has a four-year old daughter, but the doubts are always there. Then there is an attack on a party at which her husband and child are killed and Nell is horribly scarred. Yes, she emerges as a stunning beauty, but inside is that creature of doubt, transformed not so much by the amazing surgery but by the brutality of events.
If this is a fairy tale then Johansen is clearly writing a very grim fairy tale. Because Nell was not just an innocent bystander, she was a target of the attack and the killer is still after her. As much as Nell would like to know why this is still happening to her, the more primal part of her sees the opportunity not just to fight back but to claim revenge for her loved ones and finally get back at those nagging voices her mother put inside her brain. With her new face, Nell has effectively disappeared from the killer's radar. But then she figures out that the only way to catch the killer is to let him think he has caught her.

Surely this book is in development somewhere off in Tinsel Town with actresses fighting over the role and trying to figure out how they will make themselves look like the "before" Nell. I like a story of revenge as much as the next person and this one delivers just desserts to all of the characters. "The Ugly Duckling" is not great fiction, but it is a first class, fast moving thriller where the psychological dimensions of survival are given as much play as the physical. Of course, if you stop and think about it, most fairy tales have their nightmarish aspects, so maybe that back cover blurb was not off as much as we might have thought.
AMAZON.COM READER'S REVIEW
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 91 more book reviews
The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with an exquisite beauty found only in fairy tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending. Instead, her descent into terror has just begun.

Her attacker is still on the hunt, determined to finish what he's started.
reviewed The Ugly Duckling on + 8 more book reviews
The brutal attack should have killed anybody, but Nell Calder did more than survive. She emerged a woman transformed, with an exquisite beauty found only in fairy tales. Nell Calder deserved a happy ending. Instead, her descent into terror has just begun.

Her attacker is still on the hunt, determined to finish what he's started. And Nell, protected by a new face, is just as determined to fight back and take her revenge. But to catch her prey, she will have to expose herself--even if it makes her a killer's prime target.