By Cynthia Ayala
Cadence, drunk and on a dare, finds herself lost and in the woods soon in Wonderland, dragged there by a cat who can vanish at will, and teamed with a hero in need of his own. A bad day that has turned wondrous by the will of cat. But will it last. Cadence has only 2 days to decide her will. Wonderland or reality? Family or love?
This was a very brief and short story that makes the reader want so much more, in all the best ways. Lewis has given readers a delightful short story about one girl’s lost trip into Wonderland that lasts a total of two days. It was a very brief story but well written that incorporated many elements of the world of Wonderland in such a small space. She was able to bring to life the wonder of Wonderland with very few words and through an outlook of a character very different than Alice’s adventures. Cadence is an unpredictable character; she has charming without meaning to be and on the snarky side. Her thoughts and characterization are what drive the short story and for any reader, that is important because that is the only way a character can get lost in the narrative.
As for the other characters, the Cheshire Cat, Devrel, is the one with the loudest voice mainly because he is the most humorous, the most charismatic. He is a charming character, much like the other characters. More importantly, he can be his character and shine. He is not like the cat from Carroll’s Wonderland highlighting Lewis’s talent for making characters her own and giving them their life with minimalism.
For many, it is difficult to capture a story and bring life to the characters with limited space. Lewis had an idea, and she went forward with bringing it to life. There’s not much adventure in the two days of the story, not a lot happens, its story about a girls trip to a wondrous castle. However, Lewis uses the story to bring about the relationships between the characters and their dynamics. Admittedly, some of the character dynamics come off as a bit shallow, but by the end, the relationship does begin to flourish and flower at the end.
A well thought out story, The Vanishing offers readers something fresh. It has the right stuff — good characters, solid writing, and a creative imagination — to engage the reader, hooking them to the very last page. It moves fast and when the ending comes, it’s almost like whiplash because the reader didn’t see it coming and wants more from it. And that right there is a sign of a good story. (★★★☆☆ | B+)