And now... the review for Fade!
I really enjoyed that this book was structured in a similar fashion to Wake. It made it feel like the two books could have been one longer book, which I believe is how a sequel should feel. I liked that it picked up almost immediately after Wake, and that everything was consistent between the two books.
I did think that the case assigned to Cabel and Janie was a little stretched. It is mentioned that they have very little detail, but the chance that Janie and Cabel would be able to just figure out who the [SPOILER ALERT] teacher is that's possibly sleeping with students is so slim that it's almost unbelievable when Janie ends up in his class. The school could be relatively small though, in which case it wouldn't be so far-fetched.
I definitely did not see the twist that it wasn't just one teacher though. The subtle hints are there, but I definitely did not pick up on them. Or that it wasn't just the punch that was drugged. Actually, I'm not even sure if the punch was really drugged, but regardless, nobody would have thought to check the meatballs. I liked that the teachers were all relatively intelligent, and that they were able to hide things very well. Until the party, of course.
Janie is also a very good undercover agent/spy. She handles the job well while she's working, and even though she might not handle it so well outside the job, she doesn't quit just because she's a little uncomfortable. She realizes that she is never in real danger, and knows that she'll be helping other people if she succeeds. Also, Janie is pretty hardcore. Even before she takes the martial arts classes and then beats the crap out of her sleazy teachers. Talk about girl power.
As terrible as this may sound, I kind of like that there are physical problems that come from being a dream catcher. Most of the time, people in books have these awesome powers with no sort of repercussions or anything. McMann makes being a dream catcher both a blessing (since Janie can help solve ridiculous crimes and can help other people sleep more easily and sometimes change their lives) and a curse (with the physical tolls and the whole having to enter a dream no matter where she's at). It makes her more human and less supernatural, I think.
Although the relationship between Cabel and Janie is super stressed in this book, I feel like it becomes even stronger because of it. Both learn to place more trust in the other, and Cabel learns that he can't always protect Janie, no matter how hard he tries. I think that's an important lesson, since he can't protect her from losing her vision or from her hands turning all gnarled and such. And he chooses to be with her anyway, and to love her regardless. I don't feel like the relationship is pushed at all, and it feels very natural to read about it. Apart from the keeping it secret thing, but that's out of necessity due to their jobs.
Overall, I felt that Fade was a very nice sequel to Wake. Although the two are connected and Fade expands on Wake, they both have completely different plots. Though they could have been combined into one longer book, I felt that the split was very natural and that it helped enhance the reading experience. I'm glad I bought all three books at the same time.
Sorry for such a long post... The books aren't even that long, but they're just so intense and there's so much going on in each of them!
I'm only 5 posts behind now!