The Quag is a dark forest that surrounds Wormwood, and contains deadly creatures and the mysterious Outliers. I was obsessed with the story from the start and it had good pacing but I just found myself struggling to get into it. That being said, Vega Jane is one of the strongest female leads I have ever read about. She was a pleasure to read about and to read about her adventure in Wormwood with Delph was enjoyable. I was always cheering her on in the story, and crossing my fingers that she would figure things out.

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Shelves: young-adult , buried-under-books , middle-grade , mystery , fantasy , magic As all readers, Ive seen David Baldacci in every bookstore and library Ive entered since My friends on GoodReads adore his writing, his titles are peppered through-out my To-Read List and as a fellow Virginian; Ive really and truly been looking forward to joining the mania. I couldnt have been more excited to discover The Finisher in my latest box of brilliance from Buried Under Books. Admittedly, I did a double-take.

My treasure chest is always loaded with Middle-Grade and YA books. Does Ms. The characters enchant immediately from the ferocious spit-fire Vega to her perfect complement of a best bud, the docile, dependable Delph.

Baldacci magically presents a supporting cast of Wugs that, on the one hand, seem a simple-minded crew…. On the other hand, well…things are not always as they appear.

Seemingly, the Wugs were content to plod through each Light and Night accepting the nebulous answers to rather pointed questions, and most certainly, never dreaming of leaving the safe haven of Wormwood, for aside from the surrounding dark and foreboding Quag, filled with monstrous creatures, there was simply a void. Always happy to embrace the intelligent, determined female; it was with great delight, I realized our Vega was not to be so quickly satisfied.

Her actions convey empathy, kindness, loyalty and selflessness; all admirable yet apparently elusive traits. The reminder is subtle, but strong. While her world, along with the creatures and customs within, is the thing of vivid imaginations and unparalleled creativity; the passion, desire, strength and remarkably hard choices are all realities that we mere humans must abide.

The cunning, enthralling tale hints at this, without boldly announcing it; which is one of the thousands of reasons that I simply adore this tome. In a few weeks, when school starts, I fully expect to see students reading The Finisher as it slyly rests on their legs underneath of their desks and cafeteria tables.

I will share a smile and thumbs up with these brilliant blokes. This review was written for Buried Under Books Blog. And the truth was what I needed. I had nothing else left. Ive always wondered who David Baldacci is. Okay not really. But it seems like every time I visit our local big chain bookstore, his books are out in display right beside Dan Brown. Okay thats not exactly what drew me to read this either, but I have to admit I was a bit curious when I saw his name in a young adult fantasy novel about a 3 STARS I had come to learn that while Wormwood was full of many things, the truth was not one of them.

Vega Jane is a fourteen year session-old Wugmort living in the small village of Wormwood. She works as a Finisher in The Stacks where she adds the last touches to handicrafts pots, figurines etc. She lives with her perceptive younger brother in the slums while their parents lay in the hospital The Care, struck by an unspecified illness that renders them useless. She has no friends save for the stuttering boy, Daniel Delphia, who she has known since she was a child, and Quentin Herms, her mentor in The Stacks.

Her life changes drastically when she witnesses Quentin disappear into The Quag, the mysterious barrier surrounding all of Wormwood separating it from nothingness. As no Wug has ever gone to The Quag before for fear of the dangerous creatures that roam there. Quentin has left a trail of clues for Vega that leads her to find a map of The Quag.

This sets a series of events that pushes Vega to search for answers to her ever growing list of questions about her family, Wormwood and The Quag Vega stumbles into an unknown history, a place of monsters and magic and a purpose bigger than her being a Finisher. I came into this book expecting a pages standalone fantasy book, a novelty in this genre at this day and age, certainly.

Instead this read like the first book in a YA-dystopian fantasy series. Which is fine, I just wish this owned up to it from the beginning. So that when at the end I am left with more questions than answers, the prospect of a second book cushions the crushing disappointment appropriately.

Just like any first book in a series, a great number of pages in The Finisher was devoted into the world-building. The vernacular is a strange blend of Scottish-Pirate-Ghetto and certain terminologies take a bit of getting used to minutes, days and years are slivers, light and sessions but was nothing compared to keeping track of the creatures Vega had to come across. I loved the gory imagination behind the monsters! I am a bit torn about Vega Jane.

Vega of course is a cut above the subservient, fairer sex. I love her indignant pride when compared to her intellectual brother. I enjoyed her astute observations and her voice as a character. Initially I found her a little cold and humourless but found it was pretty much part of her charm. But something about how the story unfolded made Vega appear a little aimless, a heroine with no bigger plan. And the plot likes to build puzzles on mysteries on puzzles so often times, you find yourself in the middle of five unresolved issues.

No history gets explained! A chain that can make you fly? A stone that heals all wounds? There was a bit of romance later on, but it was delivered as though an afterthought. The inclusion of Harry Two in the storyline would probably bother a few readers and all of them are heartless monsters. Based on what we usually read this is a little bit unconventional, extremely frustrating, rambling and draggy in certain stretches.

Just beyond that, in the sky, were the stars, the lost stars as I thought of them now. Lost, like we were. Would they ever find their way? Would we? Perhaps not. Perhaps we would simply flame out. But at least we would have tried. Quotes may not appear in the final edition.


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