I can be a sucker for a book with a girl with powers. I loved Charmed back in the day, and I devoured the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing when I was in middle school.
So when The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa turned up on a list of ebook deals I was immediately curious. I clicked on the link to find an intriguing synopsis involving teleportation.
Each night after Ember Pierce falls asleep, she disappears. She can teleport anywhere in the world: London, Paris, her crush’s bedroom, or wherever her dreams lead her. Ten minutes is all she gets, and once time’s up, she returns to her bed. It’s a secret she’s successfully kept for the last five years. But now someone knows.
A week after her eighteenth birthday, when frustratingly handsome Caden Hawthorne kidnaps her, delivers her to the government, and then disappears before her eyes, Ember realizes two things: One, she is not alone. And two, people like her—teleporters—are being used as weapons.
Forced into a quasi-military training camp for teleporters, Ember discovers she has been paired—perhaps for life—with Caden, the boy who got her into this mess in the first place. Now, she has to work with him on a series of teleporting missions, each one riskier than the last. But Caden just might hold the key to Ember’s escape plan, if she can survive her missions without losing her heart…or her life.
With beautiful witty characters, and a fast-paced writing style, this book drew me in immediately. So much so that I devoured more than half of it in one day.
When we first meet Ember, she’s in a tattoo parlor, trying to cover something that she believes happened on her teleportation trips.
From there, Thalassa moves us quickly through Ember’s world. We see her parents, we see her at school, and then we see her whisked into this government facility where she meets Caden.
The pacing is really good, and the exposition is really condensed. What could have been drawn out for several chapters is just a few, and then we get into the story and a bit of the mystery behind this mysterious program for teleporters.
What I found really innovative in the limits placed on Ember’s power. Thalassa doesn’t assign arbitrary limits to the teleporter’s powers. There’s a reason it’s only for ten minutes and that adds to the suspense, I think.
Seeing Ember in these different roles is almost a pseudo-transformation in a way. As the story progresses you see her relationship grow with Caden and Adrian, but that seems to be the only change.
The relationship in question, is one that I would put in the hate to love category. I wouldn’t even say that Ember hates him, she’s just been uprooted and has been thrust into a situation that she didn’t ask for.
Caden doesn’t make the situation easy on her and responds by being a bit of an idiot!
My only complaint when it comes to Ember is that we didn’t see enough of her. She didn’t really mourn her old life. Maybe she’s just good at adaptation, but she briefly mentions going to college and I wonder what she planned on studying. Does that factor into her current assignments within this program?
Through it all, these characters have a snark and wit to them that will keep you enthralled.
Be warned though, embarking on this series, probably means you’ll want to pick up the second book immediately.
FINAL RATING: 4 Stars
The Vanishing Girl is now available from Skyscape. You can purchase the audiobook through Audible and iTunes. You can purchase a physical book from your local independent bookseller, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.