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scottakennedy

scottakennedy

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Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth
J.R.R. Tolkien
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension
Michio Kaku
Swords in the Mist
Fritz Leiber
Helping Children with Autism Learn: Treatment Approaches for Parents and Professionals
Bryna Siegel
The Apex Book of World SF
Lavie Tidhar, Dean Francis Alfar, S.P. Somtow, Jetse de Vries, Kaaron Warren, Zoran Živković, Aliette de Bodard, Mélanie Fazi, Tunku Halim, Anil Menon, Jamil Nasir, Nir Yaniv, Aleksandar Žiljak, Han Song, Guy Hasson, Kristin Mandigma, Yang Ping
The Hugo Award Showcase
Mary Robinette Kowal, Elizabeth Bear, John Kessel, Nancy Kress, Robert Reed, Michael Swanwick, Kij Johnson, James Alan Gardner, Ian McDonald
Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa
Jason K. Stearns
The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband
David Finch
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Jeff VanderMeer, Ann VanderMeer
Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

The One I Left Behind

The One I Left Behind - Jennifer McMahon I really loved McMahon's Don't Breath a Word, but this thriller just didn't hold up for me. There's a lot of time jumping in this book, both in chapters that alternate between the present (2010) and 25 years prior, further compounded by constant flashbacks within the POV character's thoughts. While McMahon's prose is smooth, precise and unencumbered, the constant flashbacks, especially within the first quarter of the book, kept bouncing me out of the narrative and made the book a tougher read than I'd expected.But mainly I'm giving the book two stars based on the serial killer plot, which I found both predictable (the murderer is relatively easy to guess early on) and unbelievable by the end. The strengths here are the characters. Reggie Dufrane is a fine protagonist, and her relationships with her friends and struggles with the issues of her family and past are all compelling. If you enjoy McMahon's characters, it's still worth the read. I just found myself wishing that the book had dealt with its serial killer in a more realistic fashion, perhaps by leaving it unsolved, because the resolution presented felt predictable, forced and unbelievable to me.