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Andrew Pollack

Cumberland, Maine USA | Member Since 2005

161
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 38 reviews
  • 160 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
5

  • The Reversal: Harry Bosch, Book 16 (Mickey Haller, Book 3)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3933)
    Performance
    (2046)
    Story
    (2056)

    Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.

    Andrew Pollack says: "Brilliantly executed"
    "Brilliantly executed"
    Overall

    Connelley's newest brings his two most well known characters together in a masterfully crafted story of legal gamesmanship and investigatory prowess very much in the style of Law and Order that is more heavily written as a Mickey Haller courtroom procedural than a police thriller. Harry Bosch plays a significant role, maybe as much as 40% of the story --and provides much of the action in the book, but it is the interaction of the two that adds some real personal interest. The half brothers are getting to know each other a little as are their daughters and these relationships promise avenues for some terrific storytelling in the future.

    I think what impressed me the most about how Connelly executed this work was what he didn't do. There were at least half a dozen times in the book where he'd left the opportunity open for fairly obvious plot devices that authors over use to manipulate the reader or force a dramatic turn of events. Connelly's skill is in understanding that jaded readers expect these things and cynically predict them as we're reading. Just as we get to the point where we expect to turn the page to find the predictable forced plot twist, the story resolves in beautiful simplicity that feels far more real than any contrived t.v. show style drama. Bravo to Connelly for resisting the obvious. That said, there were some missed opportunities here that I think hint at future stories. For example, I look forward to some adventures that feature the newly acquainted cousins. I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars. It was a good story and well executed, but may have left a little too much of the sub plot on the editing room floor.

    31 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • Saint Odd: Odd Thomas, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    Overall
    (684)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (615)

    Odd Thomas is back where it all started…because the time has come to finish it. Since he left his simple life in the small town of Pico Mundo, California, his journey has taken him to places strange and wonderful, mysterious and terrifying. Across the land, in the company of mortals and spirits alike, he has known kindness and cruelty, felt love and loss, saved lives and taken them - as he's borne witness to humanity's greatest good and darkest evil.

    G. House Sr. says: "The Ends Justifies the Means"
    "Some high spots, but overall blah."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Trying to avoid spoilers here. This is really just a loose-ends cleanup attempt wrapped up in a pretty straightforward story arc. If you, like me, have found that Koontz's writing in recent years has gotten increasingly lazy you won't be surprised. It was good to see many of the more memorable oddball characters from the series make an appearance, and a strange attempt was made to tie a lot of things together that we never really saw as needing to be connected.

    Unfortunately, like so many other Koontz books, the end just kind of falls off a cliff. Since he ended the Moonlight Bay books, Odd Thomas was the only interesting stuff he's done -- and that was getting pretty tired by the end. At least now the series is wrapped up (unless he does something really contrived).

    Dean Koontz moved from my "buy immediately" to my "wait for it to get cheap" list years ago for everything but Odd Thomas. Now he's moved to my "if there's nothing else" list.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ragamuffin

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tobias Buckell
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The Benevolent Satrapy rule an empire of 48 worlds, linked by thousands of wormholes strung throughout the galaxy. Human beings, while technically "free", mostly skulk around the fringes of the Satrapy, struggling to get by. The secretive alien Satraps tightly restrict the technological development of the species under their control. Entire worlds have been placed under interdiction, cut off from the rest of the universe.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great follow up to Crystal Rain"
    "As good as, or better than, book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A well tailored addition to the series with it's own story arc well integrated into the overall arc of the series. As with the first, there is a satisfying ending here so that you can choose to go on with the series to see how things develop or you can stop and still be satisfied.

    Masterfully planned and very well read -- one of the few times that switching an narrator wasn't a disaster. I wish the narrator from the first could be there reading the parts from the characters he handled so well in the first, and that Robin Miles could be doing just the new main character here since it's nearly an even split. Still, she does a good job pulling it of.

