The good: As supernaturally-themed young adult novels go, the premise of this one is strikingly original: no vampires, werewolves, nor zombies (at least in this first volume of the series…). Instead, Janie finds herself involuntarily drawn into the dreams of anyone dreaming near her. A few SF authors have worked with similar concepts — and there’s that Cheap Trick song — but, on the whole it’s refreshingly different.
The not-so-good: Wake‘s prose takes fast-paced to new extremes. Short declarative sentences with a lot of sentence fragments. Like that one. And this one. It seems susceptible to parody, and I found it a tad wearying. But it sure made for a quick read.
The even-less-good: Wake feels more like a prequel than a main event. It’s one of those novels where not a whole lot actually happens, and much of the plot conflict is driven by characters’ lack of clear communication (admittedly, so is Pride and Prejudice, I suppose). It picks up more of its dramatic tension by starting in medias res with a boatload of “how we got here” flashback — which is fine, but I think I might have preferred the res the series is in medias of to be set after the events of this book.
needs more demons? kinda.