Friday, July 08, 2011

REVIEW: Gone by Lisa McMann

Gone by Lisa McMann is the third and final book in her Dream Walker series that began with Wake and Fade, both books of which I've loved. (Please note, it is difficult to review Gone without spoiling some aspects of the storylines of Wake and Fade.) Before I picked up Gone I'd read quite a few mixed reviews, which complained that Gone is very different to the two previous books in the series and for that reason many readers didn't enjoy it. This worried me quite a lot, but needlessly it turned out!

I loved Gone entirely. It felt like a very natural progression to Janie's story and the only possible end to this series of books. Everything that I loved about Wake and Fade were present here, disturbing dreams, the emotionality of Janie's 'gift', the wonderfully complex relationship between Janie and Cabel and a mystery to solve.

Despite the lack of a police investigation, there is still a mystery to be solved, that of Janie's father. His reasons to remain outside of Janie's life, his unusual lifestyle and the history between him and Janie's mother. I thought it was fascinating and I was really glad that some depth was given to Janie's mother and you can see a possible explanation to her alcoholism.

And there's still Janie and Cabel and disturbing dreams. Unfortunately the two are combined - Janie is pulled into several of Cabel's nightmares which show Janie how scared and uncertain Cabel is of their future together with Janie's crumbling physical abilities. Janie herself is still quite afraid and unsure of which path her life should take - continue using her dream walking skills in order to help people and solve crime but at the cost of her sight and use of her hands? or isolation from the world and a life lived alone and lonely. It's such a difficult decision, and it weighs heavily on Janie's mind through the course of Gone. This horrible dilemma that Janie faces is quite heartbreaking to read. There's so many instances where I welled up just thinking of the tough hand that Janie's been dealt, but there's also such strength to her.

I truly love this series. I love how McMann's choppy writing style gives the story a disjointed feel, I love how much I can feel of Janie's isolation and unhappiness that is embedded into the narrative. I love both Janie and Cabel and how well they work together. An excellent end to a wonderfully different and fascinating series!

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