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Pollen (dystopian science fiction) [Kindle Edition]

Aaron Lamb
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10,000 copies downloaded. This dystopian sci-fi is a slow burning hit.

Rome and Shunka live on opposite sides of the city walls, but it's not only the walls that separate their lives, it's the air they breathe.

Rome Shackleton, a cafe shop owner is having a bad day, it's the ten year anniversary of a stunt that left him with a notorious reputation and a limp - his failed attempt to escape his home, New Hanoi. An off the books deal goes south with a local underworld bare knuckle fighter and the secretive Flower Factory sets their sights on him. He is plunged into an impossible choice, but in a world where every day is served the same he relished a chance for a change.

Across the walls the district of Little Tokyo buzzes in a fever of neon. Shunka, is a happy teenager, she is respected by her friends, has access to all the latest mods and hasn't even thought about the walls around her since she was a child. Running an errand for her boyfriend, she is pulled into a trap that will reveal the city for what it is and all its sinister secrets.

Review: "Very well-written, with a ton of great details, a real sense of place, and some great turns of phrase, with “cloud heaved its belly over the horizon,” being a particular standout for me. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Rome and Mae, and the dialogue felt quite natural to me throughout the chapters I read. I enjoyed the mix of high-tech (like the spring feet) and the archaic (the hand-crank fan). I thought you did a great job fleshing out the characters and the setting, as well." Michael Authonomy

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I am fascinated by the idea that we have access to so much information about the world, and a vast collection of human knowledge to learn from, yet we seem to create smaller and smaller silos and communities in which to live.  We create cultural bubbles that we never have to leave.

We insist on continually building walls.  We choose to engage in remote character assassinations instead of having a debate about ideas and beliefs.  We still build physical walls between countries like Morocco and Mali and Israel and Palestine.  We still repeat the mistakes of the past.  From the comfort of our chosen communities we sit back, pick a side and watch the hero and villain fight it out.

This book is about the futility of conflict, of villains and entrenched opinions in a digital age where we can always see both sides of the argument... if we choose.
I've always been a fan of science fiction and it's ability to take complex social and political situations and expose the roots of the issues.  This story is my attempt to do just that. 

Product Details

  • File Size: 364 KB
  • Print Length: 392 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BQK8Y92
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,110 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pollen needs polish August 20, 2013
By kattwmn
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book starts off strong, but it needs both content editing and proofreading. The bones are here for an excellent sci-fi novel, but it was rushed to publishing without the work of a professional editor to tighten it up and keep it from dragging at times and rushing at other times (for instance, towards the end we simply have the "bad guys" explain why they've done what they've done). There is also confusion with all the characters, sometimes it was tough to remember who was who and in many cases their motivations were never revealed. As for proofreading, it was bad enough to be distracting. I was actually wondering if it was written in another language and run through a translator. Some sentences have extra words, some are missing words, sometimes they simply aren't sentences, and sometimes a lack of correct punctuation makes it difficult to read. The author also needs to learn how to use apostrophes; luckily it wasn't the typical online use of apostrophes in plurals (had that happened I would have stopped reading), but throughout the book singular possessives are made into plural possessives due to where the apostrophe is placed and occasionally the apostrophes are just skipped entirely. I could go on and on, but I won't belabor the point. The end message is that the book is decent or I wouldn't have slogged through the errors to get to the end, unfortunately, I felt almost let down at the end since I was expecting a huge "secret" to be revealed, maybe even a paradigm shift, but it's really not too surprising of a conclusion -- or at least doesn't feel like a stunner the way it is presented. I think the help of a good editor could really polish this up and make it a winner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars overall a good read August 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Worth reading, but the writing is more of a work in progress. With polish, this could be a great book. It is certainly inventive and original. It does drag at times and needs a really good edit, both for punctuation and wordiness.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An electrifying ride through a future world! March 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel is an electrifying ride through a future world! The world is referred to by their community's name New Hanoi and Little Tokyo where people are held hostage. From the beginning, two stories alternate--what is happening in New Hanoi and in Little Tokyo, that, in chapter three, come together; and we begin to see the imminent danger the main character, Rome, is in. Rome owns the largest bookstore in New Hanoi. I won't spoil it by telling you what happens.

When I read this, I thought of George Orwell's 1984, but high technology driven. Microchips are implanted in people's bodies, which is an added threat to the seemingly private status of health. Even the character's feelings are not their own, which when aroused stimulate the heart and can reveal the truth. In short, privacy does not exist in this future world where hiding is an art.

Why the title "pollen"? Pollen is a substance that is critical to understanding the novel. (It is not the stuff that is carried by wind, that when you inhale, you sneeze.) In the novel, pollen is enticing, alluring and critical to the ongoing survival of this future world. If I explained what pollen is, it would give it away.

