In a few short days, it’ll be official…HALF of 2021 would be over! Time flies during a pandemic don’t you think? Speaking of pandemics, guys, please….do your part to flatten the curve…to kill this 3rd wave as fast as we can…STAY HOME! Stay home and read ALL the books! This is the best time to skim the book review archive and choose the best books to read while you are safe and snug at home. To the world it may seem as if you have ‘Vanished‘, as the Maguire family do in today’s book…but you would be doing your part. Pretty much like a book reading Super Hero me thinks 😉 Okay, enough of the very subtle message….let’s dig into today’s review!
What is Vanished about?
The Kane Maguire (no idea why the blurb says Kane??) family, Lorcan, Naiyana and their young son, relocate from Perth to Kallayee, an abandoned mining town in the Great Victoria Desert to start over again, free from their chequered past. The town seems like the perfect getaway: Peaceful. Quiet. Remote. Somewhere they won’t be found. But life in Kallayee isn’t quite as straightforward as they hope. There are noises in the earth, mysterious shadows and tracks in the dust as if the town is coming back to life. But the family can’t leave. No one can talk sense into them. And now, no one can talk to them at all. They’ve simply vanished. Now it’s up to Detective Emmaline Taylor to find them… before it’s too late.
Vanished has a very interesting plot. From the blurb (and those earth noises) I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a ghost story or a straight up thriller. The writer does a brilliant job of describing this abandoned, remote town of Kallayee, that, I’m not going to lie….I was a bit scared to read this at night! James created this really atmospheric, menacing space within the pages of this book, that I could imagine being there. Being there….and wanting to immediately board a plane and get away from THERE! The book is told from the POV of the wife (Naiyana), the husband (Lorcan), Detective Emmaline and then one other narrator, but I won’t give away who that is. The short chapters made for easy reading and you could easily go ‘one more chapter’…..and then before you know it…. ten chapters later…
The cons for me though, is that there is so much repetition in this book. The detective, Emmaline….goes over every fact in every single chapter. I felt like I could skip pages and pages and miss absolutely nothing. This book would have worked so much better being 100-150 pages shorter. By taking us on such a slow ride…..the end needs to pack the biggest punch, and while there was a plot twist I didn’t see coming, I was just too tired of reading by then. I feel perhaps the additional pages could have been used more towards character development, as I didn’t really feel too invested in the characters.
Unique writing style
One thing I did enjoy was the way the author had us live through a ‘scene’ with our reader lens, and then later we’d relive what happened from another POV, with a clearer lens. I’m not sure that makes sense, but I did enjoy that part of his writing style.
Vanished has a 3.75 star rating out of 5 on Goodreads, and it was around the 3 star mark for me. There are so many amazing 5 star reviews for Vanished, so read all the reviews. Please remember, my feelings about a book are definitely not indicative of the feelings of the entire reading community! If you’re looking for an easy read….where you can skip a few lines or pages (because kids love to distract us), with an interesting story line, this book may be for you.
Disclaimer: Vanished was sent to me by Jonathan Ball Publishers in exchange for an honest review.