    I don't want to give anything away here, so no plot summary from me. I'll just say that it's a fantastic story in the same universe, that we learn much more about the aliens and humans, that we learn more about some of our favorite characters and are introduced to some good new ones.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian Race

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Gregory Benford
    • Narrated By Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    When an explosion of the rocket launching the Mars Transit Vehicle kills four crewmen, the US decides to redirect its energies to near-Earth projects, killing the manned mission to Mars. But tycoon John Axelrod assembles a consortium to fund the project, and he expects to net billions. But a European-Asian airbus will make a similar expedition. Now, the race is on to get to the Red Planet first.

    Matthew says: "Pack your woolies when you go on this voyage."
    "Dragged a bit - but was still interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard not to compare this with "The Martian" which was one of the best new SF stories I've read in years, and extremely well read as an audio book. Benford's book is probably both far more rooted in the realistic problems of Martian environment and also far more optimistic and speculative about the possibility for any existing Martian biosphere. This story has a much more human angle and I think some of that human drama was far to simplified and even cynical (the details about the corporate and government workings, in particular). The story was still interesting, the concepts were good, and I was entertained.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crystal Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Tobias Buckell
    • Narrated By Prentice Onayemi
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Long ago, so the stories say, the old-fathers came to Nanagada through a worm's hole in the sky. Looking for a new world to call their own, they brought with them a rich mélange of cultures, religions, and dialects from a far-off planet called Earth. Mighty were the old-fathers, with the power to shape the world to their liking - but that was many generations ago, and what was once known has long been lost.

    Andrew Pollack says: "I and I enjoyed this story very much!"
    "I and I enjoyed this story very much!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bravo! -- This works on several levels. It's a great mix of the hyper-modern and the simple pre-technology worlds. The culture, story arc, plot, and characters are all fully fleshed out, consistent, and well described. The story involves war between two cultures we don't usually hear much about in Science Fiction, one with roots in the Caribbean Sea and the other with roots in the Aztec world, marooned hundreds of years ago and just beginning to rise back to a beginning industrial technology level on a planet as a result of a larger interstellar conflict.

    The accents are well read and the characters interesting. An attempt is made to bring those cultures forward without losing too much of their identity. The story works fairly well at that and also as a terrific science fiction story about rebuilding and lost technology.

    The only thing missing, in my opinion, was the use of the linguistic concept of "I&I" (pronounced eye-and-eye) that is unique to Caribbean cultures. I've read other places that its use is a reference to the combined nature of the individual and his God as a both separate and unified. I think it's a beautiful addition to language and that the author missed an opportunity to incorporate it here. In all other respects, this is a fantastic novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Naked in Death: In Death, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4519)
    Performance
    (2751)
    Story
    (2767)

    Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over 10 years on the force, she's seen it all - and knows that her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire - and suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about - except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

    Felicity Fairchild says: "Don't Judge the Series by the First Book!"
    "Ugh. More romance than thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I wanted a romance novel, I'd go find one. There's a decent murder mystery here (though not great) wrapped around a bad romance novel. If any man ever actually acted the way the male hero in this book does, he'd be locked up rather than laid. I've also never man an abused woman who really just needs a good f*** in the role of a submissive to get over it. Talk about cliches. No, IMO, this is a pulp romance novel thinly disguised as a detective story -- which probably explains why it's so popular. The disguise lets people pretend to like it for one thing, when they really want the other. A bit like claiming to read playboy for the articles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crisscross: A Repairman Jack Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By F. Paul Wilson
    • Narrated By Christopher Price
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (77)

    Repairman Jack is back! Jack can fix any problem, natural or supernatural, for a price. Now, in his next gripping adventure, he takes on two cases at once. The first involves a nun being blackmailed. What’s in those photos, she won’t say, but with her meager savings just about exhausted, she hires Jack to help her. The second: an elderly woman needs Jack to find her missing son. Jack must infiltrate the inner reaches of the Dormentalist Church, a secretive, globe-spanning cult whose members include some of the biggest and most powerful names in entertainment, sports, and politics.

    shelley says: "Repairman Jack doing what he does best"
    "Mr. Wilson has really grown as a writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started with the prequel and have worked my way to this one. In my opinion the series started a little weak but entertaining. Over time, Wilson has gotten better and better and building complex plots with well planned surprises. In recent stories he's even "gotten" me a couple of times with surprises that I "should have seen coming" since the clues were all there. That's unusual for me. It's not perfect and if I wanted to pick at nits I could -- especially on some technical details -- but that's hardly the point. I'm not looking forward to the new narrator that is introduced later in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scattered Suns: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (807)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (392)

    The war between the alien hydrogues and the faeros rages, reducing suns to blackened shells - including one of the fabled seven suns of the Ildiran Empire. Instead of protecting themselves, the Ildirans engage in bloody civil war and the many factions of humanity are bitterly divided. Can mankind and Ildirans overcome their own internal fighting to face a deadly new enemy that is ready to annihilate them?

