Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan9:00 AM
Title: Julia Vanishes (Witch's Child #1)
Author: Catherine Egan
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: ARC provided by Penguin Random House Canada
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Overall: 4 STARS
The stunning first book in an exciting new fantasy trilogy! Murder, thievery, witchcraft and betrayal--who could resist?
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.
One that will she will be paying over this book and the two to follow.
Julia spies. Julia steals. Julia vanishes. In the first installment of the Witch's Child trilogy, Catherine Egan introduces readers to the kingdom of Frayne, where magic is forbidden and witches are condemned to death by drowning in public Cleansings. I don't know about you, but Julia Vanishes was one of those books I'd heard virtually nothing about until I sat down and read it. I didn't even realize it was a fantasy book at first! I might have been a little confused initially, but it wasn't too long before I found my bearings and eagerly turned the pages, utterly enthralled by this gritty fantasy world.
Julia has a curious ability to be unseen. It's not that she becomes invisible, but rather, she enters another plane of existence just beyond everyone else's senses. It's a handy gift when you're a thief and spy, especially when Julia's mysterious employer has sent her to the grand home of Mrs. Och to collect information on its peculiar inhabitants. Posing as a housemaid, Julia soon realizes she's entered a house of carefully guarded secrets...
Cynical and disillusioned, there are only three things Julia truly cares about: Dek, her older brother; Wyn, her first love; and money. Maybe that's why she loves her life of crime so much—it pays well. Julia can never forget the hardship she and her brother faced after their mother suddenly died and their father disappeared, and she'll forever be grateful to Esme for taking them in. Life is far from boring for Julia and her family of criminals and misfits, but she may just be in over her head this time, for she's unwittingly been swept into a power struggle between ancient beings who are more myth than memory.
Fraught with danger and intrigue, I'm absolutely glad I took a chance on Catherine Egan's Julia Vanishes. And I have a very warm feeling the sequel will be even better, digging so much more into the rich lore and world-building that this book has just scratched on the surface. We're just on the cusp of reaching something that could be truly epic in the future! If you love anything involving YA fantasy, magic, and witches, then you'll definitely want to add Catherine Egan's Julia Vanishes to your TBR.