Kate Kae Myers, author of The Vanishing Game, wrote on her blog, “Smart teens interested in clues and codes (and fiction, of course!) are my target market.” I may no longer be a teen, but I am definitely a fan of fiction that incorporates clues and codes. That may have been what started me reading, but what kept me reading was the atmosphere, the suspense, and the plot. It is a mystery, thriller, noir, fantasy novel all weaved into one. It is suitably eerie as well as puzzling. Most of the time I had no idea where the story would twist and turn next, and I certainly didn’t guess the ending.
The overarching mystery in the story is whether Jocelyn’s brother Jack is dead or alive. Jocelyn was told that Jack had died in a car wreck, but shortly thereafter she received a letter in the mail. It was signed “Jason December,” a code name she and Jack had created as children. The only other person who knew that name was their friend Noah. Jocelyn, Jack, and Noah had all grown up in Seale House, a foster home where they were neglected. One of their diversions was making up codes to try and stump one another. The message Jocelyn receives from “Jason December” is a newspaper clipping about a fire that destroyed Seale House. Jocelyn is sure it is a clue, especially since it was sent after Jack’s death, but first she must track down Noah. At worst she can confirm that he did not send the letter, at best maybe he’ll help her find Jack.
Now you know as much as I did when I started reading The Vanishing Game. I wouldn’t deprive you the enjoyment of finding out the rest for yourself. Myers drops you right into the middle of the action and rarely gives you time to catch your breath. I also wouldn’t recommend reading this alone at night. Myers’ story is as creepy as it is suspenseful.
Check the WRL catalog for The Vanishing Game.