Lynn: It’s not so much that 16-year-old Julia vanishes, but that she can somehow make herself “be unseen”—an uncommon and dangerous trait in a world that drowns suspected witches, but one that’s extremely useful for a spy. As Catherine Egan’s Julia Vanishes opens, Julia is posing as a maid while trying to figure out who or what is causing horrible sounds in the basement of the building where she works.
Born in a disreputable area known as the Twist, Julia, her brother, and their friends take on jobs requiring brains, stealth, and the willingness to steal. But this current contract is unlike anything Julia has dealt with before
Right from the start, it’s nearly impossible to put this book down. Equally difficult is pinning down its genre, as it has elements of fantasy, mystery, romance, action, and adventure—there’s even a search for a serial killer. Egan’s world-building is as richly realized as her characters. Julia’s home of Spira City, a world of ritual cleansings, witch drownings, and religious power struggles, resembles medieval Europe; Julia is feisty, fierce and believably flawed, and her many dilemmas and difficult moral choices add real depth to an already-suspenseful plot. Happily, this is the first of a series, called The Witch’s Child, and there are more adventures to come.