I have so many different feelings about this book, so this review was super difficult to write. I hope you enjoy it, though. Thank you to Scholastic Canada for the review copy!
Vega Jane has never left the village of Wormwood. But this isn’t unusual — nobody has ever left the village of Wormwood. At least not until Quentin Herms vanishes into the unknown. Vega knows Quentin didn’t just leave — he was chased. And he’s left behind a very dangerous trail of clues that only she can decode. The Quag is a dark forest filled with terrifying beasts and bloodthirsty Outliers. But just as deadly are the threats that exist within the walls of Wormwood. It is a place built on lies, where influential people are willing to kill to keep their secrets. Vega is determined to uncover the truth — but the closer she gets, the more she risks her life.
I just finished The Finisher by David Baldacci. *laughs uncontrollably*.
I have been waiting to use that joke ever since I started this book.
You can laugh now.
I’ve only read a David Baldacci novel once (The 39 Clues one. My favorite character died) but that series was written by a variety of authors and has a pre-determined storyline. I was thrilled to receive an ARC of The Finisher because I wanted to see what he would create on his own. Plus, the premise sounded pretty good too. So, did I like The Finisher, or not? I am not entirely certain myself. The good parts were amazing, and the bad parts were torture. I am unsure what to say about this book so…I will just start at the beginning.
I didn’t enjoy the beginning. It was really slow to get into, and I didn’t care much for the characters at all. It felt very expected, like a story I had read a dozens of times previously.
Another thing that irked me was the use of fantasy language where plain English would have been perfectly okay. For example, Baldacci used the word “sliver” instead of “minute.” He chose “Session” in the place of “year.” The race of people was called “Wugs” but they spoke, acted and basically, were just like humans. Why couldn’t they just be called humans in the first place?
The fantasy world in the novel also fell rather short. The town of Wormwood was very well described but there was not much detail on the history of the story world. I understand that Vega Jane was trying to learn more about Wormwood and the world beyond (called the Quag), but she didn’t actually find much as far as history goes and so, neither did the reader.
I did enjoy the girl-boy friendship between Vega Jane and her friend Delph. Even though they were close friends and many times I thought their friendship would end up as a romance, it didn’t. Yay!
Many people think that a strong female heroine is a physically strong girl. I liked how Vega Jane isn’t particularly strong physically, but it is her intellects that help her win fights. Instead, she is quick-thinking and witty. She sticks with her beliefs.
I loved the sometime-antagonist Morrigone. I didn’t think she was well developed at the beginning; Vega thought Morrigone was flawless and most of the sentences about her were something along the lines of “I felt unworthy to be in her presence.” That’s why I loved how much she flip-flopped between good and bad later in the novel. I never knew if she was going to take Vega Jane’s side or stab her in the back. The role of a council member is dull, but not when she is involved!
I am glad I stuck with this book because the end of the novel really redeemed itself. The twists were unpredictable and the character development shone by the end of the book. My only disappointment for the last half was that Vega Jane only entered Quag at the very end. I had hoped I would get to see what Quag was like during the story, but I think there will be a sequel. I will probably pick it up. For now though, I am giving The Finisher 3 Stars. If you like high fantasy and mystery, then this book is for you.