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'One Way' by Jeff Lane (February 2021 read-along)

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Lasraik

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One Way is a novel written by Jeff Lane and was published in 2013.  The book is being adapted into a movie (more on that later).

For full transparency: when we announced the book club, Jeff Lane contact me on Twitter and offered a free digital version of one of his books to anyone who joined the book club.  I bought myself and my wife paperback copies and a digital copy via Amazon.  A few other book club members received a free copy and a couple opted to purchase the book.  Mr. Lane gifted his full catalog to myself and my wife, which was very generous.  I'm looking forward to getting to those in the future.

The best way I can describe this book with spoiling as little as possible: it's LOST, Quantum Leap, with slasher elements, Looper and a love story sprinkled in.  It's a mystery, science fiction, thriller book with a sprinkle of horror.

What I Liked:

  • The story jumps back and fourth between characters and flashes forward and backwards in time, but it's done very well.  The stories often overlap, so you see what each character experiences from different perspectives. 
  • I cared about the characters. The way the author describes pain and hurt and depression, that feeling of loss - you really feel it. 
  • The story kept me in suspense and gets off to a fast start. It doesn't let up until the very end.
  • The villain was well done and for as crazy as he sounds (and is), you wonder if there's something else in play with him.
  • There are a few heartfelt sequences that make you wonder what you would say in that position.
  • Acts of violence are perpetrated, but not detailed.  In this case I liked that it kept that information to your own imagination, if it went too far describing the violence it wouldn't have fit the story.

What I Didn't Like:

  • During a couple of the action sequences I got a little lost and had to re-read the previous few sentences.
  • I did find a couple of times when the incorrect word was used or missing punctuation.  I find a weird satisfaction finding stuff like that, so it wasn't a big deal for me.
  • The characters have a moment or two where they make the classic survival movie mistakes, or they do things that seem out of place for them.

Conclusion and Rating:

I'm a relatively slow reader.  I take my time and go slowly to not miss anything.  I flew through this book, it's a page turner.  I didn't want to put it down.  It's full of character and story, but not too much that it gets weighed down.  With any story involving time travel, it can get a little confusing at times but I thought it was well done and thought provoking.  The story twists and turns and keeps you hanging onto the edge of your seat.  It's one of those "just one more chapter before I sleep" kind of books.  The characters are likeable and relatable, the villains are revolting.   The last line in the book is perfect for a black screen, start music and roll credits.  I hope we get more stories from this world.

I've heard a few people cringe a little when this book is described as a love story, but it's not that kind of love story.  It's a love story that makes you question what you would give up, what you would sacrifice for someone you love.  How far are you willing to go to prevent something terrible from happening to someone you love?

Rating: 4 "chrono-deteachments" out of 5

The movie adaptation is almost finished, and while the date is still in question there is hope it will be finished and we will get to see this story come to life.

If you're reading this you may already be aware, but Mr. Lane is offering a free digital version of 'One Way' to our book club members for our February read along.  If you're interested in getting a copy please PM me your email address.

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