Review: The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

“A fourth-rate poet,” said a friend, “but a first-rate death.”

I loved Truly Devious when i read that, so reading the second book seemed like a no-brainer to me. And i must say i loved it even more than the first one both in the character department but also the mystery department.


The characters developed a lot more in this book than they did in the previous one, especially the relationships between the characters started feeling more real. They started acting like real friends would, and how real lovers would.

The characters were still defined by these arvhetypes, I also mentioned in my Truly Devious review. But it didn’t seem as though they had as hard a time breaking out of the roles, as they did in the first book. They were able to evolve and develop both inside and outside their roles. 

The story became more character driven. The first book was very much stered on by the plot and the characters were instruments used to get it moving, whereas in The Vanishing Stair the plot is more so a way to explore the characters, not the other way around. And personally I prefer that kind of story because it feels more real ya know?

Maybe, she wondered, that was what it was like to plan a murder. Maybe you make successive bad deals with yourself that you can’t back out of, until you make one that can never be reversed.


Even though this book was more character driven, I still found myself liking th emystery much more in this book. All the groundwork had been laid in the previous book, and this made it much easier to just delve straight into this mystery. There were more twists and turns, which made it seem a lot more interesting to read.

Finishing Truly Devious I thought, that mystery could have been ended there and it would have been fine. But I’m so happy Maureen Johnson decided to continue, because there was so much more to the story we didn’t know, and it was all delightful to read.

What do you do when the devil turns up in your living room and offers you everything you want?


The Vanishing Stair was much better than Truly Devious, the plot, the mytery and the vcharacters were all amped up and more explored and that made for a terrific book to read.

Rating:

★★★★★

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