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Elle in the Great NorthWest

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

Beaverton, OR, United States

ratings
244
REVIEWS
238
FOLLOWING
40
FOLLOWERS
227
HELPFUL VOTES
952

  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2596)
    Performance
    (2349)
    Story
    (2355)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Weird semi si-fantasy. Quite creepy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is a bit creepy, a sort of Twilight Zoneish kind of writing. A real surreal sense of What the Hell???? happens to protagonist Ethan Burke when he arrives in, what appears to be a quiet Rocky mountain town. As the story arc continues the strangeness increases until the reader is just as confused as the protagonist..something I appreciate in a book-I like stories that I can't figure out ahead of time.

    This plot takes a lot of left turns without signaling and I found myself having to really pay attention to what I was listening to..something I'm not in the habit of doing as audio books are a kind of "listen while doing something else" thing for me. I had to rewind (in a digital way) several times. Ethan suffers several prisoner of war flashbacks that seem to effect him as he tries to make sense of his missing phone, wallet, inability to contact the world outside Idaho and the listener starts to wonder if he is going thru mental instability and everything is really as it should be. There was a real "Children of the Corn" moment in the book, as Ethan finds himself being chased by The Pines children as he runs, naked, thru the town trying to get away all the time knowing that theres no way of leaving the town. I was listening to this while my grand daughter was reading and she told me to put on headphones as the story was scaring her-shes 9.

    On the other side, I wondered why it took Ethan so long to decide thing in The Pines were not normal. Why didn't he go to a bank and tyy to contact his home bank for money? Why not call his credit card company and get a new card-and if he was unable to do these things, it seemed he would have figured out that the town was not normal sooner. It just wasn't what an average person would do, much less a Secret Service Agent.

    I'm sure some will think the story should rate 5 stars for excitement alone...but for me, it didn't. I couldn't get away from the B movie or TV series feeling, an Under the Dome, Outer Limits, TZ version of sci-fi/fantasy. it was good, but not that good. It held my attention but seemed -well-too contrived. I went between 3 and 4 stars. for me 3 is an average novel-nothing sterling or wonderful/nothing awful either. Just Meh..its ok. But it was more than that. It was a different story arc with a lot of but....why is this his thinking?

    I dunno. A strange book, worth a listen for a real fan of B grade movies and stories.

    The narrator was great, however. I've never listened to Paul Garcia before but I'll be sure to check out other audio books he's done. His work was real solid 5 star for me-masculine but not Dick Hill-ish in tone. Dramatic but not overdone. He does the weird parts very nicely, with a touch of irony that kind of got me on occasion.

    A good listen even for urban fantasy readers and a must listen for those who love the strange. Good luck!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dawn Patrol

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (112)

    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"
    "I've gotten Hooked on Don Winslow and Ray Porter!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first listened to a Don Winslow audible book about a month ago and since then I've become totally hooked on the surfing scene he writes so wonderfully of..a scene I grew up with in the late 1950's and 1960's, first surfing at Ventrura County Line in 1958 when my family was camping on the beach for a month..something my folks loved to do...set up an old canvas army tent right on the sand and live at the beach for free..long before pay to camp parks with all the luxuries (like out houses).

    Makes me long to go back when I hear the dialogue in The Dawn Patrol...it was a wonderful time and this is one wonderful book.

    Well worth the listen-there is a lot more to the plot than riding waves and it really drew me in

    Enjoy this series..I sure am!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Trail to Buddha’s Mirror: A Neal Carey Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    Robert Pendleton is a chemical genius with a fertilizer worth a fortune to whoever controls the formula. Not surprisingly, the Bank, his notoriously exclusive backer, wants to keep an eye on its investment. But so does the CIA. And the Chinese government. And a few shadier organizations. So when Pendleton disappears from a conference in San Francisco, along with all of his research, Neal Carey enters the picture.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Book 2 in the Neal Carey Mysteries"
    "Book 2 in the Neal Carey Mysteries"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don Winslow and Joe Barrett are a great pair...Winslows writing is enhanced by Barrett's narrating..reading reviews of this series I see I'm not the only one who appreciates this duo.

    Carey is a PI who seems to get into a lot of trouble, no matter where he is he finds something or someone who causes him problems..with fixes that I haven't guessed yet..I like that in a mystery!

    If you haven't read Don Winslow's books, I encourage you to give them a try..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Cool Breeze on the Underground

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (93)

    Neal Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, usually on the wrong side of the law. Then he met a P.I. who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. They pay Neal's college tuition, and Neal gets an education that can't be found in any textbook, from learning how to trail a suspect to mastering the proper way to search a room. Now it's payback time.

    S. O'Brien says: "Wicked Fun"
    "Joe Barrett and Don Winslow.what a pair of winners"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My second Don Winslow novel but first narrated by Joe Barrett is a truly compulsive listening experience.

    Though I very much enjoyed the plot with it's plot of Neil and all the back story with the senator, Alli, and the other various characters from a Senator hoping to be Vice President to the pimp that push Alli into the streets, I really connected with Joe Barrets narration. He's great!

    I loved this book and am looking forward to other Neil Carry stories in this series. and I'll be also looking for more narrated by Joe Barrett!

    Well wrath a credit...but only if you want to purchase the other novels in this series..they are addicting!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Still Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lisa Genova
    • Narrated By Lisa Genova
    Overall
    (802)
    Performance
    (458)
    Story
    (468)

    Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At 50 years old, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world - forever.

