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Andrew Pollack

Cumberland, Maine USA | Member Since 2005

177
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 43 reviews
  • 165 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
6

  • The Savannah Project: Jake Pendleton Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Chuck Barrett
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (210)

    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.

    Andrew Pollack says: "Even Scott Brick couldn't save a story arc"
    "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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Vigilantes: Anniversary Day Saga, Book 6 (Retrieval Artist Universe)

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    The looming threat of another attack spurs the moon’s chief security officer, Noelle DeRicci, to uncover the identity of the masterminds behind the Anniversary Day bombings before they strike again....

    Andrew Pollack says: "As a fan of Rusch's books, I'm a little frustrated"
    "As a fan of Rusch's books, I'm a little frustrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really look forward to Ms. Rusch's books in both her currently ongoing science fiction worlds but I'm growing a little tired of how she's rolling out the "Anniversary Day Saga". She's releasing a series of moderate to short length partial novels that don't really stand on their own, and don't complete a full arc as part of the larger story. This is a very well crafted part of a novel, but as a story on it's own is not satisfying at all. It's everything that "middle books in a series" get criticized for. There are only two more installments in this saga and I'll buy and read them, but I really think it should have been three or four much more complete books rather than eight incomplete ones.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To the Shores: The Empire's Corps, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    Four years after their abandonment by the now-fallen Empire, the Commonwealth of Avalon is expanding into interstellar space and making contact with other successor states. With suspicion high on both sides, the Commonwealth and the enigmatic Wolfbane agree to hold a diplomatic meeting on Lakshmibai, a neutral world. But Lakshmibai's government hates off-worlders and, with the fall of the Empire, sees its chance to be rid of the hated intruders once and for all.

    Jean says: "Gripping"
    "More of the same - with a smaller plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've liked this series so far, you'll probably like this one. There's very little of the broader political and societal changes going on in that region of space. This is a fight book. There's a setup, and then a big fight between very different forces, and it ends. There's a twist at the end that isn't entirely unexpected which provides a bit more of a reason for the fight and points to the what the next fight will be about. Mostly, I've you've gotten to book 6 in this series you won't want to miss this one but you also won't find it all that satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Positive: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David Wellington
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    The tattooed plus sign on Finnegan's hand marks him as a Positive. At any time the zombie virus could explode in his body, turning him from a rational human into a ravenous monster. His only chance of a normal life is to survive the last two years of the potential incubation period. If he reaches his 21st birthday without an incident, he'll be cleared.

    H. Woodward says: "Once upon a time, a bunch of stuff happened"
    "Good - but not typical of other Wellington stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In what seems to be a new trend in "Zombie" and other post apocalyptic stories, this one is set in the recovery period, a generation after the collapse. That's a good thing, as I think the stories of collapse are interesting but it would be a real challenge to find something fresh and new in that area. The recovery here is not as complete as in, say, Mira Grant's stories. That leaves a broad canvas for Wellington to tell his story and he uses it well.

    I was excited to see another Wellington book. I thought "13 bullets" and the books that followed it were one of the most gritty, brutal, and dark takes on the monster genre I've come across. They reminded me of John Steakley's "Armour" (there's a guy who understands what fear is). Positive is different. In a lot of ways it feels younger, more hopeful, and it's definitely less graphic in its brutality.

    There are some very hard themes here, and if you're sensitive to those you may want to give this a pass. Wellington addresses the vulnerability of young women and girls in a lawless society in a very direct way that may bother some readers -- though he is never graphic or puerile in those descriptions. For me, the balance was about right. Be warned, however. If you have a history with, or are particularly sensitive to, that kind of sexual exploitation the mention of it even without graphic descriptions could be upsetting.

    Overall, I enjoyed the book even though it wasn't quite what I expected.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Departure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By A.G. Riddle
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Scott Aiello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1290)
    Performance
    (1135)
    Story
    (1134)

    Harper Lane has problems. In a few hours, she'll have to make a decision that will change her life forever. But when her flight from New York to London crash lands in the English countryside, she discovers that she's made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined. As Harper and the survivors of Flight 305 struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of the crash, they soon realize this world is very different from the one they left. Their lives are connected, and some believe they've been brought here for a reason.

    Matthew says: "The start of a new series I suspect.."
    "A badly written novel, performed very well"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Insipid. There were so many positive reviews of this book that decided to try it. What a mistake. This seems like what you'd get if a writer of bad, g-rated, romance novels tried to imitate Michael Crichton. If Dan Brown had written The Lake House, maybe this would be it.

    There are maybe three interesting ideas in here, which you get beaten on the head with over and over until you want to scream "just get on with it!". The last hour of this book, which I was listening to in the car, was so unnecessarily drawn out that it gave me road rage. I nearly pulled off at a rest stop just to download something else.

    The only thing that made this even a small bit tolerable was Scott Aiello's performance -- which was nearly perfect, as always. I can't really find fault with Nicola Barber's performance either, except that I don't care for the style and that's about me, not her. She also got stuck with a lot of the most sappy and insipid parts of the reading so that worked against her.

    Look, it's more of a romance story couched in a pseudo science fiction setting than it is an action or science fiction story. If that's your thing, well, whatever gets you through night is fine with me, but if you're into any kind of real science fiction, serious action, or decent mystery writing, look somewhere else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Three-Body Problem

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Cixin Liu
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (236)
    Story
    (236)

    Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

    Josh says: "They create a computer using a 30 million man Army"
    "It's very, very Chinese. I don't get the hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is extremely well reviewed on Audible and I don't really get it.

    It's interesting, and it's very intellectual. I usually like that sort of book. I don't need a lot of shooting scenes to enjoy a book that's densely packed with science. This book pretends to be densely packed but it's really only vague references to the real science and then huge fictional leaps. The story itself is all tied up with the idea of big social political movements in a very Chinese way. The exploration of how these waves of political thought influence the way people live can be very tiring for those of us who have not grown up in such a culture.

    The ideas are interesting, a couple of the characters are terrific, but overall I don't really rate this very highly.

    As far as Luke Daniels -- he does an excellent job. He's quite skilled and not the least bit lazy. I just don't care for his voice or his tone or something that I can't put my finger on. I can't fault his work in any way, and I've given the performance the highest ratings of the review. It's just a matter of taste.

    0 of 0 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
    (2072)
    Performance
    (1847)
    Story
    (1850)

    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.

    withpatience says: "the narration was good as always, the story was no"
    "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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    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
    (25)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    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
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    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
    (4807)
    Performance
    (3010)
    Story
    (3031)

    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

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