Julia Vanishes

Catherine Egan. Knopf, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-553-52484-0
Egan’s debut novel sparkles with storytelling that skillfully blends elements of steampunk, fantasy, adventure, and magic. First in the Witch’s Child trilogy, it introduces readers to Julia, a young woman who is part spy, part thief, and full of secrets. Julia has thrived ever since she and her brother were taken in by Esme, the matriarch of thieves and cons in Spira City. While working as a maid for—and surreptitiously gathering information about—a wealthy household deemed unconventional by the neighbors, with strange noises heard from the basement and people coming and going at odd hours, Julia uncovers a secret that challenges her morals and sense of decency, but she’s honor bound to share it, with disastrous results. Difficult choices have significant consequences in Egan’s dark, unpredictable tale, and Julia’s progression from a streetwise girl with a crush to a self-aware, self-reliant young woman relies strongly on her journey through conflicting loyalties and examination of long-held biases, especially those against witches. A beautifully rendered world and an exquisite sense of timing ensure a page-turning experience. Ages 14–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/11/2016
Release date: 06/07/2016
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-385-68465-1
Library Binding - 384 pages - 978-0-553-52485-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-101-91713-8
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