|Gone by Lisa McMann|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: The final volume in this interesting and slightly offbeat paranormal romance trilogy finishes things off nicely. Bookbag particularly likes the mixture of genres McMann has brought into these books.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: November 2010|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster|
|External links: Author's website|
Janie's made it through so much. And now she's graduated from high school, has a guaranteed job with the local police after college, and a boyfriend who loves her like crazy. Her future should be bright, but it isn't. Because Janie's a dreamcatcher. She can - has to - inhabit other people's dreams. It's great for a career in crime fighting, but it's burning her out. Janie knows that within just a few years she'll be blind and crippled.
And so she has choices to make. Should she stick with the love of her life, even though she knows her future will probably ruin Cabel's life? Can she really abandon her alcoholic mother? And what about her job with the police? Is it worth the sacrifice?
But before she can make a decision, Janie's estranged father reappears in her life. In hospital. In a coma. About to die. So what now?
The Wake trilogy's strength is also its weakness: it disobeys a great many of the tropes and conventions associated with the busy paranormal romance genre. It blends this busy market with family drama and social issues and crime whodunnits. For me, this is like a breath of fresh air because too many books are so formulaic I wonder whether they'd be better under a Mills & Boon style romantic imprint. X number of pages. Y number of conflicts-through-misunderstandings. You get the picture.
Gone isn't like this, and indeed, the paranormal aspect isn't even to the fore in this, the last book of the three. Instead, Janie is focused on making personal decisions about her future and on resolving both family and romantic issues. Sure, her status as a dreamcatcher is what's propelling this process, but the process is the focus, not the impetus. I can see that this may disappoint some readers, especially die-hard fans of the genre, but I think the crossover status will actually attract just as many.
It's a breeze to read and employs a present tense narrative, so everything feels very immediate and intimate. There are also lots of phrases-as-sentences and trailings off of thoughts and this is another technique that gets the reader right inside Janie's head.
I enjoyed Gone. It wasn't a blockbusting, tense-to-the-last moment climax to the trilogy. It was an absorbing and satisfying coming-of-age and I think that suited it very well indeed.
My thanks to the good people at Simon & Schuster for sending the book.
If they appreciate unsual twists on this popular genre, I think they might also enjoy Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, which riffs on the Little Red Riding Hood legend.
You can read more book reviews or buy Gone by Lisa McMann at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Gone by Lisa McMann at Amazon.com.
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