Author: Catherine Egan
Publication: Knopf Books for Young Readers (June 7, 2016)
Description: The stunning first book in an exciting new fantasy trilogy! Murder, thievery, witchcraft, and betrayal--fans of Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, and Kristin Cashore take note!
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.
She's being paid very well indeed to infiltrate the grand house of Mrs. Och and report back on the odd characters who live there and the suspicous dealings that take place behind locked doors.
But what Julia discovers shakes her to the core. She certainly never imagined that the traitor in the house would turn out to be . . . her.
My Thoughts: JULIA VANISHES is a fantasy novel starring a young woman who is a thief and a spy. Her current job is to see what is going on in the house of Mrs. Ochs. There she sees a wolf man and learns that Mrs. Ochs is more than she seems. When Mrs. Ochs gives refuge to a woman named Bianka and her toddler son Theo, Julia draws the close attention of her employer who wants her to kidnap the child.
Julia is the daughter of a witch who was captured and drowned in the river Syne when Julia was seven. She has an older brother named Dek who survived the Scourge that killed most of the people who caught it but he is weak on one side of his body and badly scarred. The two were taken in by Esme who is something of a crime boss in the city. Julia learned to be a spy and a thief. Her brother is a sort of mechanical genius who makes all sorts of useful gadgets.
Julia is in love with Wyn who is also an orphan rescued by Esme and who has dreams of being an artist. The two are in a romantic relationship which Julia cherished more than Wyn does.
After being coerced into kidnapping Theo, Julia and her family go to Mrs. Ochs and offer to find and return the baby for a rather large fee. Their adventures as they confront enemies out of legend were exciting and stressful. Julia faces all sorts of dangers.
This is the first book in a series and, so, leaves some questions unanswered and problems left unsolved. However, Julia's growth as a human being is well underway and very apparent. She is an interesting character who is faced with enemies who are definitely out of her weight class and she does quite well in facing them.
I cry for Bianka and whatever will become of her and her little boy, I cry because of Wyn and Arly Winters laughing as if I didn't exist, I cry because I feel sometimes that I barely exist, barely touch the world I walk in, I cry because Dek is unhappy and Gregor is a drunk and Esme is lonely, I cry because Florence thinks she is lucky to be marrying a grocer to take care of his shop, I cry for my mother and the brown-haired witch I saw last month, falling to her death in the unforgiving river Syne. I cry because I am exhausted, because I fear for my life, and I want to live, more than anything I want to live.I got this ARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.