Wake is at its heart a classic “superhero” origin story. Janie may not wear a cape, but she does have a “superpower” that she has to come to terms with and learn to control during the course of the novel.
Janie is often exhausted physically and emotionally due to all her dream excursions, so her attitude is pretty no nonsense. She does just enough to get by – at home, at school and at her job at a nursing home. The writing style really reflects this, with short, choppy sentences that don’t beat around any bushes.
The tone is on the dark side, but I liked that as Janie works through her issues, she also starts expand her personal interactions – even enough to include a love interest. Janie’s relationship with broken boy Cabel is one of the more touching I’ve read.
I’m glad I waited to read this until I got the sequel, because as soon as I turned the last page, I was eager to dive into Fade.
****If you haven’t read Wake yet, and you don’t like spoilers, don’t read any further because I am about to discuss its sequel, Fade.****
As Fade begins, Janie is finally feeling kind of good about herself: she has a boyfriend (even though they have to meet in secret for now), she’s working on controlling her powers, and she has a sense of purpose thanks to her job with the police. But then, when Janie is put on a case involving a suspected sex predator at her high school, she gets in way over her head. And she learns the bleak truth about being a dream catcher.
Fade was just as engrossing as Wake, and although the undercover police plot seemed a bit too convenient in many ways, the dream catcher reveal was really shocking and surprising. Fans of the Janie/Caleb relationship in Wake will also be thrilled to know that they’ll be getting lots of hot “off again/on again” drama between the two.
Fade doesn’t end on a cliffhanger (thank God!), but I am definitely looking forward to February 2010 when I can get the next book in the series.
Both Wake and Fade are available now.
Read a great new interview with Author Lisa McMann over at Maw Books Blog.