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Andrew M. Lechner

Andy L

Minneapolis, MN | Member Since 2014

  • 5 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2015

  • Hollowmen: The Hollows, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Amanda Hocking
    • Narrated By Eileen Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After six months in the quarantine, Remy finds out things are much worse than she feared. Her plans to escape come with a heavy cost, and she realizes that zombies aren't the worst of her problems. This is a young adult novel with language, violence, and sexual situations. Not recommended for readers under the age of 17.

    Joyce says: "As good as Hollowland"
    "I've never wanted a protaganast to die so much"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Insecure goth teen girls. Hocking attempts to envelop the protaganast, Remey, in the obnoxious, "you go girl" feministic power embodied by the Spice Girls coupled with the dystopian morbidity of Marlyn Manson. But her motivation is completely alien to someone with a fully developed adult brain. Throughout the series, Remey forces herself to be both the martyred motherly protector, responsible for the lives of people who are too stupid to live in a world filled with zombies, and the mauradering woman warrior companion of He-Man, destroying all that is evil - complete with female lion familiar. This wouldn't necessairly be a bad combination, but Hokings depiction of Remey is that of an angsty, coprecious teen girl who simply can't decide which of her impluses to act upon. She faces a constantly repeating story arc, where she sees an obvious danger, decides not to do anything about it for the sake some sort of misplaced feminine reservedness, waits until the problem becomes an emergency, then defeats the threat through some sort of go-girl super power. My guess is that this book might appeal to insecure teen girls who are going though the adolecent process of carving out an adult identity, but the protaganast's motivations are so exagerated that I find it hard to believe that anyone would enjoy listening to a story that is best described as a grossly distorted characture of human behavior.

    What could Amanda Hocking have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    One of two things. Either the protaganast could stop her cycle of perpetual self-doubt, and just kill the people who need to be killed as soon as she recognizes the need for killing. Or, the protaganast could be ripped to pieces by zombies in the first 5 minutes because she doubted an obvious instinct she knew to be right, which is a fate she rightly deserves.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Remey is strapped to a hospital gurney and is forced to close a surgical opening in her abdomen by herself, without anesthesia. This scene was my favorite because of the unintentional irony of an exceedingly strong woman who consistently makes poor decisions. Hockings was digging so unbelieveably deep to demonstrate Remey's toughness without realizing how the main character's willingness to make self-sacrafices undermines any strength she might posess. It's of no value for a young woman to be so though when she VOLUNTEERED to undergo horrific medical expiriments out of some misplaced sense of motherlyness. Strength gudied by stupidity isn't strength, it's a protracted weakness.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Decent zombie defense fortifications.

    Any additional comments?

    This is the only book that I stopped listening to so that I could imagine my own ending where the main character dies in the manner that she would actually die if she found herself in the plot line of this book.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • In the Tall Grass

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 46 mins)
    • By Stephen King, Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they've lost one another. The boy's cries are more and more desperate. What follows is a terrifying, entertaining, and masterfully told tale, as only Stephen King and Joe Hill can deliver.

    Gabe says: "Absolutly disgusting. Emotion provoking. Brilliant"
    "The Perfect Synergy of Two Like-Minded Authors"
    Would you consider the audio edition of In the Tall Grass to be better than the print version?

    Yes. The direction and the actors' execution achieved something far greater than what I could have interpreted through my imagination.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was when the husband first meets the black rock. And I think that this scene really showed the synergies between the this once in a generation opportunity for a father-and-son team comprised of two of the greatest living horror writers to use their obvious like-mindedness to create something really wonderful. And I hope they continue to write together. Stephen King does a masterful job creating characters who find themselves in a supernatural situation. The set up is always superb. But when it comes to the down and dirty manifestation of the supernatural, his stories are usually quite ethereal on the subject. Bag of Bones was awesome, but the depiction of what the supernatural creatures were was actually quite murky.Joe Hill does an excellent job painting a practical depiction of normal (an not so normal) people who find themselves in supernatural situations. 20th Century Ghosts is one of the best books of short horror precisely because Mr. Hill's characters react with such a frank honesty to truly weird situations that have very little predicate explanation.This story was the perfect merger of the "edge of your seat" set up that Stephen King is famous for, followed by a supernatural climax that addressed all of the very practical aspects of their situation, and in a way that the reader can really identify not only with the characters, but through their actions, understand the supernatural force they encounter.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The birth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Flu

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Druga
    • Narrated By Dave Courvoisier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Throughout history there have been several thousand different strains of influenza. Each year hundreds are active. Chances are, this year, you will catch one of those strains. You will cough, sneeze, and your body will ache. Without a second thought, you'll take a double dose of green liquid, go to bed, and swear you'll feel better in the morning. Not this time. Mutated and with a vengeance, the Spanish Flu returns. In a world blackened with plague, a glimmer of light exists in the small town of Lodi, Ohio.

