“He reaches toward her, his fingers black and bloody, his eyes deranged, unblinking. Janie is paralyzed. His cold hands reach around her neck, squeezing tight, tighter, until Janie has no breath left. She’s unable to move, unable to think. As his grasp tightens further around Janie’s neck, his face turns sickly alabaster. He strains harder and begins to shake.
Janie is dying.
She has no fight left in her.
Gone is the startling conclusion to the Wake series. It picks up not too long after Fade, with Janie and Cabe enjoying a lazy vacation with Cabel’s family. But Janie is still haunted by the things she read in the green notebook. Her fears only multiply as she finally meets her father…as he is dying in the hospital from some sort of brain tumor.
Gone is the most difficult book in the series to read. Janie is forced to make many difficult decisions and seeing the pain she goes through is heart-wrenching. As before, Cabe is there for her through it all, but this book largely departs from the romance of the previous two and focuses more on Janie’s inner struggles.
This book ended up being my least favorite in the series. Not because of how depressing it is, though. I found that aspect very realistic and it is refreshing to read a book where everything doesn’t fall into place for the heroine. Janie is legitimately faced with a tough decision and that doesn’t just go away because she finds her Prince Charming.
What I do dislike, though, is the way Janie acts in the book. I understand that she’s frightened and that she faces two terrible options. But in the process of trying to decide what’s best for herself, she strings Caleb along. She knows she has to let him go, but she doesn’t want to, so she ends up sending him mixed signals, at times pushing him away and at times pulling him closer. Though this is believable, it can be annoying to read about and goes on for too long. At one point, I just wanted to shake Janie and tell her to make her decision. Similarly, Caleb also refuses to address his problems, which seems ridiculous given the strong relationship they’ve been cultivating.
Beside that, I enjoyed learning more about Janie’s roots. Her father is very interesting and provides missing pieces to the puzzle that is Janie’s life. I am glad we also get to learn more about Janie’s mother. She becomes a real person instead of just the strange drunken woman in the bedroom.
This book is a little more quiet than the first two. The only conflict is Janie’s. There’s no outside adventure or forces that Janie and Caleb must fight against. The dreams are fewer and exist solely to help Janie, rather than allowing her a chance to help others. The ending is satisfying, though bittersweet. Gone really brings the Wake series full-circle and provides a definitive conclusion, but leaves the reader feeling like it was the right time. Though it’s sad to leave Janie’s world once and for all, she is on a clear path to the best future she can manage.
Publication Date: February 2010
Teaser Quote: “I just need some time and – and some space. For a little while. At least until something happens with Henry. Okay?” She tilts her head up. Meets his eyes again. They stand there, face-to-face, each studying the other.