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Leave: 11/29/08

The "Reed-of-the-month club" (p. 56) offering is "Leave." It's a story about a family frantically trying to save their son from alien recruitment for a never ending war.

The story is narrated by the "fond uncle," a friend of the family who doesn't have any children of his own. He and his wife Cheryl have become the uncle and aunt to their friends' children: Amanda and Donnie (or L.D. for short).

"Leave" mostly focuses on L.D. who was a sweet child, a troubled teen and a missing adult. His family suspects that he has been recruited by the Kuipers for their on going war.

The war though isn't the point to Reed's story. It is there to cause a reaction in LD's family. Most of "Leave" is the account of their reaction. Through their attempts to find LD and to just come to terms with his disappearance that we learn both about LD and the people close to him.

Having read now six Robert Reed stories, I appreciate his flexibility as a writer. "Leave" comes somewhere in the middle of my enjoyment. My favorites so far remain "Five Thrillers" and "Character Flu."

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