    Maria says: "It was okay. Not my favorite."
    "Worst audiobook ever!"
    What would have made The Flu better?

    Nothing. The naration sounded like stick characters. When I heard the opening lines, I actually thought the speaker was going to be a comedian doing a character. It was like the narator couldn't do different normal voices, so he made up all of these bit characters. I could see him lowering his eyebrows to make the voice of a cowboy,

    Has The Flu turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes. This purchase made me really mad. I've already used my returns, and this was a total waste of money

    Would you be willing to try another one of Dave Courvoisier’s performances?


    What character would you cut from The Flu?

    The main character. The author's depecition of these family quirks might seem charming to her, but they are just annoying. If I saw pepole acting like they do (before the pandemic) I would walk away from them. And that's what I think you should do from this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Pure

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Julianna Baggott
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam, Joshua Swanson, Kevin T. Collins, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost. There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss - maybe just because his family is broken. When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

    D says: "Pure Surprise"
    "West-Side Story After the Bomb Read by Barney Fife"
    What disappointed you about Pure?

    Plot line had the real potential to depict a horrible atrocity, but was undermined by the sing-song naration and a love story obviously taken from Romeo & Juliet/West Side Story.

    Has Pure turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. I love this genere. And I love this narator. And I love a lot of her work within this genere. But it just didn't work here.

    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    I love this narrator. I really do, but only when her smokey, sexy voice is appropirate to the story. In this incredibly bleak plot line, the slow, choppy, suprised naration ("Welly Goly!") makes the horrific tradegy of nuclear war into farce reminicient of Mid-Summer Night's Dream.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Pure?

    I would cut out scenes within the dome. I get it. She's from a world of horrific poverty; he lives a life so fortunate that he can't comprehend his comforts; when they meet, their love is fueled by a growing understanding of the other's world. Bla, bla, bla... = West Side Story. I bought this book because great inspiration for the horrors of nuclear war, and it turned out to be the same re-packaged young adult fiction books following a plot formula designed for budding teen girls.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Jakarta Pandemic

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By Joseph Morton

    In the late fall of 2013, a lethal pandemic virus emerges from the Islamic Republic of Indonesia (IRI) and rages unchecked across every continent. When the Jakarta Flu threatens his picture-perfect Maine neighborhood, Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. As a seasoned sales representative for Biosphere Pharmaceuticals, makers of a leading flu virus treatment, Alex understands what a deadly pandemic means for all of them.

    deedeeg says: "Nice surprise"
    "OK within the genere, but frustratingly formulaic"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Only if they were hardcore pandemic/zombie fiction fans. It's a good story line that explores the long-term consequences of a world-wide pandemic that kills a lot of people and what daily life would be like if society collapsed. But if someone was new to the genere, I would recomend Day By Day Armagedon as a better use of a credit.The characters are incredibly formulaic, making the same bad decisions and facing the same consequence as every other protaganast following the JL Borne story arc platform. Like Borne, Konkoly is a Naval officer, having graduated from the Naval acadmey; and like Borne, the protaganast is also a retired Naval officer. What separates this book (and all the others riding on Borne's coat tails) is that the main characters consistently make decisions that the reader and the characters know are in thier own best interest. If the characters were unaware of how they jepordized their own safety, at least there would be the suspense created by irony of situation, but when the reader and the characters are aware of their bad decisions, it causes the listener to become incredibly frusterated with the characters' obvious stupidity.The body of decent pandemic/zombie liteature is fairly shallow, making this book better by comparison, but only within the genre. As a work of fiction within the greater Audible library, it wasn't that good. Someone new to the genere would be better off listenin to something else.

    What other book might you compare The Jakarta Pandemic to and why?

    Day By Day Armagedon by JL Bourne. Both are disaster/pandemic stories written by Naval officers with Naval officers as the main character.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The naration was consistently delivered in a "ho-hum" diction. It fell somewhere between the animated performance of Roy Dotrice and the chillingly detached litany of Jay Snider. My guess is that the casting director was trying more for the latter, but Joseph Morton's attempt at a cold delivery underscoring the gravity of the situation has a fatherly quality that just makes him sound bored with the story. This was the product of casting and not direction.

    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, if it was filmed on Peaks Island, because I'd like to see more of this really unique community that I hope to live in soon.

    Any additional comments?

    It was really exciting for me to listen to this book because it takes place on Peaks Island, outside of Portland, Maine. I actually have plans to move to this island in the near future, and as a hardcore pandemic/zombie fan, of course I've thought about how this island would offer haven from a world-wide pandemic. I'm guessing he lives there, and boy won't that be an akward experience running in to him after lambasting his work! Fortunately, he will have no idea who I am.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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