School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Janie Hannagan is inadvertently and unwillingly drawn into other people's dreams and nightmares. In Fade (S & S, 2009), she uses her unique abilities to apprehend criminals. In contrast, Gone is a more personal story about Janie's attempts to come to terms with her troubled family and with the ways that dream catching will affect the rest of her life. Faced with an alcoholic and irresponsible mother, the teen finds some solace in her relationship with her boyfriend but then, unexpectedly, the father she's never known enters her life. Henry Feingold is suffering from a mysterious brain disorder. When Janie is drawn into his unconscious and continuous nightmare, she discovers that he, too, is a dream catcher, and she struggles to use her power to help him find release. As she finds out more about him, Janie faces a choice—use her abilities for the benefit of others and become blind and crippled in her '20s like her mentor, or isolate herself from other human beings, as her father did, to avoid entering their dreams. This is a fast-paced read, written in flashbacks and sentence fragments that suggest the dream state. Janie is a strong, appealing character, and the depictions of her emotional turmoil and her painful dilemma are absolutely believable. This book would make an interesting choice for a book-discussion group. However, it is necessary to have read Wake and Fade to understand everything that is occurring.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
McMann continues her conversational-style narration, but her usual quick pacing turns slower as she wraps up the trilogy that began with Wake (2008) and Fade (2009). Instead of solving crimes using her dream-catching abilities, Janie is spending the summer before college trying to resolve her own dilemma. She learns that the father she never knew has been living in an isolated house not far from her and now lies in a hospital bed. By entering his unconscious, she also learns that he is a dream catcher too, while a search through his home reveals that he has avoided the debilitating blindness and gnarled hands of Janie's dream-catching mentor, Miss Stubin, but has sacrificed love in the process. He begs her to consider Morton's Fork-a choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives-before shutting herself off from her boyfriend, Cabel, and the rest of the world. Fans will gain a real appreciation of Janie's quandary and rally behind the control she musters in her seemingly helpless situation. A fitting completion to this popular series. (Paranormal. YA)
Janie faces her first year of college with an agonizing dilemma before her. This tough 18-year-old is a dreamcatcher: she gets pulled into the dreams of nearby sleepers, who implore her to save them from their nightmares. She has learned to use her ability for others' good, but at a terrible personal cost. A fellow dreamcatcher has revealed to Janie that if she continues to use her power, she will become blind and crippled in a matter of years. The only solution, it seems, is for Janie to isolate herself from her mother, friends, and loving boyfriendforever. As she struggles with her decision, her long-absent father appears on the scene, making Janie's choice more difficult than ever. Gone is best enjoyed in conjunction with the other books in McMann's Wake trilogy, but Janie's dark struggle is sure to intrigue readers. Reviewer: Allison Matthews
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Janie Hannagan’s life is overly complicated. Not typical senior in high school complicated, even though that’s exactly what she is, but the kind of unimaginable complicated that comes from being a real life dream catcher. Cabel makes her life even more complicated because he loves her, and she loves him, but also she loves him so much that she does not want to drag him into her ill-fated future. Now that she’s read Ms. Stubin’s green notebook, she knows exactly what nightmares she has to look forward to: blindness and useless, gnarled hands. Janie has a choice to make. She can continue working with the police, lending her talents to crime stopping while accelerating her decline, or leave her job, school, and even Cabel to live a life of isolation where no dreams can harm her. Then more complications arise when her alcoholic Mom rushes to the hospital to see a stranger who will alter Janie’s life. The stranger dreams of static, blinding bright colors and an eardrum-bursting noise, and Janie fears that this dream may engulf her and cause her to lose her sanity. This is the final book in the “Wake” trilogy, which keeps the reader lurching forward, dragged through Janie’s nightmares until the fulfilling and hard won conclusion. Janie and Cabel are likable characters and readers will root for their struggling relationship. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan; Ages 14 up.
Read an Excerpt
At the hospital, Janie moves carefully through the hallways as usual, watching for open doors. She gets caught in a weak dream but only for a few seconds—she barely even has to pause in step. They stand outside Henry’s room, Janie’s hand tense on the handle.
Static and shockingly bright colors. Again, Janie nearly crumples to her knees, but this time she is more prepared. She steps blindly toward the bed and Cabel helps her safely to the floor as her head pounds with noise. It’s more intense than ever.
Just when Janie thinks her eardrums are going to burst, the static dulls and the scene flickers to a woman in the dark once again. It’s the same woman as the day before, Janie’s certain, though she can’t make out any distinguishing features. And then Janie sees that the man is there too. It’s Henry, of course. It’s his dream. He’s in the shadows, sitting on a chair, watching the woman. Henry turns, looks at Janie and blinks. His eyes widen and he sits up straighter in his chair. “Help me!” he pleads.
And then, like a broken filmstrip, the picture cuts out and the static is back, louder than ever, constant screamo in her ears. Janie struggles, head pounding. Tries pulling out of the dream, but she can’t focus—the static is messing up her ability to concentrate.
She’s flopping around on the floor now. Straining. Thinks Cabel is there, holding her, but she can’t feel anything now. The bright colors slam into her eyes, into her brain, into her body. The static is like pinpricks in every pore of her skin.
Trapped in the nightmare of a man who can’t wake up.
Janie struggles again, feeling like she’s suffocating now. Feeling like if she doesn’t get out of this mess, she might die here. Cabe! she screams in her head. Get me out of here!
But of course he can’t hear her.
She gathers up all her strength and pulls, groaning inwardly with such force that it hurts all the way through.
When the nightmare flickers to the picture of the woman again, Janie is just barely able to burst from her confines.
She gasps for breath.
“Janie?” Cabel’s voice is soft, urgent.
His finger paints her skin from forehead to cheek, his hand captures the back of her neck, and then he lifts her, carries her to the chair. “Are you okay?”
Janie can’t speak. She can’t see. Her body is numb. All she can do is nod.
And then, there’s a sound from across the room.
It’s certainly not Henry.
Copyright © 2010 by Lisa McMann