Review: Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan || Long, slow, but action packed ending

Julia Vanishes

Witch’s Child #1

Catherine Egan

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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. 

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Published: June 7th 2016



Trigger Warning




Attempted Sexual Assault

“I look my nightmares in the eye. And if my nightmares should look back, they see nothing but shadow.” 

There was a lot of hype for this book that just… disappeared? Where’d it go? It was all over Booktube?

Anyways, the premise is interesting, the cover is mysterious— and blue and it’s a debut… which I may have a thing for. It took me a while to finish it, but once done I had this odd sense of anticipation for book two. I couldn’t pin point why, it was just there…

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Julia, a thief with the ability to walk around unnoticed, is hired to infiltrate the mansion of Mrs. Och and look for… something. Her anonymous boss won’t tell her what they’re looking for, but expect her to report anything suspicious. And the tenants are clearly hiding something. And the deeper she goes, the harder it becoming to get out.

Now, right off the bat, this book has witches in it; Julia is not a witch, yet her mother was. And the concept of the witches are really unique. Instead of burning witches, they drown them because witches can’t swim, they’ll sink like rocks. And the way a witch uses her power is through writing, so anyone owning or even holding a pen is claimed to be a witch which is wild.

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“Anything with a lock on it is bound to be interesting.” 

Julia, who as a concept is cool, is kind of basic. She bored me, but I still liked her, which is strange. She wasn’t dumb and she could defend herself because of her power, she became emotionally disconnected especially when she finds out her boyfriend, Wyn was cheating in her. And automatically, I disliked Wyn. Cheaters are a huge no-no for me, so when she broke up with him, I was happier than I should’ve been.

About a quarter in, I did put the book down for quite a while. I actually picked it back up eventually duh and I flew through it, even though I read in portions. The side characters didn’t really catch my interest; Julia and her brother Dek’s relationship was sweet and despite her being emotionally closed off, we can clearly see the love she has for him and the devotion they have for each other.

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The characters in the mansion… I don’t really remember much of them. Fredrick, who had a crush on Ella— Julia’s secret maid identity— was just… there? Mrs. Och, who was super powerful, was also just there. Bianka the witch and her son Theo interested me the most out of the people in the mansion. There was clearly something up with the two of them.

The ending happened really fast as she finds out what she was looking for, making a mistake, getting her identity revealed, gets it back and tries to get away. Julia proves herself towards the end, making me more invested and needing to know what happens book two, which was unexpected since the book was soooo slooooow. Overall, this books premise is what drives this story and I’m excited to continue.


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