The Vanishing Girl (Book 1) by Laura Thalassa
**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**
4 ½ stars!
18 year old Ember Pierce is just a normal high school senior; trying to figure out her plans for college…exempt she has a secret that no one knows. Every time she falls asleep, she teleports somewhere for 10 minutes – she interacts with her surroundings, people see her, and then she ends back where ever she started…stark naked. It’s been an inconvenience for the last 5 years, but she’s worked around it – careful to never fall asleep in front of her parents or go to sleepovers – but when strange markings appear on her back, she decides to cover them up with a tattoo of angel wings. That night, Ember encounters a man named Adrian Sumner, as well as a note in her handbag telling her Adrian needs to die. No reason or explanation, just a note and a note…normally she teleports wherever her mind is wandering when she falls asleep – her crushes bedroom, the mall, or a deceased relatives house – she’s never had a purpose before in her teleportation. But then, “they” come for her – the government…her parent’s had trouble conceiving, so when the government sponsored a fertility program with the condition they child enlist in the military for a minimum of two years, Ember the miracle baby was conceived and born. So Ember is packed up the same day and shipped to a facility to begin her training – except she doesn’t want to go willingly, so she runs…only to be stopped by a handsome young man Caden Hawthorne, her apparent pair.
Once at the “facility”, Ember is put right to work alongside her pair Caden. They continue to infuriate each other, but they also start to like each other and enjoy each other’s company. She comes to know the name of the program she’s been recruited into (kidnapped into) is called the Prometheus Project and it is indeed still run by the government and a man named Dane Richards. They rigorously train in order to “protect” their country during their nocturnal teleportation’s, but soon Ember begins to find out that the program is just a fancy way for the government to spy, get classified information, and even end lives – sometimes the teleporters lives become endangered. She also continues to have occasional visits to Adrian and she starts to understand who and what – the truth – behind what the government is really up to. As plots her escape, her relationship with Caden also gets more personal, and they decide to leave together. But the Project is already a step ahead of them, and has plans for Ember…will she and Caden survive their latest mission to attempt an escape?
I was immediately drawn to this book – the premise was very interesting, so that combined with the feisty Ember and a great book was indeed born! Ember is strong, smart, and lively. Caden is intrigued by her from the moment he meets her – he recognizes that spark of life in her that he can’t wait to explore, and that he loves to tease. He knows just how to push every button Ember has…naughty and not! I loved how their relationship progresses throughout the story – but not just because they are forced together as a “pair”, but their similarities bring them together, even through the harsh life they have been brought into. There was great conflict, great villains, and a great plot – while I was able to guess at what would happen next in a lot of the story, I still enjoyed the story and the great cliffhanger ending!