Review: Julia Vanishes
Julia has the dangerous ability to remain unseen, not actually invisible, but a person’s senses will easily glance over her so she is easily able to blend into her surroundings. In Spira City all magic has been banned and witches are publicly drowned in Cleansings for all to see that magic is not tolerated. Witches are claimed to be evil and nasty beings that are up to no good, but Julia and her brother’s mother was a good witch that helped her neighbors. Ever since her mother was taken and drowned at her own Cleansing Julia has been suspicious of the government that the justice that is being handed out to those with abilities. Julia has been given the task to infiltrate Mrs. Och’s house posed as a maid and report on the unique people that live within her home. As Julia reports on the daily workings of the house, she soon learns about other paranormal creatures living in Mrs. Och’s home and out in the greater world. As Julia delves further into the inner workings of Mrs. Och’s home, she becomes torn whether to defend the occupants of the home or fulfill her contract that she was paid to do.
This fantasy world that Egan has created is full of magic and wonder, and not at all part of our world, but there are many aspects of this world that also make it seem like a history novel. The world is filled with horse and buggies, oil lamps, and could fit right into Salem, MA. Not only does this book have a history element, it also has an intriguing mystery, and of course the magical world. This book will appeal to readers in many different genres and gives it a wide appeal with its protagonist, Julia, who is truly a strong female character. There are hints of a romance in this book, but Julia stands on her own and doesn’t need a man to run to rescue her. I really enjoyed that each character that Egan has created as part of this story has a part to play in the larger story.
This book is the first in a trilogy and and while a small problem was resolved in this first book, Egan brought forth so many more questions that readers will have about Julia and the enemies that she will face and have readers eagerly anticipating the next books. I didn’t realize going into this book that it was a trilogy, but it just makes me more excited to see what is to come. I highly recommend this book to those looking for their next read, no matter the genre.
Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan. 9780553524840. June 2016. Gr 9-12.
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