If I had to pinpoint what it is about the originality of [Barry's] works that delights me so, I think it’s the depth of thought that has gone into the construction of the premise, and the roundedness of the characters who guide us through the idea and situation he’s exploring, even if the characters aren’t necessarily that likeable ... And the premise is not at all let down by the execution, as so often happens with exciting concept books. Barry’s writing is compelling; I had to force myself to put the book down ... the writing drags the reader into the story, morbidly curious as to what’s going to happen next. This is the other thing that’s worth noting; as with all of Barry’s stories, the plot developed in genuinely unique ways. Combined with really solid pacing which keeps the narrative moving, it meant that I ploughed through the book in only a couple of days, ultimately finishing it in an afternoon. While it could be argued that the tone at times seems inconsistent, it was one of the things I found kept me so compelled by the text; I was never bored ... If there was one point of critique I had to raise, it would be the protagonist, Felicity ... I found it difficult to empathise with the vague sense of dissatisfaction she felt toward various aspects of her life... even as I understand that this sense of existing in her life rather than making active choices and appreciating what she has was part of the point ... However, given the book’s interesting premise and the very competent writing, such things are easily forgiven. If you enjoy science fiction, murder mysteries/thrillers, or both, this is definitely the book for you. Barry has not disappointed with this latest offering.
... a highly naturalistic and Earthbound milieu, but one with its own share of strangeness. The 22 Murders of Madison May begins with the intimate perspective of Madison 'Maddie' May ... Her somewhat sad and depressive life is rendered with fine touches ... We next jump into the daily grind of Felicity Staples, young political reporter for New York City’s Daily News. (Her vividly drawn co-workers, boss Brandon and crime beat maven Levi, stake out their roles nicely, too) ... Barry strives to paint equally compelling portraits of the two women and comes pretty darn close. Each character assumes a fully rounded and weighty resonance. But Maddie’s condition as an unaware perennial victim militates against her foregrounding. It’s really Felicity who functions as our protagonist, as we witness her dogged, creative pursuit of justice, despite all the deracination she experiences. The various iterations of her boyfriend, Gavin, are especially amusing ... Barry goes light on the mechanics of his multiversal paradigm, coating the dynamic, suspenseful action with a light frosting of metaphysics ... [the time travelers] never emerge as a real force, but do acquire some of the tinge of the vulture-like time-travel tourists from C.L. Moore’s classic tale, 'Vintage Season.'
... one of the most interesting explorations of the many worlds theory that I’ve read in years. It is also an unusual crime story featuring two well drawn, believable and sympathetic characters: Felicity Sharp ... Original, intelligent, unputdownable.
The concept of alternative realities and parallel universes is not new...but it is now Barry's mind works that breathes new life into the concept ... Felicity's naturally inquisitive mind makes the book feel like an investigative crime thriller as she hunts for clues ... This book is a page turner. Barry has taken a classic science fiction concept and written something true to the author's own style.
... a mind-bending speculative psychological suspense thriller ... a masterfully constructed science fiction take on the serial killer genre, as an obsessed killer hops between realities to stalk and murder the woman he claims to love. In addition to just being a really thoughtfully put together work of speculative fiction, it’s also deeply intelligent when it comes to the psychology of misogyny and how women really think and feel when faced with it. I was considerably impressed by Max Barry’s sharp dissection of guys like Clay, who think they’re being romantic when what they’re really being is monstrous ... Thrilling and smart, with loads of humor and heart to spare, this may be Mr. Barry’s best book yet. It’s certainly one of the best female-centered takes on the stalker genre I’ve ever read, in addition to being a truly absorbing tale of cross-dimensional travel.
This book isn’t completely out of his wheelhouse, featuring as it does some unsurprising rips in the space-time continuum, but it’s a little more grounded than usual, closer to a clever riff on unwanted resurrection ... It’s all very noodle-bending, time-travel–y science fiction, but Barry is playing with a very specific set of tropes ... A very clever, unpredictable little murder mystery with some bittersweet tones about the things we do for love.
... middling ... The characterizations are uninspired, and Barry fails to make Felicity’s response to her mind-bending situation psychologically plausible. Hopefully, this talented author will return to form next time.