THE DISAPPEARANCE, by Gillian Chan, Annick Press


This novel centers on the unlikely friendship between two boys, Jacob Mueller and Mike McCallum. Jacob seems to be from a different world. After mystifying experts and doctors, who finally decide that he is an elective mute, Jacob ends up in a juvenile group home, isolated and withdrawn, the butt of teasing by the other kids. Mike exists in his own private hell. Scarred physically and emotionally after the murder of his younger brother, his one aim is to survive the system until he is legally old enough to get out. He uses his horrific appearance, imposing size, sharp intelligence, and a calculated brutality to keep everyone at bay–until he encounters Jacob. Almost despite himself, Mike is fascinated by Jacob, particularly the way in which he seems able to shut out the world around him. This fascination deepens and becomes tinged by a mixture of awe and horror when Jacob starts to talk, and appears to have knowledge of Mike’s past, and in particular of his dead brother. Mike takes it upon himself to solve the puzzle that is Jacob Mueller, and when he comes to what seems to him to be the impossible conclusion that Jacob is from another time, he makes it his mission to return him home. In order to do so, Mike has to make hard choices: choices which could offer the chance of redemption, but only at great cost.

Out September 2017


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Gillian Chan surprised me. I didn’t think I was going to like this book, but I was hooked after the first few pages.  Having it set in a city in Ontario, near my home town is an added bonus.  It’s great to see so many Canadian authors doing well.

The book starts off at the end and then proceeds to explain how the story got there.  I was immediately interested in finding out the many answers this beginning created…

The characters are excellent and drafted carefully and fleshed out completely.  A true underdog who becomes a hero story with supernatural edges and young adult issues to keep you reading.

It would be great to see another story come out with the same characters in it since they were so great to delve into.  There’s unfinished business here that would make a perfect sequel.

I loved her writing style, voice and the way she laid her book out.  It sort of reminds me of a short story on steroids, in a good way.

I gave this book:


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