Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Wake Trilogy aka The Dream Catcher Trilogy

Wake, Fade, and Gone
Lisa McMann
210 pages, 248 pages, 214 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Eagle Eye Bookshop
Almost ★★★★☆ overall

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

This is a review of the entire Wake Trilogy.  I read the books in order in quick succession so I could present the trilogy together.

Though the first book, Wake, had an interesting plot, it's main purpose seems to have been to set up the rest of the series.  In the first novel we meet Janie who has been slipping uncontrollably into other people's dreams since she was a young girl.  She experiences the dreams and then when the person wakes up, she's free.  It's frustrating for her to go through life becoming temporarily paralyzed and blacked out multiple times a day.  Meanwhile she meets Cabel, who at first seems like the school bad boy.  After they all in love she learns that he works for the police department as a narc.

Wake gets three stars from me.  It took me awhile to get used to the author's writing style - very short, choppy sentences in the present tense.  I can't decide if the author has this style because she's terrible at writing, or if it was on purpose.  But once I got used it, it didn't detract from the plot or story.  The book was fast moving and interesting and, my to my surprise, did not end on a cliffhanger!

In the second novel, Fade, we find Janie putting her dream hopping to good use, solving crimes!  Now there's a unique use for her talent.  The cops put Janie and Cabel on the lookout for a supposed sexual predator lurking in their high school.  When the plot started forming in the first few pages I immediately suspected Fade was going to be better than Wake.  I was right!

The story kept me on the edge of my seat as Janie makes herself bait, much to the dismay of Cabe.  That aspect of the story was riveting, but so was the rest of the novel.  It was great to learn about Janie's dream "mentor" in such a unique way and the end of the story was bittersweet.  I sound like a broken record here, but "it was also great" to see Janie and Cabe's relationship grow.  A final plus: Janie's character become less one-dimensional in this novel, as did Cabe's.  Overall, Fade gets four stars from me.

Then it was on to Gone, the final novel in the trilogy.  I'm not sure how much I can tell you without going to spoiler alert mode, but in this novel Janie discovers her long lost father and struggles with a decision to make about her future as a dream catcher.

I found Gone to be much less exciting than Fade.  There wasn't much to the plot as a whole and I found the way the book ended to be a bit strange and vague.  I would have liked to have seen Janie's mother get help for her alcoholism, instead of Janie going to her own Al Anon support group to deal with her mother.  Even though Janie certainly deserved to get her own help on the issue, I couldn't help but think the wrong person was getting help.  Gone gets three stars.

Overall, it was refreshing to read a trilogy that contained three unique story lines in each book and did not contain cliffhangers!  That combined with a decided lack of love triangle made this one of the least cliched YA series I've read in a long time.

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