Thursday, September 29, 2011

Morton's Fork

Finally, the last book of the Dream Catcher trilogy! 

That picture makes me mad with its stupid white background, but I can't figure out how to make it go away.

Look out, there will probably be a ton of spoilers below. Don't read any further if you haven't read the books or if you haven't finished them yet. Unless you like spoilers.

In Gone, Janie deals with so many more issues than just her dream catcher abilities. She starts out the novel spending the weekend with Cabel, his brother, and his brother's wife at their cabin on the lake. She's accepted that she'll be blind and that her body will slowly start to give out as a result of her dream catching. What she hasn't accepted yet is dragging Cabel down with her. Janie sees things in his dreams that scare her and make her doubt their relationship (for example, at one point she sees herself (blind and gnarled) laying on a hospital bed in the kitchen and Cabel goes into the kitchen and yells at her to just shut up and die already).

Janie also has to deal with the appearance of a stranger, who ends up being her father. Once Janie finds out that her father is actually a dream catcher as well who isolated himself, she kind of freaks out. Realizing that she has two options now, she struggles with staying with Caleb and going blind or leaving him and keeping her sight and her body.

Throughout the book, I feel like the relationship between Janie and Cabel is turned into more of a one-sided thing than it had been before. Janie decides that she's going to leave Cabel, but doesn't even tell him that she wants to isolate herself or say goodbye to him. She thinks disappearing would be easier, but I really don't think anybody would agree. Sure, Cabel would probably tell her that she's making a bad decision, but if she's so set on isolating, there's nothing he can really do.

The idea of "Morton's Fork," or having to choose between two equally terrible things, is an interesting concept that I really liked in this book. Janie already knows what's going to happen to her if she continues to be around people and enter their dreams. What she doesn't know, though, is that isolation can be just as bad. Her father's brain exploded because he isolated himself. Having to choose between going blind and all of the things that come with dream catching and having your brain explode kind of sucks. Although I'm pretty sure I'd rather go blind than have my brain explode. Maybe that's just me.

I also liked how Dorothea, Janie's mom, was given a little more depth in this book. In Wake and Fade, Dorothea is presented as simply an alcoholic who cares only about herself. In Gone, however, Dorothea's past with Henry is revealed and her reasons for being an alcoholic are made more clear. Maybe she didn't handle his leaving very well at all, but she's dealing with it in the best way she knows how. McMann causes the reader to feel a little more sympathetic towards Dorothea, even though she just spent two books making you dislike her.

I thought that this book was a very nice conclusion to the trilogy. It dealt more with the emotional side of dream catching, and the repercussions it might have on other people in a dream catcher's life. It also went away from the solving crimes theme that the first two had, and I think that was a good call on McMann's part. You can only have so many novels with the same basic plot in one trilogy. Also, the ending wasn't entirely conclusive, but it also wasn't entirely open-ended. I thought it was a good way to end such an intense series, and I feel like it also left more open to the readers' imagination. You don't need an epilogue detailing what happens 10 years in the future. Make it up yourself.

I am sorry to say goodbye to this trilogy and the characters though. The story line, although dealing with some paranormal things, wasn't like every other paranormal YA novel out there. No vampires, no werewolves, no witches, no dragons... just a girl with special abilities trying to find her place in a world where people aren't at all like her. Well, except for a few people of course. I thought it was very well written and that it flowed together very nicely. Some parts may have been unnecessary or didn't make much sense, but those were few and far between. I would definitely recommend this whole trilogy to anyone looking for a YA book that's out of the ordinary. 

Again, sorry for such a long post! I only have two more to do though until I'm finally caught up and can start The Unwanteds.


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