The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa is a fantasy science fiction novel that while not wholly original, is well written and entertaining.
Ember Pierce falls asleep and then disappears. She teleports to another place, anywhere on the planet, for ten minutes at a time. There is a note on her, telling what to do. Its her secret, only she doesn’t realize that there were even greater secrets being kept from her.
“…Do you remember your father and me telling you that you were our miracle baby…”
On her eighteenth birthday, the miracle workers have come back for their baby. Ember doesn’t come by her powers genetically, she was an experiment and the Government who gave her that ability wants it back, for its own uses. Sent to a camp with others like her, trained to fight, Ember becomes a living weapon.
The Vanishing Girl is a fun story, wavering somewhere between a teen dystopian novel into a erotic romance into a science fiction spy thriller, it moves between genres as easily as its characters move through teleportation portals of their own making. But as that is its strength, it is just as easily its flaw. All these genres make for an uneven tale. As if the story cannot make up its mind where it belongs and it just isn’t good enough to transcend the genres to stand on its own.
And the originality bit? Have you seen a movie called Jumper? Stephen King’s The Jaunt? In almost any science fiction television show of the last twenty years, teleportation has been done and done again. Government programs to create super soldiers or spies? Stephen King’s Firestarter or how about Captain America?
So its been done. But that is not what makes The Vanishing Girl such a fun book. It doesn’t hide or try to be more than it is. Which is simply a good story with good characters that you will want to follow into the next tale.
It is simply just a good read.