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The Listening Ones (Tree People) ebook

by Naomi M. Stokes

When a young boy is brutally murdered, Jordan Tidewater, tribal sheriff for the Quinalt Nation, suspects a Native American is responsible and embarks on a painful journey into the buried past of her people to uncover the truth. 20,000 first printing.
I enjoyed "The Tree People" quite a lot despite some typical first-novel flaws. Unfortunately this book, despite a promising beginning, didn't follow suit. The middle was a total deviation into Harlequin-style sexual fantasy, the descriptions of Quinault ritual were an insult to Native spirituality, and the ending contained so much Deus-ex-machina as to be laughable. My recommendation? Read "The Tree People" but give this one a pass.
Another wonderful story of the great Northwest.
A barely known gem. Odd, evolving, and quirky. Good service and an awesome read!
After reading both of Naomi Stokes's novels and having made three visits to tho Olympic Peninsula as a result, my wife and I have some pictures of it all scattered about our house. During one of the visits, we had occasion to come upon a fallen tree whose growth predated any explorers other than the original migratory tribal people in the area. Digging into the upheaved roots we have obtained alluvial stones seen by noone save ourselves and unknown ancients of the realm. On another visit we acquired some fresh Cedar from inside Quinault forest lands across the river from Tahola. Sacred stones and ceremonial cedar? Maybe so, but our most prized item from the Olympic visits resides in a photo taken while hiking along the Pony Bridge trail. Composed as a scenery catching wide-angle shot of my wife dwarfed by a majestic Douglas Fir as she leans against it (lovingly), the picture, after processing, reveals an upright-standing red headed figure not more than fifteen yards distant from her. Thanks to Naomi Stokes we have experienced the earth, the essence and the mystery she has so eloquently related.
There is malevolence spreading throughout the Quinalt Nation,
located along the shores of the Olympic Peninsula in the state of
Washington. Evil forces have been set in motion when men from another
country desecrate the Native American land with the ritual sacrifice of
their orphaned nephew. The corpse of the lad is found by Jordan
Tidewater, tribal sheriff. Recently Jordan was deputized as a U.S.
Marshal in order to help locate and halt the smuggling operations that
are killing native wildlife to glean their valuable body parts.
...... The death of the eight year old who is about the same age as her
own child, makes Jordan vulnerable to the charms of Loma Clemente, a
visitor to the area who claims he is seeking to buy machinery that
will be exported to his homeland to cut down the forest for the much
needed timber. Jordan feels a deep passion for the enigmatic and exotic
stranger, an emotion that she has not felt since her cheating husband
destroyed her personal image of herself several years ago. The sheriff
does not have much time to enjoy her awakening feelings. Forces are at
work that are on the brink of unleashing death and destruction upon her
people unless the shaman-law officer can uncover and squash them in
...... Naomi M. Stokes ingeniously paints a vivid and colorful picture of
the Pacific Northwest, imbuing the area with a sacred and haunting
mysticism that feels compellingly real. THE LISTENING ONES invokes a
sense of otherworldly existence in everyday life. This allows the
reader to comfortably switch paradigms from the more familiar
Judeo-Christian teachings. By easing the audience into viewing this
different perspective of the world, the novel becomes a rare glimpse
into understanding another value system of beliefs, turning the work
into that rare experience, an extremely enjoyable and educational
reading moment.

......Harriet Klausner
I am SO GLAD I found this book discarded at my workplace, and did not buy it at a store! The cover has gorgeous reviews all over it, the very stuff that induces me to buy NEW. I'd have been suckered in completely! Thank God, because I have never, I mean NEVER, disliked a book so much.

I hated the first chapter--all of you who've read it can surely "guess why"--but it made me desperate to keep reading. I wanted these bad guys to pay like I've never wanted it before.

So on I read, and on and on, and finally, I began to notice I was getting a great many lessons on supposed Indian lore that might not be genuine, but getting no closer to the come-uppance I desperately desired for the story's villains.

Not long after that, I began to notice there really WASN'T any story. The first chapter had misled me into expecting one.

I also began to pick up a theme. It was a protracted "defense" of the crime in chapter one, and it sounded like this to me: "Human sacrifice is kind of okay, really, and in fact, all of our religions and customs have it in one form or another. Nearly everything in human culture traces back to the concept of human sacrifice, especially the brutal sacrifice of little children, believed to be the best kind. The selling of Avon products from door-to-door in the 1950's may have sprung from the widely accepted ancient practice of sacrificing babies, believe it or not. Human sacrifice is kind of compelling and exciting and sexy, isn't it, if you give yourself a chance to honestly think about it? Taking part in a human sacrifice would be kind of a sign of your superiority, if you could just peel off your strait-laced, modern, moral, empathetic taboos and go with it. And best of all, sacrificing a precious human life for the purpose of getting everything you want in your own life REALLY WORKS!"

Rather than unfolding as I read, the story faded into non-existence, such that it took me several days to finish the book in my spare-spare time. Characters complicit with the main villains somehow became innocent bystanders, as if the author forgot they were in on it. I, too, felt that Ms. Stokes got tired of writing and wound it up in a frantic hurry instead of finishing. Just look at the typos! They get so thick toward the end, that you see these:


like you see in hurriedly-typed term papers for school, which a student corrects before handing it in. Where was the editor at Tor Books on this? Fire that guy! He could have saved this book. Why didn't he?

I hated the villain in "The Listening Ones" so terribly! Yet the author turned him into a comic book villain at the end, dispatching him in a couple of sentences! Folks, this is a book you can throw at the wall WAY, WAY MORE THAN JUST ONCE.

I must add, the romantic sex scene in "The Listening Ones" is the most well-written, well-conceived I've ever read. It was simply beautiful. What a shame! What a waste of characters, of creativity, of wonderful characterization, of plot-idea, of writer talent.

Hope the author straightens up someday and gets back to writing. This one was a career stopper.

As a reader, I have a right to be this nasty. I needed a good book, was promised a good book by the smash-hit reviews on the cover, was confused (as the publisher intended) into thinking those reviews were for this book, not its predecessor by the same author. I invested DEEPLY in the book. It really hurt.

Last thing! Don't read it for the Northwest Indian lore. It might be purely bogus, in fact I'm pretty sure it is. The author does not wield authority that gives a reader any assurance whatsoever that anything in the book can be taken to the knowledge-bank and there deposited without bouncing. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The Listening Ones (Tree People) ebook
Naomi M. Stokes
EPUB size:
1554 kb
FB2 size:
1947 kb
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1858 kb
Forge Books; 1st edition (June 15, 1997)
416 pages
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