    Joel says: "GREAT Series....Narrator change from Book 4 on"
    "Switching to David Colacci was a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not a fan of Mr. Colacci's reading style. With no disrespect to this hard working narrator personally, I simply find that his reading carries the tone of someone reading to a child. I try to avoid picking books he's read when I'm shopping on Amazon.

    The rest of the book was in line with the rest of the series. It's a good, interesting, story with a lot going on and tremendous creativity. Anderson's world building is thorough and detailed, and doesn't lean too heavily on old ideas. On the other hand, it's a bit late in the series to be dropping in entirely new types of players to the plot. There's a hint of deus ex machina at play when that happens.

    Overall, I think four stars is about right.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6830)
    Performance
    (6327)
    Story
    (6333)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Joyce says: "Love this style of King!!!"
    "Maybe not King's magnum opus - but still very good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a big fan of Mr. King's work in the last several years. His books have been outstanding novels even if taken from the broader perspective of general fiction -- which is not something you can say about most horror or suspense novelists.

    Mr. Mercedes was good, but not quite on the "great" scale of some of his other work. I'd call it a solid, workmanlike novel that checks all the right boxes, keeps you interested, follows a reasonable story arc, and entertains you for the hours you listen. It won't haunt you or stay with you for years the way some of his work does.

    I'm glad I purchased it, and look forward to his next.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Savannah Project: Jake Pendleton Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Chuck Barrett
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (151)

    Terrorism, duty, and personal safety collide when Jake Pendleton, an investigator for the NTSB, is called to investigate an aircraft accident in Savannah, Georgia during the St. Patrick's Day celebration. The accident, which at first appears to be quite run-of-the-mill, turns out to be anything but. Since Jake is not willing to pretend there are no suspicious circumstances and more than the usual share of rather unlikely "coincidences," he sets off a veritable avalanche of secrets, violence and treachery.

    Cynthia says: "Skip the first 6 min. for a better story."
    "Even Scott Brick couldn't save a story arc"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's not so much a bad story, as just badly told. Scott Brick does a fairly good job narrating it, but you can tell that even he has a really hard time figuring out where to build tension. The story reaches a sort of ending then stretches on into a different story. It's like the author had a few different story ideas and sort of munged them together. The level of coincidental path crossing is almost silly. I've never gotten this far through a book and abandoned it with just an hour or two left to go, but I found I just don't care about anyone or anything in it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • DEAD: The Ugly Beginning

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By TW Brown
    • Narrated By Andrew McFerrin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (435)
    Performance
    (409)
    Story
    (408)

    The unthinkable has happened. The dead are walking! Humanity's fragile thread may be reaching its bitter end. Individuals and groups struggle to survive...some at any cost. Will there be anybody left? Or, is this just...The Ugly Beginning?

    Mike Naka says: "extremely graphic and brutal"
    "Very bad. Listen to the warnings in the comments"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is creepy in a bad way, not a good way. I'd been warned - in the comments there were other people saying that some of the discussion of the rape that goes on in the lawlessness that exists was a bit much. I'd say that's not really the problem. They're not really all that graphic, they just seem that way because they're so out of place. The problem is that it seems almost to be the purpose behind writing the book. The rest of content is about half story line and half depressing side stories that have nothing to do with any of the longer term characters. Those parts of the story that do follow any kind of plot arc are very thin and barely hold together as a framework that drags from one story about a pedophilic rapist to another. Only those parts of the story seem to really get the attention of the author. It's just bad, and I very much hope it doesn't reflect the inner mind of the author.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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