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Melanie

Raleigh, NC | Member Since 2015

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 75 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015
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  • The Dawn Patrol

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (128)

    Every morning Boone Daniels is out with the Dawn Patrol: four men and one woman as single-minded about surfing as he is, or nearly. They have real jobs; Boone works as a P.I. just enough to keep himself in fish tacos and in the water. But Boone is also obsessed with the unsolved case of a young girl named Rain who was abducted while he was with the San Diego police.

    Brian says: "Awesome"
    "Good and suspenseful but too much surfing....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I like Don Winslow's books and this one didn't disappoint overall. However, I am not a surfer and I think some of the surfing interludes went on too long and distracted from the story. The characters were good and like some of his other novels, I enjoyed how they moved back to the past to provide context. If you enjoyed Frankie Machine and the Power of the Dog, you should enjoy this although I found the latter two more enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The English Girl: Gabriel Allon, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1255)
    Performance
    (1078)
    Story
    (1080)

    Daniel Silva delivers another spectacular thriller starring Gabriel Allon, The English Girl. When a beautiful young British woman vanishes on the island of Corsica, a prime minister’s career is threatened with destruction. Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a game of shadows where nothing is what it seems...and where the only thing more dangerous than his enemies might be the truth.…

    Janels says: "Gabriel's story takes huge strides"
    "Disappointing and slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was my first Daniel Silva book and probably my last. I've enjoyed the Mitch Rapp series written by Vince Flynn and also enjoyed David Baldacci novels as well so was looking for something similar from a new author. I found this to be a book that dragged on and was very slow in parts and with a constant deluge of me characters throughout, it became confusing. By the end it was a struggle to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Solomon's Song: The Australian Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1613)
    Performance
    (1090)
    Story
    (1087)

    Here is the story of two families, branches of the Solomons, transported to an alien land. Both branches eventually grow rich and powerful. But through three generations, the families never, for one moment, relinquish their hatred for each other. This novel is also the story of Australia, from its beginnings to its coming of age as a nation.

    Anne says: "Breathtaking!"
    "Ran out of steam"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    First, narration was excellent as always. However, having listened to the other books in this trilogy, I felt this book ran out of steam. Predominately it was about Gallipoli and introduced a whole host of new characters. You lose contact with Hawk and the rest of the family and what is going on back in Australia. It felt like an entirely different story by the end. It wasn't bad though and the descriptions of WW1 are realistic and brutal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kane and Abel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    Overall
    (646)
    Performance
    (445)
    Story
    (442)

    William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other a penniless polish immigrant-born on the same day near the turn of the century on opposite sides of the world-are brought together by fate and the quest of a dream. Two men - ambitious, powerful, ruthless - are locked in a relentless struggle to build an empire, fueled by their all-consuming hatred.

    Elliot says: "Kane & Abel - 30 years later"
    "A gripping and interesting read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I had heard about this book growing up and through the years. However, I had never thought to read it. I decided to download it and I'm glad I did. The narration was good and the book is both tragic and inspiring. Reading it will take you through the range of emotions, through the brutality and poverty of pre WW1 Europe to the luxuries of post world war 2 America through the eyes of a driven Polish immigrant and a driven Harvard educated American.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3649)
    Performance
    (2632)
    Story
    (2639)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "A real gem and a pleasant surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I was looking for a different type of book as I usually go for authors I'm familiar with who have a formula. I'm really glad I took a chance on this book. It's a work of historical fiction loosely based on the true story of Ikey Soloman who supposedly Charles Dickens modeled his Fagin character after. I've only just finished this first installment and loved it. I definitely plan on reading parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy.

    First, the author's narration was excellent. He could do a number of different dialects from a posh British accent, to various British regional dialects. His narration helped create the wonderful richness within the characters of the book.

    The strength of the book itself are the characters who are both strong and deeply flawed. This is a novel that takes place over numerous years and over many continents. The characters' lives are intertwined and full of ebbs and flows, ups and downs. If you like books with richness of characters whose lives you follow over time, then this is the book for you. I fully recommend it - you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6497)
    Performance
    (5624)
    Story
    (5613)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "A Mixed Bag - good in parts, slow in others"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have to start off by saying that this was a different type of book to the ones I usually read. Having read the reviews, I felt this could be an intriguing and interesting change of pace. The story weaves in and out of the present and past, documenting the lives of different individuals whose lives seem intertwined with each other and yet separate. While this provides a clever and interesting backdrop, there were times I was a little bored and felt the story could have moved along. Without giving too much away, one major strength of the book was the way the author was able to elicit a range of emotions - from some very hilarious moments that had me laughing out aloud, to some sad and poignant reflections documenting some desperate and sad moments among some of the characters lives. Overall I'd say the book is worth it but be prepared to hang in there at the start as the story moves pretty slowly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4703)
    Performance
    (2831)
    Story
    (2832)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "Tough listening at times but powerful!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was a tough book to get through. First up it is LONG and deals with a difficult subject. The author definitely conveys the multiple issues that soldiers fighting in Vietnam experienced: camaraderie, humor, friendship, racial undertones, class system, inadequacies, bravery, appalling conditions, suffering......some of the incidents are drawn out and at times the story was slow (listening to a 30 minute episode about someone nearly die from having a leech crawl into their penis was tough !!!). However, that may be due to the richness of the character development. The narrator was very good and dealt with a variety of accents very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3885)
    Performance
    (3391)
    Story
    (3370)

    The four dead guards didn’t concern Mitch Rapp as much as the absence of the man they’d been paid to protect. Joe Rickman wasn’t just another foot soldier. For the last eight years Rickman had ran the CIA’s clandestine operations in Afghanistan. It was a murky job that involved working with virtually every disreputable figure in the Islamic Republic. More than a quarter billion dollars in cash had passed through Rickman’s hands during his tenure as the master of black ops and no one with a shred of sense wanted to know the details of how that money had been spent.

    K says: "Couldn't be better...except"
    "Tense and enjoyable thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was the first Vince Flynn book I've read and/or listened to. In the mold of David Baldacci, Lee Child (Jack Reacher) and others, the hero is a tough army type with a sixth sense. If you like mystery, intrigue, revenge, twists, this is the book for you. Although at times the story is a bit far fetched and unbelievable, if you like books to keep your attention and are fast moving, then you won't be disappointing. The narrator is pretty good and conveys the different characters well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (669)
    Performance
    (507)
    Story
    (507)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    "Good but not as good as Power of the Dog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I tried Frankie Machine having been utterly gripped by Don Winslow's book: The Power of the Dog. This book started off slowly. I'm not sure whether this was because I listened to it having just read The Power of the Dog. It took me a while to get into it but once I did, I enjoyed it. There was a compelling balance between switching from present to past, filling in how Frankie got into the predicament he was now in. Some humor mixed in with the typical mob violence. Nonetheless a good book, worth the read....even if it was not as compelling as the power of the dog.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8059)
    Performance
    (7018)
    Story
    (7014)

    Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

    M. Davis says: "Classic Nora - Outstanding!!!!"
    "Good moments and boring moments"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    One of the reviews below summed this book up well. It started off brightly - engaging the reader with the story of Elizabeth as a 16 year old being dragged in to the witness protection program having witnessed a murder. Fast forward 12 years. Rather than being a story about exacting revenge, it drifts into a love story between a small town cop and Elizabeth. The interactions and descriptions of their courtship dragged on and bored me. The ending appeared rushed and you would have liked to have known what happened to some of the earlier protagonists. The performance of the reader was OK although, her male impressions sounded slightly odd. Overall the book was OK - kept my interest but the ending was poor.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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