So, I actually read Fade weeks ago, but as it was a for-fun read, I haven't gotten around to writing up a review until now. And yes - I broke down and read it without having read Wake first - I know, bad me - but maybe that'll offer a slightly different perspective. And I hadn't meant to - I was just going to take a quick peek, but then... well.
Fade - Lisa McMann
For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.
Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open -- but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.
Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability -- and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared...
With Fade, Lisa McMann has achieved yet another Bestseller. And it's easy to see why. Diction choice is highly selective and effective - no extra words are wasted here. The choppy, fragmented sentences give a feeling of action, of things happening quickly, of being drawn in and carried along with the events as they're taking place.
Fade is written in present tense - not altogether shocking, a lot of books nowadays are - but it's third person present tense. And that blew me away. Somehow, despite that, McMann manages to captivate the audience's attention and offer a sense of immediacy with the characters. Double the accomplishment.
You know a writer's got skill when they recognize the rules, and bend those rules to their will - while still maintaining an effective narrative. Fragmented sentences from a unique perspective tell an enthralling tale in Fade. Characterization of Janie and Cabel was brilliantly done; a sense of immediacy was maintained throughout the majority of the novel. Although there were moments of hindrance due to the tense, these were minor and negligible. Captain is a well rounded, likeable mentor.
The suspense in Fade is simply masterful; so thick and viscous. Although there are certain aspects of the plot twists that could be predicted by more observant readers clearly watching out for foreshadowing, that doesn't really lessen the impact. The wait for vision to return, the loss of feeling in limbs...
It's all there; you just have to be willing to see it.
Plot was fast and action packed - and Janie is a very strong female protag; always a plus. It deals with real issues with credible characters, only adding to the realism. Fade is a suspenseful, chilling ride. Fade. Fantastic.
*Gone, the third book in the trilogy, is scheduled for release by Simon Pulse in February 2010.