Latest Posts

Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan |
So much magic!

By 14:00:00 , , , ,


Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people's senses. It's a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it's a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned--crime pays. Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders, and poison. An aristocratic houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman who is clearly in hiding--though from what or whom?

Worse, Julia suspects that there's a connection between these people and the killer leaving a trail of bodies across the frozen city. 
The more she learns, the more she wants to be done with this unnatural job. To go back to the safety of her friends and fellow thieves. But Julia is entangled in a struggle between forces more powerful than she'd ever imagined. Escape will come at a terrible price.


✱ Pages: 384 (e-book)
✱ Series: Witch's Child #1
✱ Publication date: 7 June 2016
✱ Provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

First Impressions

There was an excerpt of Julia Vanishes in one of the Buzz Books editions (I'm kind of hooked on them...) and the few chapters I read really had my attention. I guess this one caught my imagination? There's a girl who has the strange ability to remain unseen and she uses it to thieve and spy. Doesn't that tempt you to read it too?

My Review

As you can probably tell based on the synopsis, there are a lot of different elements to Julia Vanishes. The danger of it is that it might make the story seem a bit cluttered. It all ties together enough by the end to make me happy as a reader, but I feel like it might definitely affect the reading experience for some.

I didn't connect with Julia as much as I usually do with protagonists but the distance might just be due to her making decisions I wouldn't. She still felt like a real person, and especially by the time I got to the end I felt really sympathetic towards her. The character growth that happens over this first book might have gotten to me, and made Julia more likeable, and I expect in the next book of the trilogy I'll feel a bit differently about Julia.

Regardless of all that, I found Julia Vanishes really enjoyable. The world-building is interesting and the story is full of surprises. It's one of those where you think you have an idea of where things are headed but then everything changes.

My favourite thing is that this world (that I kept seeing as a sort of alternate London in my mind because my mind makes no sense maybe because there is a sort of magic/technology thing going on that reminds me of other novels?) has a history and a strong character to it. It's intriguing to me when a world is really brought to life, when I can imagine walking down these unfamiliar streets myself. The magical system further works extremely well in the confines of this world, and the way people wield magic is inventive. Since witches are drowned in public Cleansings, the magic actually adds a lot to the story right from the beginning.

Quick Recap and Rating

If you like a bit of mystery in your fantasy novel this one might be perfect for you! The world-building is lovely and there are some very interesting characters (and magic!) in this one.
Have you read Catherine Egan before? Do you have the same weird fascination for books that portray witches as I do?

You Might Also Like