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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fade: An Original Series Gets A Little Too Generic

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note: While this review will not contain spoilers for Fade, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from its predecessor, Wake. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Life's not getting any easier for 17-year-old Janie Hannagan. She's still being sucked into people's nightmares, still dealing with her drunk of a mother, still trying to figure out what makes Cabel Strumheller tick. Working for the police department isn't helping matters, either. Janie's stressed, almost to the point of breaking. She can't tell anyone outside of Cabel and the Captain Komisky about her little ability, no matter how many crimes it solves. And she can't risk blowing Cabel's cover by revealing their secret romance. Then, there's her mother, who doesn't even care enough to remember Janie's birthday.

As Janie doesn't have enough to worry about, there's something sinister going on at her high school. The police suspect a school employee might be preying on female students. Janie's job is to lure him out of hiding. It's a dangerous job, one that's stressing Janie even more, especially since Cabel won't stop giving her crap about it. Doesn't he realize she'll do anything to solve the case, even offer herself up as bait?

Complications aren't what an already-frazzled Janie needs right now, but that's what she gets when Captain Komsky hands her files belonging to the late Martha Stubin, Janie's dream-catching mentor. In her notes are startling truths about the business of dream-catching - truths that are disturbing, dangerous, even deadly. As Janie uses her unique skill to sniff out a dangerous predator, she must also come to terms with what she is - and what she's about to become.

Fade, the second book in Lisa McMann's popular Wake trilogy, didn't excite me nearly as much as the first novel did. Fade kept my attention, for sure, but the plot turned generic pretty fast. While the revelations Janie finds in Martha Stubin's files definitely added an intriguing twist to the story, the rest of the book suffered from complete and utter predictability. Also, there's a pretty significant ick factor involved. McMann still writes well, using vivid prose and short snappy chapters to entice readers into turning pages. Overall, though, this one didn't do much for me. Except convince me to read the next book. Ahem.

(Readalikes: Wake and Gone by Lisa McMann)

Grade: C

If this were a movie, it would be rated: R for strong language, violence, depictions of underrage drinking and illegal drug use, as well as sexual content

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find

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