In this novel Pollen by Aaron Lamb, there is everything: science fiction, mystery and even romance. The insights the reader makes, by reading Pollen, can be applied to our society today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Acquired Taste August 18, 2014
By Karen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really don't have a lot to say about this book. It was relatively enjoyable I suppose but did not really hold my attention, I found myself putting it down to read a Walking Dead comic I had read before. I never connected with any of the characters and they all just seemed a little dull to me, and if you can't feel for the characters plight or like them. I liked the technology that was used and the concept behind the walled cities was pretty good too. The thing is it seemed to drag from scene to scene and never gave you enough of the characters or anything.

Rome Shackleton lives in New Hanoi and has managed to make something of himself after his stint as a celebrity for attempting to climb the wall and get a look at the outside world when he was a teen. Then he is given something which could not only change his life but that of everyone else in the city. Shunka resides in Little Tokyo and is a 19 year old Farmer (not what you think) which means she has a good life and can indulge herself in her love of new mods (modifications). Things start to go crazy when her friend is accused of stealing data from the farmers and Shunka must clear her name.

What neither of them know is that their lives and world are not what it seems to be and someone wants to watch what happens when things are stirred up.

I got this because the blurb sounded so interesting and I love science fiction, but maybe it was a bit to subtle or maybe I was to dense to get it. It was alright but not anything I would read again. I would say give it a try and see what you think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read :) July 26, 2014
By naomi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pollen, a dystopia science fiction novel of a not to distance future, hints of 'Snow Crash' and the 'Windup girl' in both tone and story.

The story is a slow burning thriller in many ways and the last third of the book really comes alive with bold ideas. The characters are also built up well, and when they make the choices they make, you believe them.

There's also a thread of a crumbling apocalypse that feels as though it's about to all come tumbling down around you.

Rome and Shunka are a good foil for each other. Rome the reluctant hero (or anti hero depending on your view) and Shunka the action packed, hot-headed heroine.

Told in chapters that flick between each character, their story is one that is all too common in the real world. Pressured to breaking point by forces greater than they are, there are elements at play here that would fit into any new story about people subjected by corrupt governments. The interesting thing with Pollen is that the enemy is never made truly clear until the very end. The insidious enemy is always the hardest to fight is the feeling I take away.

It's a debut novel, so yes there's a few lumps and bumps along the way but the ideas bursting out of this book with the very strong character development make this a debut with soul and passion. Pollen presents us with a vision of a not too distant future which feels real - which is a little scary!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars 28%
That's as far as I got, book could definitely use some work, I felt like I jumped into the middle of a series and was supposed to know how everything worked with no explanation. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lauren M
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
Others may enjoy this book I could not get into the story at all. I ended up dumping it after about 10%.
Published 6 months ago by TG Bear
3.0 out of 5 stars pollen
Terrible ending. What happens next? Basically an ok book, just a little bit confusing and somewhat typical. I liked Shunka.
Published 6 months ago by martha e kocher
2.0 out of 5 stars ok
overall an interesting concept but predictable. a good book for tweens maybe I wont be reading anymore in this series.
Published 6 months ago by Tim Dwyer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
At first I was not too sure about getting into this story but then I could not seem to leave it alone! Thanks Mr Lamb!
Published 8 months ago by Beth Apol
4.0 out of 5 stars great concept
Really liked the idea behind this book. Gave it a 4 instead of 5 because sometimes it was difficult to figure out what the author was trying to communicate at times. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, thought provoking sci-fi worlds and characters
I found Pollen a compelling read, presenting evocatively realised worlds of future, strictly segregated city districts, the characters in each struggling with shortages and finding... Read more
Published 8 months ago by T J Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars It could be brilliant
Cyberpunk & Dystopian. This is two stories taking place inside of a vast city made of walled 'neighborhoods' blocked off from each other. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Thia S
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut novel
Really fun cyberpunk/dystopia/red-pill/heroic-bloodshed story. A gripping read from start to finish, "Pollen" is tightly-packed prose that doesn't waste words (for example,... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Eric Wallace
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind of a copout at the end
Has a decent story in there, but the book is desperately in need of an editor and a much better ending. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Lee Fleming
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More About the Author

Aaron Lamb born in the Medway Towns, grew up in the gritty terrace housing of a main road to an industrial estate. Wrote his first novel aged 11 and hasn't stop telling stories since.
He has trekked extensively around the wilderness of Norway and Finland, ran a cabaret show in London's Soho for four years, ran an ultra marathon and has lived in Eastern Cambodia.
He now lives in Australia with his wife in a little flat with a fantastic garden and enjoys a beer in the evening and cooking interesting dinners!

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