    Ira says: "Incredibly stimulating and thought-provoking"
    "Attention Grabbing - Genova can really express her"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I imagine everyone has had periods of unawareness or forgetfulness, of getting tongue twisted, forgetting names of friends or even appliances-I once asked my eldest son to mow the living room carpet and vacuum the yard for me...he would have done it just to be mean if I didn't stop him.

    In any case, Still Alice made me so aware of what can be in store for any of us--and not necessarily just when we age.

    I found the reading to be less than ideal though and think the author could have served herself better by using a professional narrator instead of narrating it herself.

    However, the material itself is so compelling I can almost excuse the poor narration..Encourage listening or reading this novel..well worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Until Tuesday

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Narrated By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (767)
    Performance
    (599)
    Story
    (603)

    A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. In constant physical pain, he soon found himself unable to climb a simple flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank; he argued; he cut himself off from those he loved. Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever....

    Char says: "Very Good Book"
    "Nicely read by the author, Tuesday is a great dog."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Montalvan writes very compassionately about his bonding with service dog "Tuesday" and how they come to learn about and understand each other.

    A dog lovers dream of a novel, I recommend it to anyone who has a friend who relative who has been thru the Middle East wars or even Viet Nam.

    Of course I had a few tears towards the end of the book, but I do love animals and have a friend who uses a service dog herself.

    Well worth a credit and your time

    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
    (312)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (185)

    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"
    ""New To Me" author writes of aging Mafia/surf bum"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know how I've missed author Don Winslow and his So Cal Surf Scene novels but I'm glad I found him. This rather strangely plotted book tells the story of a retired mafia hit man known as Frankie Machine who would rather stay retired from his hit man job and focus on early morning surfing, his bait shop on the pier and as fish supplier to 4&5 star restaurants.

    Unfortunately Frankies Boss man has other ideas.

    If you haven't read Don Winslow, I think this is a good book to start in with. I found Frankie to be a basic nice guy who is shoved into situation he'd rather avoid.

    Worth the credit and your time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1632)
    Performance
    (1477)
    Story
    (1475)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "WWII women flyers /a good, interesting novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Though not the type of book I might normally buy, "Code Name Verity" surprised me by its captivating, real life look at UK women aviatrix and their striving to be allowed to fly combat type missions instead of just being the ferry pilots.

    Elizabeth Wein has authored a real tension filed novel that is beautifully narrated by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell as code name "Verity" and "KittyHawk"-Verity/Julie is captured and tortured while KittyHawk searches for her in war torn France and bemoans the fear she has of the loss of her pilots license.

    Well worth the listen and credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snowbound

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (119)

    For Will Innis and his daughter, Devlin, the loss was catastrophic. Every day for the past five years, they wonder where she is, if she is - Will's wife, Devlin's mother - because Rachael Innis vanished one night during an electrical storm on a lonely desert highway, and suspected of her death, Will took his daughter and fled. Now, Will and Devlin live under different names in another town, having carved out a new life for themselves as they struggle to maintain some semblance of a family.

    Barb says: "Better Than A Good Movie!"
    "Excellent novel..one of the best mysteries around"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I very much enjoyed listening to this narration of a great mystery. This was one of those books that seem written to be narrated for an audio book and the narrator was the perfect choice for it.

    Highly recommended for those who enjoy mysteries

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Web of Evil: A Novel of Suspense

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J.A. Jance
    • Narrated By Karen Ziemba
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (49)

    As she passes the site of a horrifying accident, Ali is grateful that it's no longer her job to report the news, until she finds out that the news is her own: the victim is Ali's cheating husband. And soon she'll find herself the prime suspect at the center of a terrifying web of evil.

    Cheryl says: "Disappointed in you, Judy!"
    "Exciting series-Jance at her best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book 2 in the Alli Reynolds series kept my interest as well as the first book. I can tell I'm going to enjoy this series, based in Sedona, AZ, though much of 'Web of Evil' takes place in Los Angeles.

    The trials and tribulations of Ms Reynolds do get a bit dramatic but anyone who has dealt with the LAPD knows that "Innocent until proven guilty" doesn't hold much sway there.

    Enjoyable, exciting and with an occasionally confusing story arc, I did enjoy listening to this novel and intend to purchase the 3rd and 4th in the series.

    If you like dramatic storytelling this is a good series to start on a cold winters night!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Evil

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By J. A. Jance
    • Narrated By Kris Faulkner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    Successful TV journalist Alison Reynolds' career comes to an abrupt end when top executives decide they need a "younger face". As if that's not enough, Ali discovers her media mogul husband is cheating on her: and her best friend from high school is missing.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Book 1 of new Jance series"
    "Book 1 of new Jance series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read all the Beaumont and Johanna Brady books over the years-especially liked Beaumont's tough gritty cop and if you haven't read these now somewhat dated stories, they are still worth perusing.

    I was interested in this new series and thought I'd try the first..and found it very enjoyable, written with Jance's usual tight plot intrigues and containing sufficient side story arcs to keep my interest as I recover from surgery..audio books are the best things for recovering in a nursing home where you share a room-can't sleep? Can't keep the light on all night? Get out the iPad and headphones and listen until you do fall asleep.

    I've already purchased books 2 & 3 in the series, even though there are negative reviews, I want to make my own mind up about it.

    Reviews to come.
    Elle in Oregon

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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