Janie often races out of a classroom in a panic and avoids sleepovers like the plague. The other kids just think she’s a little strange, but the truth is that Janie gets sucked into peoples’ dreams. If anyone falls asleep near her, she’s dragged along to watch the dream. She’s seen all of the mundane ones, the bizarre ones. She’s even gleaned surprising information about her classmates from them. But when she’s dragged into a nightmare with a sinister monster, she’s amazed to see herself in the dream as well. And there seems to be more than her strange ability than she’s ever realised, for in one strange dream, someone sees her watching.
The levels of coincidence in Fade were perhaps on the outskirts of believability. Several chance coincidences went by unexplained, possibly for use in further books, but it stretched my credulity at times. On the whole, I found Wake entertaining, clever, and interesting. The premise was fairly well explored, focusing more on Janie’s character and struggles with her powers than the origins of the powers themselves.
The dream culture was intriguing, though I’d say a little skewed. A lot of the dreams Janie finds herself in are ‘falling’ dreams or ‘being naked in a public place’ dreams, which I’m not convinced that all that many people have. Also, she learns many useful things from her dream walking. I would guess that for every person who dreams of true events, there must be dozens more who dream utter nonsense.
I found the set-up of Janie’s past helped me to understand her as a character. Her past and relationship with Cabel was especially touchingly written. I do wish though that there had been a bit more interaction and closure with her mum. I’d also say that the ending was quite rushed, and a certain revelation was more convenient than credible. Fade was far shorter than I expected, but despite this managed to tell an engrossing and original story. It was fleeting yet lasting, beautifully written, the writing evoking the feeling of a dream itself. The characters were especially well drawn and I look forward to reading more about Janie.
Thankyou to Simon and Schuster for sending me a review copy.