Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Fade, like Wake, was a ridiculously fast read. Author Lisa McMann dives directly into her narrative and moves at a quick pace all the way through the denouement without letting up for a second. I liked that, as the continued tension kept me turning pages when I might have been tempted to put the book down. While I enjoyed Fade, I didn’t like it as much as Wake.
I didn’t really like the case Janie and Cabel were working on – or rather I didn’t like how it was handled. While the stakes were high with the student/teacher date rape issue, I was disappointed that the antagonists were ferreted out so quickly. Obviously at 248 pages McMann simply doesn’t have the time for a record number of plot twists or red herrings, but Janie identified her main suspect without any missteps and it’s essentially smooth sailing from there. It’s not that I didn’t think it was plausible that she could do it, I just…wanted more of a challenge for her, I guess. Especially given that this was only her second case working as a Dream Catcher with the police.
Where Fade excelled was in exploring more about Martha Stubin and her life as a Dream Catcher. I loved the tragedy in the price she paid for the lives she helped and the signs that Janie’s already headed down the same path. McMann gave the readers and Janie hope in some very practical and logical words from Captain Komisky, but nonetheless, Janie’s future doesn’t look bright.
Janie and Cabel are a great couple. At times, Cabel became too emotional for my taste, but that’s a personal preference. Their relationship was very well-rounded – running the gamut from uber angst to silly hilarity – especially for two people with as many emotional and physical scars as they had. I haven’t even read the back cover for Gone, so I may be jumping the gun here, but I’m pleased that McMann doesn’t go the way of many YA books by introducing a third party into the relationship. I love a good triangle, but I also love stories that buck the norm.
From a technical standpoint, McMann’s writing style in Fade was identical to Wake. Very sparse, occasionally jarring and every once in awhile confusing – and not in a good, keep-them-guessing kind of way. The stylistic specificity works for her I’d say…97% of the time, but sometimes I lost track of who was speaking or doing something and I’d have to go back and reread. I read fast, but I’m not a speed-reader, so I don’t think the issue was mine alone.
While I was a little disappointed in some aspects of Fade I’m still excited to read Gone. In fact, I almost picked it up and read it right away, which is something I rarely do. I like to space out my visits to worlds I really enjoy, so that’s a testament to Lisa McMann’s storytelling right there.